How to master your singing audition

15 February, 2017

Being well-prepared and warmed-up are of key importance for any singing audition, as well as making sure you’re well-practiced before the audition. Our Head of Vocals, Emma Edwards, gives her best advice on how to master your singing audition.


Make sure you bring your sheet music in the correct key. If you’re asked to prepare two songs, always sing your strongest song first in case you don’t get the opportunity to perform both. Bring along your headphones if you want to listen to your chosen song to warm up!

Sheet music

There are many good sites on the web where you can source sheet music and most of these will print them in different keys so you don’t have to worry about someone else doing this for you. Here are some examples:

Be in good voice

If you haven’t sung in a while, you can’t expect to go into a singing audition and perform well. Singing every day is essential for keeping your voice healthy and strong.

Know the show

In musical theatre, there’s no excuse for not being familiar with the show you’re singing from.

Always give yourself plenty of time to learn your audition material

Rehearse with a pianist and don’t solely rely on learning from a recording since that version may be considerably different from the sheet music you have. Never audition without the music. If you make a mistake while singing, don’t stop! An audition is like a performance; just keep going and don’t let your face or body language reveal the fact that you’ve made a mistake. Oh, and never glare at the pianist!

What to sing

Never sing a capella. Don’t choose a song that’s difficult for a pianist to play. Know your lyrics and your music – don’t hold a cheat sheet or the sheet music, and don’t look over the pianist’s shoulder. Although this may seem obvious, choose a song that suits you. Many singers don’t.

Have properly prepared sheet music. Make sure it’s written out in the right key, and that any tempo changes, and change in musical directions, are all clearly marked. Never give a pianist sheet music in the form of a music book. That makes it too difficult to turn the pages. Make a photocopy of your song, and tape the edges together accordion fashion. When you hand the pianist your music, make sure you smile and say hello. Give them a good idea of the tempo by singing a few bars quietly for them. If there are tempo changes or the like, point them out.

Choose the right song and make it work. To connect with your audience, you’re going to need to connect with the song itself. Be sure to select something that you enjoy singing, and equally important – understand what the song is about. The next layer to add is your own interpretation to the song and what exactly it is you want to say.

For your ICTheatre audition advice, read our full guide.

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