The 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) All-State auditions are Saturday December 9. The Charlier excerpt is by far the most challenging of the two etudes in this audition. This book is known to be challenging for professional players and the maturity musically to be able to play these etudes at a high level can only come with experience. Hopefully you have an excellent private lesson teacher to help guide you to the unwritten musical ideas that help bring this excerpt to life. Below are some pointers on the Charlier excerpt that may help in your final week of preparation. I have also recorded the etude keeping close attention to the ideas listed below:
- Work hard to keep a steady tempo, except for measure 8, where it is acceptable to add a slight ritardando for both musicality and to get a breath.
- Pay special attention to the accents throughout this etude. Do not overlook these.
- Stand out with your musicality on the dolce sections. Do not be afraid to slow the first two sixteenths of measure 13 and 17 slightly for musicality. Make a difference between the “decide” sections and the “dolce” sections.
- It is imperative to play the dotted sixteenth/thirty second passages very snappy and rhythmic. Do not play them like triplet rhythms. Also, be very concerned not to lose the thirty-second notes within the quick rhythm.
- Keep excellent time on the last five measures where you have quarter notes tied to eighth notes, and a quarter rest at the end of the measure. Practice with a metronome and keep an excellent internal pulse.
- Last but not least, while the tempo is marked quarter note equals 96, only play this excerpt as fast as you can play beautifully and accurately.
Good luck on your audition. Be overly prepared and do not forget to practice your scales and sight-reading. Play in front of as many people as possible this week and be confident.