How to Get Into Juilliard

Three Methods:PracticeGetting readyThe night before and the day of your audition

The Juilliard Pre-College and College divisions are among the most prestigious performing art schools in the world. Whether it's dance, drama, or music, getting accepted takes dedication, skill, perseverance, and having in place a correct strategy.

Method 1

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    Get a good teacher who knows your strengths and weaknesses. Be willing to listen to and learn from this teacher's assessment of both your strengths and weaknesses, so that you can enhance the strengths and improve the weaknesses without fear or favor.
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    Practice daily to improve your talent and skill. Devote at least one hour daily if you're a musician and three hours daily if you're a dancer.
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    Expand your knowledge of your skill-set. If you're a musician, vary your repertoire as broadly as possible. If you're a dancer, try different styles of dancing, even if they are not ones you intend to specialize in. If you're looking towards drama, act in different roles. This way, you'll learn to appreciate your skill as a whole and become better at what you already love doing. Moreover, the wider your abilities and the more comfortable you are with different approaches, the more versatile and suitable a performer you're making yourself into.
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    Push yourself to go up against the best. Attend competitions, master classes, and/or lectures if possible. Most of all, perform as often as possible! Performing in public is a key part of being fully engaged in the Arts. Furthermore, the more you perform the easier you'll overcome stage fright, and the easier your Juilliard audition will be. (However, realize that you may always have nerves, some of the greatest performers always do, and learn to channel this into performing even better.)

Method 2
Getting ready

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    Once your skills have developed enough, it's time to get ready for your audition. Most people auditioning for Juilliard have had many years of training, honing their talent and skills and constantly relearning and reinventing their abilities. The level of Juilliard might not be for you if you've been studying merely for one or two years. Ask your teacher if Juilliard is right for you and be humble about the answer; if you need more time, take that as a constructive comment, not a criticism and get stuck into more practice and perfecting of your skills. Be strong and sensible in your goals and you'll get there someday!
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    Make sure to allot yourself at least a couple months to prepare for the audition. You want to feel secure in your performance abilities and know deep within that you're actually ready.
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    Do the basic logistics once you're ready to audition. First, go on the Juilliard website: to find your audition requirements. Sometimes, especially if you're auditioning for the Pre-College music division, the repertoire guidelines vary by age. Read the rules and guidance very carefully, to make sure that you fully understand what is expected. If you don't, contact the college to find out what is needed.
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    Start preparing with your full attention to this goal. First, work with your teacher to select what you want to do, making sure that it is something that will completely highlight your talent at its absolute best. If necessary, ask your teacher for additional advisers to come on board and help you make the best choice from a variety of opinions. Once you've chosen the audition piece or repertoire, learn it thoroughly. Practice daily, think about it when you're not practicing it, and take on board all constructive feedback so that you continue to improve. The better you learn what you'll perform in the first few weeks, the more secure you'll feel in the last few weeks.
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    Do mock auditions. A common (and very helpful) thing to do is to attend a competition and compete with your audition selection. If you win, well, all the better for practice! You can also gather family members and/or teacher into a mock 'jury': it will give you a feel for what the audition will be like. If you don't succeed or feel that you didn't do very well, use this as an opportunity to reflect on what needs the most concentration for improvement––failure is not to be viewed as a bad thing, it's simply a nudge in the right direction and it's important to take hold of the lesson and make the most of it.

Method 3
The night before and the day of your audition

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    Be well rested. The night before, get a good rest. This is said so many times that it becomes a cliché, but it really works. Take a sleeping pill if you're nervous. You should be able to wake up relatively late because Juilliard auditions are not scheduled too early in the morning.
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    Try to eat a substantial breakfast. You don't have to have a three-course meal, but try to stomach some toast and fruit. If you honestly can't eat anything––and that's perfectly natural––then sip something nutritious, like a smoothie.
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    Wear something nice. If you're a dancer, then you'll obviously be wearing a leotard. If you're a musician, then try to pick out a nice dress if you're a girl. If you're a boy, then wear a shirt and tie. Some people like to wear a suit (you don't have to wear a tux), but if you do then be sure to unbutton it before you start playing, because you don't want your suit to restrict your movement for playing.
    • Ask your teacher for advice about your selected outfit. He or she may suggest changes to ensure it is going to work well for you.
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    Use your nerves to help you stay focused. It's normal to be nervous! The last minutes before you go into the audition are usually the worst. If you feel like puking, then go to the bathroom and take deep breaths. Tell yourself that you're fine, it'll be all over soon, and the audition honestly doesn't matter.
    • You might like to eat plenty of peppermints: the mints release an anti-anxiety hormone.[citation needed]
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    Run over your audition in your head. It will help you feel secure.
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    Ask a family member to sit with you outside the audition room. They'll most likely give you a hug and make you feel better.
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    Go and do your best. You have worked hard to reach this point, you know you're ready, and all you can do now is the best you can, knowing that you've got the talent and skills well honed. If you succeed, that's great; if not, take it as an experience that will inform future tries.

Things You'll Need

  • A suitable teacher or mentor
  • A repertoire or piece for the audition
  • Instrument (where relevant)
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Application forms for Juilliard; get help filling out if needed.
  • Anything else required for the performance

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