7 Ways NOT to Choose Your Vocal Audition Piece

Picking a song for a vocal audition can be harder than the actual audition itself. After all, most auditions last about five minutes or less. Sometimes you get to sing a whole song, and sometimes you are asked to prepare a measly 16-bar cut. So how do you choose a song that will represent you accurately as a performer in just a few short minutes? It’s not easy, and there are few things you definitely shouldn’t do. 1. Don’t Choose a Really Famous Song We all know those people who march into auditions with pages of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked flying everywhere. While you might think this piece would be a
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Music Theory Quiz Challenge: Think Can You Get All 20 Correct?

Calling all musical brainiacs! We’ve consulted with our fellow music theory geeks to bring you one of the most difficult music theory quizzes around. From notation’s most trying nuances to ultra-tricky time and key signatures, only the most deft music theory students will get an A+ on this quiz. So buckle in and prepare to test your music theory expertise!   Be sure to share your score and challenge your fellow musical friends on Facebook/Twitter. Want to put some of your knowledge into practice? Find particularly challenging sheet music in these former Musicnotes Blog  posts Three Piano Songs that are Nearly Impossible to Play Test Your Technique with Challenging Guitar Tab Selections The
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7 Things to Avoid at Your Vocal Audition

There are a lot of opinions out there when it comes to how you should perform during a vocal audition. Depending on what works for you, there may be more than one right way to go about it. We’ve already explored tips of how to ace your next choral/vocal audition. However, there are a few obvious no-no’s you should be aware of before you step into that room as well. To help you out, we put a list together of “7 Things to Avoid in a Vocal Audition.” Wearing A Flashy Outfit If you’ve ever been to a vocal audition, you’ve probably seen the man in the polka-dotted suit, or the
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Start Playing Music Again – Tips for relearning an instrument

There are many of us out there who took music lessons as a child but stopped when we reached adulthood. If you are experiencing the urge to get back into playing music as an adult, you’re certainly not alone. Here are some tips and food for thought about how to prepare yourself for a successful musical restart. Finding the right teacher There are several reputable online resources out there that can help you locate a teacher that will be a good fit for you. As a teacher, I have favored Reverb Lessons, and have had some of my best students find me through that channel. Be sure to get in
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Three Piano Songs That Are Nearly Impossible to Play

The question of “What piano songs are the most difficult to play?” has inspired friendly arguments among music lovers, likely for as long as piano songs have been composed. The issue of what, exactly, makes a piece of music “difficult” to play is difficult to define. For example, a song which is ten hours in length is going to be “difficult” regardless of the complexity of the song itself. Then there is the question of entertainment value. If a song is not pleasant to hear, then pianists will have little interest in playing it simply to take on the challenge. Therefore, the only true way to determine which piano songs
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How to Choose Sheet Music for Piano Students

Piano teachers know that the day always comes when a student asks to play a song or piece that isn’t in their method book. If they’re a first or second year student, it’s quite possible that they aren’t ready to play the most difficult (and usually most accurate) arrangement available. As their teacher, it can prove challenging to find appropriate sheet music for piano students. Fortunately, these days there are multiple difficulty levels of nearly any song or piece to choose from, such as those offered here at Musicnotes. What criteria should teachers consider when choosing an appropriate arrangement for a student? In my experience, the three most important skill
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Contrafactum: What’s That?

A lesser-known musical term, contrafactum, refers to a song in which the melody is similar or even identical to another song yet contains different lyrics. One of the most popular examples of contrafacta are “What Child is This” and “Greensleeves.” While the lyrics convey very different meanings, the melody remains the same for both. There are several reasons for why a composer would choose to repeat one melody across two different pieces. Often times, the composer has chosen to reuse the melody from another piece because it brings together the beginning and end of a show. For example, “Come to Me,” also known as “Fantine’s Death,” is sung in the first
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Tips to Keep You Cool While Playing Hot Summer Gigs

Festivals, farmers’ markets, garden parties, weddings and sporting events, whether you’re playing under the hot sun or a hazy moon, summertime is prime for outdoor gigs. Unlike the more temperate (climate controlled) indoor venues, there are additional considerations to keep both your body and instrument in prime condition while playing on hot summer days. We’ve put together a quick list of the 5 most essential tips for outdoor summer gigs. 1. Hydrate Proper hydration is essential year-round, but it becomes exceptionally more difficult to maintain hydration when excessive heat is factored in. Water makes up 2/3 of our bodies, and dehydration can lead to dangerous conditions, including cramps, heat exhaustion
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Choosing the Perfect Audition Piece for You

Tips on how to do well at an audition are more or less universal, but the perfect audition piece is not. (Check out our Updated: 40+ Songs for Stage and Show Auditions blog post.) Each individual musician is different just as every performance of a piece varies ever so slightly from the one previous. There is no “one-size-fits-all” audition piece. Not saying it wouldn’t be nice, but it just doesn’t exist. There isn’t a perfected audition piece that will work for everyone the same. There is, however, a uniquely perfect audition piece for you. Musicnotes.com is here to help guide you through three basic steps to take when selecting the
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Ask a Music Publisher

What YOU Should Know About Music Publishing, with Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music

Downloading sheet music to play instantly is easy as can be, right? Did you know that before a song makes its way to the huge Musicnotes.com catalogue, joining more than 300,000 other instantly available works, it first takes a journey through a legal process, a proofing process and a technological process? Today, we’re going to focus on the legal part of sheet music publishing with our first-ever Ask a Music Publisher post, with guest expert Sean Flahaven of Warner/Chappell Music. In addition to writing and performing music, there are so many other musical fields that allow you and I to enjoy playing the songs we love. In the most simplistic
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