Whether for solos, roles in a musical, chairs in a band section, or leadership positions, auditions present a host of potential problems. Unfortunately, most of us (including myself) learn lessons about these issues the hard way.
When I became the Fine Arts Director for my school system, we developed an audition policy that parents and students had to sign in advance of any auditions. This audition policy has been tremendously successful-- helping students and parents understand what to expect while also providing numerous conversations between students and teachers on how students can learn from what they did.
Competitive auditions are a reality of the performing arts world. Professional performers have failed many more times than they have succeeded. The problem is that we only see their successes.
With the result of our work being a publicly displayed product, it is important that we use our expertise to set students up for success in solos, parts, leads, etc. Each and every audition consists of many intricate details that are unique and specific. Therefore, we take these decisions very seriously and carefully.
Because we are preparing each child for the college and professional world, it is important that only the student ask questions about his or her performance in regards to an audition. This allows them to learn more from the experience. By coming straight to the directors, students can get valuable feedback from their audition improve for the next time. Additionally, students gain courage and character.
Directors and teachers have the right not to speak with parents about audition results. There are no exceptions to this policy. A conversation between directors and parents can occur if and when the director has already spoken with the student about the situation and the teacher agrees that the parent-teacher conversation is appropriate.
What do you think? Anything you would change? Do you have an audition policy?