Are you looking to enter a competition on the piccolo? You should consider how to learn piccolo music for a competition so that you can increase your chances of success.
Learning music isn’t easy in general, and that’s especially true for a competition. Read on for some tips to help you learn new repertoire.
Choose the Competition Wisely
The first step in learning piccolo music for a competition is to choose what competition to do. Many competitions have a specific repertoire list that you have to learn.
You should also review any age limits and determine if you’ll have to play with a pianist for your audition. Then, you can make sure you’re eligible for the competition and that you can fulfill the requirements.
It also helps to consider the competition entry fee and the deadline. If a competition deadline is coming up fast, you might not want to enter if you don’t know the music already.
Start With the Repertoire Requirements
If you want to do multiple competitions, look for some with overlapping repertoire. That way, you won’t have to learn as much piccolo music. You can also look for competitions that require pieces you already know.
Some competitions allow you to play music of your choice with fewer requirements. For example, you might just need to play any piccolo concerto for a concerto competition.
In other cases, you only have to choose pieces that are a certain length. Keep all of that in mind when selecting the competitions to do and when learning the music.
Give Yourself Time
You’ll need to make sure you have enough time to practice and prepare the piccolo music. If a competition is less than a month away, you’ll probably have to practice more per day.
On the other hand, a competition that’s months away means you can take the learning process more slowly. You can take more time to sight read all of your piccolo music and to break it up into smaller chunks.
Use whatever practice methods work for you to make learning more enjoyable. As you get closer to the entry deadline, start to play through the entire piece to practice that.
As you learn the music, you’ll need to practice consistently to improve and retain what you learn. You don’t need to practice for hours a day, at least not for a smaller competition.
Make a schedule based on your other obligations in and out of work or school. That way, you’ll have enough time to work on the piccolo music and get it up to a performance level.
If you find you need a break, take one for a day or so. Then, you can come back with more energy, and you might even sound a bit better than if you’d forced yourself to practice.
Find Collaborators Early
As soon as you know you want to do a piccolo competition, consider if you’ll need a pianist or other collaborative musicians. If so, you should start looking for people right away.
Then, you can get them the music they need so that they can learn their parts. You’ll also be able to schedule rehearsal and recording times so that you don’t miss out on your chance.
This is particularly important if you’re in college. Other students might be doing the same competition, so you could have to “fight” to get the best pianist to work with you.
As mentioned, you’ll want to schedule rehearsals with your collaborators. The number and length of rehearsals you’ll need can depend on the competition requirements.
If you only need to play one piece, you might be able to get away with a couple of one-hour rehearsals. On the other hand, something like the NFA Piccolo Artist Competition requires more rehearsal time.
Consider booking more time than you think you might need. Then, you’ll have the time if you end up needing it, or you can easily cancel extra rehearsals if you stay on track.
Book a Recording Space
You should also book a recording space to use during your later rehearsals. If you’re in school, a great option is to book a recital hall on campus since they usually have excellent recording equipment.
However, you can also “book” your own living room to use to record yourself. In that case, you’ll need a microphone for yourself as well as for any of your collaborators.
If possible, you may also want to ask a teacher or another musician to help record. That way, you don’t have as much dead air at the beginning and end of your recordings.
The earlier you can record yourself, the better. That will give you more time to actually upload your recordings and other materials to the competition website.
It may seem like a good idea to wait until the last minute so that you have more time to learn the piccolo music. However, you have to account for technology problems.
Your internet might go down, or the competition website could become overrun with other entrants. If you’re not careful, you could miss the deadline, so give yourself plenty of time to officially enter the competition.
Record Yourself Often
Before you do the final recording, you should record yourself and listen back. That way, you can hear what the competition judges will hear, and you can figure out where you need to improve.
Compare yourself to recordings of other players and see what you do or don’t like about them. You can also contact people who have won piccolo music competitions and ask for their feedback.
If you have a teacher, ask them for their thoughts as well. Then, you can get an idea of your weak spots so that you can practice them more before you do the final recording.
Do You Have to Do a Piccolo Music Competition?
You don’t have to enter a piccolo music competition if you don’t want to. However, it can be fun to give it a try if you think you might want to get more audition and competition experience.
Plus, there are a variety of competitions out there. Some have more affordable entry fees and don’t require a pianist for you to play with, so you can participate on a budget.
Is Learning Piccolo Music for a Competition Hard?
Learning piccolo music for a competition can be difficult. You frequently have to learn specific repertoire, and you might not want to learn the music on the list of pieces.
It can also be hard since you have to play the same music as other entrants. That means you may feel pressured to be the best of the best to win.
What Are Some Common Piccolo Competition Pieces?
I’ve noticed that some piccolo competitions are moving away from standard repertoire. They’re starting to use pieces from more diverse composers, which is great.
However, you can’t go wrong with learning standards, like the Vivaldi Concerto in C Major or the Liebermann Concerto. If you know those piece, they make for great concerto competition entries.
Will You Learn Piccolo Music for a Competition?
Learning piccolo music for a competition can be a great way to challenge yourself. But you need to follow the right steps, from choosing a competition to recording your entry.
If you need more info on playing the piccolo, head to the resources page for tips and tricks.