I’m Having Coffee With Mozart

I have (or am supposed to be having) an audition for a music school next week, and I’ve only handed in my application last week, so they only gave me the scope of the music theory test and the departmental audition requirements for piano then (thanks, Mom). The music theory part seems simple enough, but may require extra time and effort for me to really get it because I’ve been unpracticed with the piano for what seems like five years now, and I’ve been playing this instrument since I was eight. Even then, I’ve always found it difficult to read sheet music, but can play things easily by ear. I remember my tutor would always wind up wanting to claw their face off or chop off my hands at the end of every session, and I wouldn’t really blame them. I would, too. But to top that off, given my incredibly short memory span, I cannot remember shit. Nevertheless, I’ve got it covered. My only concern now is the audition requirements because, well, if you’ve seen the list, and if you were an unpracticed piano widow as well, you’d be scared shitless, too. So, have at it:

  1. Scales & Arpeggios, 4 Octaves (Major & Minor Keys);
  2. One work by J.S. Bach chosen from the Two or Three Part Inventions, the 48 Prelude & Fugues, Toccatas, Partitas, or the English  & French Suites;
  3. A Virtuosic Etude chosen from Czerny, Op.299 (except Nos. 1-5), Chopin (except Op.10 #3, Op.10 #6, Op.25 #7), Lizst, Rachmaninoff (except Op.33 #7, Op.39 #2), Scriabin (except Op.2 #1), Prokofiev, or Debussy;
  4. One fast movement of a 3-movement Classical Sonata by Haydn, Mozart (except K.545), Beethoven (except Op.49, Nos. 1-2) or Schubert;
  5. A work chosen freely by the applicant, preferably a work from the 19th or 20th Centuries;
  6. A work will be given to the applicant during the audition for sight reading proficiency

See, I’ve never heard any of this shit in my entire life, and when I listened to them to choose which pieces I would play, I feel ridiculed. Mostly because 1.) The ones that I might learn in a week are the ones that are exempted above; 2.) My fingers cannot cope and; 3.) Holy shit, I need to learn how to play this whole program in a week and it takes me like a day to actually read one page of a sheet music right. 

Hell would freeze over before I can actually pull this off in a week.

And so, provided by my own gracious self-doubt and a cruel supply of never-ending anxiety, I’ve been contemplating on whether or not I should push through with this. Because, in retrospect, it’s ridiculous–exceedingly ridiculous, actually–for a widow who’s hasn’t had proper training in years to audition with five pieces without a working piano for a prestigious music program with just one week of preparation. It’s impossible. I’d have a better chance of streaking naked in campus than pull that off. But the thing is, I need this. I need to transfer, and this is only one of the four options that I have in transferring to three different universities.

The first is this–audition for the music program of University #1. The second is work my way through the system of University #1–which is a dirty way to get into,  but a lot of people do it, so. Desperation. I would’ve been able to transfer easily to their writing program, but I lack units, and my piece of shit college won’t let me get extra units–in my insistence–because they never let undergrads get extra units. They know people want to transfer, and so they’re very anal about the units we get, purposely giving us lower credits than most colleges and universities. Like I said. Anal. The third option is for me to transfer to University #2 in their English Lit. and Creative Writing program. I’ve applied there before, in my senior year, but wasn’t accepted. So I’m trying again, and this is the second and last time I’m allowed to do it. I’ve taken the admission test, and am now waiting for my transcript so I can submit my requirements. My last option is to transfer to University #3 in their Journalism program, but they’re yet to be open for submission of requirements, and I have to take an admission test for that as well.

These four options are longshots for me. I know this because Tyler knows this.

Okay, but seriously. I know I bombed the admission test for University #2, but I’m hoping to make up for that with my essay and my grades (which are… well, average to a little above average, but that’s just me making things sound pretty). The admission test for University #3 is something I haven’t taken before, so I’m not really sure how that would go, though I have a pretty good hunch that I’ll bomb that as well. Tests, in whatever shape or form, have never been my forte. What I’m going for now, is my second option into University #1, which is basically just dealing under the table and whatnot, but my dad’s working on it, (he’s desperate to get me into University #1 because he’s an alumnus) along with my uncle, who’s also an alumnus, and I think I have a pretty good shot at it. It’s not so much dealing under the table as it is asking them to ignore the fact that I’m lacking a few units in lieu of my grades, so it’s not illegal, per se. It’s just being resourceful and working your way into the system with the people you know.

It’s been a tough week for me–well, a tough month, really–and I’m just under a lot of stress right now with me being behind requirements in school (as usual, but I’m catching up) and with it being finals week and this audition, it’s just giving me so much anxiety lately, which is never a good feeling, especially not when you suddenly feel like breaking down in the middle of anywhere.

But when you’ve got support from a few good friends and on a Benzo a day, you can probably suck it up.

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