I Decided To Let Myself Live (That’s When I Started To Play More Musically) – Haley Bangs | Ep. 41


Listen on –



Google Play


This week on the podcast, we have another installment of “Winning the Job”. This episode features Haley Bangs. Haley is currently the second flutist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She mentions in her episode that she has taken 29 auditions, so you can count on her having a lot of knowledge and advice for auditioning.

Here are a few takeaways from her episode:

The 3 Lists

Separating the audition list into three groups is a method of organization I’ve heard from a few musicians. The three groups would be:

Group A

Group A are excerpts that you know very well and that do not require a lot of time to get to performance level. You might consider these to be excerpts that you could practice 1-2 times per week and be ok.

Group B

Group B are excerpts that you know well, but would require some “brushing up”. These might be technical excerpts that you have worked on many times, but you still need to go through the process of refining them. You might consider these to be excerpts that you could practice 2-3 times per week and be ok.

Group C

Group C are excerpts that you cannot play very well or one’s that you have never worked on before. This group is the one that you will spend most of your time working on, and it is the group that will require the best strategies to learn and refine the elements necessary to perform at a high level. You might consider these to be excerpts that you could practice 3 or more times per week and be ok.

Be Inspired

The process of preparation for an audition can either be grueling or inspiring. Haley recommends looking to recordings and playing along with them to find different ways of playing the repertoire that you might not have thought about before. Being positive is key as well. Always try to find something positive about the audition process for each audition. Look for improvements such as: performing better at the audition, diving in deeper to learn about the music you’re playing and the composers that wrote it, or learning better time management skills. Even if you don’t win, finding positive aspects about the process can help keep you motivated to keep going after it.

You’re A Person Too

One of my favorite parts about her interview is when Haley said that she has learned that getting out of the practice room is essential for her health and well being. While practicing for 6-8 hours per day might have its benefits (that’s debatable), seeing concerts, spending time with friends, and reading great books are also important parts of being a complete human being. Don’t let your musical side take over everything else!

Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the episode!

Until next time,