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Rebecca Raney - The Reckless Violinist

The Audition Coach: How To Win

Published over 2 years ago • 1 min read

Good morning!

It’s fall in California, and the cool weather reminds me of one thing:

Youth Symphony.

The auditions. The challenge system. The constant jockeying for position.

It’s the place where I learned how to compete. Here's what I didn't learn: That the real white-collar world didn’t play that rough.

Why were elite student orchestras so brutal, even in a place like Kansas City? Well, as is often the case, we had two elite violin teachers in the city. Youth Symphony was the arena in which they pitted their prodigies against each other.

I’m not qualified to present myself as a music teacher, not even on YouTube. But I did learn how to ace an audition, and it’s a skill that has helped me for my entire life.

Today, I’m introducing the “audition coach,” the next iteration of the Reckless Violinist project.

When I first came up with the idea, I thought it would turn out to be satire – a character who offers all kinds of ridiculous advice. As it turns out, the coach actually gives sound advice for competitive situations. Today’s video is about how to stand out when you and half your competitors are playing the same piece from Vivaldi.

The satire remains, but it applies to a system that runs on brutal competition.

So, without further ado, here she is. The audition coach:

With this piece, my thinking on storytelling has evolved. At first, I considered converting into video the first essay in this series, which was a conversation with my violin teachers.

Then I realized that I needed to do more than read an essay; I needed to adapt it to the medium.

If you missed it, here’s the link:

"Everything I Know, I Learned From My Violin Teachers"

Thank you for your support, and I’ll see you on the Internet!

Rebecca Raney - The Reckless Violinist

Respectable journalist. Terrible waitress. Reckless Violinist. Noir novelist. Longtime contributor at The New York Times. Sign up to follow my cross-platform project about money, merit and music in the turmoil of America.

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