What’s the best song to sing for kids auditions? Let me tell you my pick, and why – along with top ten mistakes I’ve seen kids make at auditions. Parents please read this whole post, important information for you that you may not have thought of. It’s really not difficult stuff, just a matter of preparation. “Winging It” is a sure way to NOT get cast.

BEST SONG FOR KID AUDITIONS

My pick is “Consider Yourself” from Oliver. And here are my reasons:

  • Most everyone likes the song
  • It’s a song kids can sing and really sell utilizing their cuteness and smiles
  • It shows a child can keep pitch (assuming it’s sung correctly) through changing key centers.
  • It’s easy to learn, but not stupidly easy like singing “Happy Birthday”
  • If it’s performed on pitch with energy, smiles and big hand gestures – I can pretty much say you WILL get cast if there’s a part for you. Music directors are going to be listening for good pitch transition on the bridge section, make sure you have it right. If you don’t know what that means, have your kid meet with a music instructor (and give them a Starbuck’s gift card, we like that!). They’ll hook you up.
  • The range of the song is a little over an octave, not too demanding on young vocal ranges.

LYRICS TO CONSIDER YOURSELF from OLIVER

Recommend starting pitch: D (ask pianist to play a “G” chord). Or C (ask pianist to play an “F” chord). I think the original is in Bb, starting note F (a little high for many young voices).

NOTE: For auditions sing with your normal accent, don’t use a British cockney accent.

Consider yourself at home.
Consider yourself one of the family.
We’ve taken to you so strong.
It’s clear we’re going to get along.
Consider yourself well in
Consider yourself part of the furniture.
There isn’t a lot to spare.
Who cares?..What ever we’ve got we share!

If it should chance to be
We should see
Some harder days
Empty larder days
Why grouse?
Always a-chance we’ll meet
Somebody
To foot the bill
Then the drinks are on the house!
Consider yourself our mate.
We don’t want to have no fuss,
For after some consideration, we can state…
Consider yourself
One of us!

TOP TEN MISTAKES CHILDREN MAKE AT AUDITIONS

  1. Not having a song prepared. Then the director will say “Just sing Happy Birthday” – and all the directors will put on forced smiles to encourage the child, but inside our stomach is being tied in knots having to hear this.
  2. Singing a song beyond your years. No one wants to hear a fourth grader sing “Ti*s and A**” – it just makes everyone uncomfortable. And yes, I have seen children use that song at auditions. We don’t want something sultry or provocative from a kid’s audition – we just want to hear vocal quality and pitch retention.
  3. “Can I start over?” – Yikes, don’t do that. Just barrel your way through it. If you can’t do it, just stop and do a different song. It’s NEVER better when people start over, it just adds to the agony of the listeners – it shows a lack of preparation and commitment to the project you are auditioning for.
  4. Don’t sing the National Anthem, Happy Birthday or Row Row Row Your Boat. No one sings the National Anthem all the way through well, and Happy Birthday/Row Row Row Your Boat don’t show us anything about vocal quality or pitch recognition. If you sing those songs and you DO get cast, it means there was very low competition on that production for your age group – or singing wasn’t super important for all parts on this production.
  5. Finish Your Audition – If for some reason a child breaks down into tears during the audition process (which is not at all uncommon) and they want to stop, have them ask the directors if they can take a break and do it later. Most directors (in community theater environments) will be happy to do this. Give your kid a pep talk, tell them to own the stage and have them do it again in a half hour or when is available. I’ve seen kids do this, come back and own the stage – then go on to become very involved in theater. If you let your child leave, then they will forever have an indelible fear of theater and always feel like they don’t make the cut. It’s not true, make them go back. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get cast.
  6. Keep it fun, keep it light. With rare exceptions, there is no place in children’s auditions for monologues about serious and dark topics like suicide, drug addiction, etc. I actually saw a talented actor not get cast in a show because they did a dark monologue on suicide, while auditioning for a Disney show. It made everyone uncomfortable, and had nothing to do with the show. Save the dark stuff for Shakespear auditions – and only use it when the upcoming production calls for it.
  7. THREE THINGS YOU NEED: Monologue, song, be prepared to dance. The monologue and song you are on your own, be prepared to sing it a capella (without music) in case there’s no piano player. Don’t bother with a CD soundtrack, just sing it. Have a monologue under one minute that lets you show a range of emotion. If you don’t have it memorized, read off a piece of paper – the acting is what’s important. Usually they will have a choreographer show you dance steps so you don’t have to have a dance prepared. So work on your Monologue and Song.
  8. Be Excited. Directors want to see your enthusiasm and confidence for the show. Smile, let your eyes sparkle and give it your all. The Directors are bored from watching so many auditions – make them laugh, entertain them – you’ll have a better chance of getting a part. Always say Thank You when you are finished.
  9. Take the Understudy Role – If you are offered an understudy role, take it. You will probably learn MORE than if you had been cast at the lead. At some point you’ll probably have the chance to take the role over or perform it. When that time comes you have to be prepared RIGHT THEN – so keep on top of the role and blocking. You might only get one chance to show your command of the role.
  10. Your Are Always Auditioning – While you are waiting for your audition, you are actually already auditioning. And when you’re waiting after your audition at the location, you’re still auditioning. Theater folks are a tight knit community and the audition process is a way to field out red flags and trouble spots. And PARENTS, this goes for you too: If you are a “stage parent” and causing friction at the audition location you may cost your kid a role. It happens more than you think. Be easy going and a team player. I know children that have lost out on PAID positions just because their parents are impossible to deal with. As you can probably guess, the parent’s don’t have a clue….

Estimate Preparation Time for Monologue and Song: 3 hours

NOW GO GET THOSE ROLES!

If any of this helped you out and you got cast, please leave a comment let me know!

17 Responses to “Best Song for Child Auditions – Top Ten Kid Audition Tips”

  1. Mark says:

    thanks ive got an audition coming up and i was stuck about the song this really helped you should write more about this kind of thing

  2. Alexa says:

    Thanks so much. I’m new to theater but I’ve been singing since I was 2… and I love it and I want to be the best and sing on stage forever and have so much fun!
    I’m 10. :)
    A

  3. Mary Sue says:

    i have an audition coming up for high school musical 2 and i was really confused on what song to sing but this helped me a lot. Thank You. All of the tips that you gave on stuff you shouldn’t do during an audition were very helpful.

  4. Jessica says:

    Hey there,

    I know this may sound very sterotyped but I want to be a famous actress. I live in australia and I want to know how I can start my famous carrer. Lol. I am 12 and can you please email me??? It gave me alot of help though…

    Love Jessica

  5. Molly says:

    Hello,
    This may sound weird but I don’t know where to audition. If it’s possible can you email me websites or address. I live in Rancho Cucamonga, California and is twelve years old.

  6. Tim McDonalds says:

    Hello,

    Lol. I was doing Consider Yourself for my audition already and looking for others just incase and once i saw this i’m sooo excited and it was such a cowinsidence that you said that was your fave audition song. Thanks so much

  7. Tim McDonalds says:

    ps. can you please give me tips to make it big, i live in a small town and need help getting started. i’m in every community play/musical. help please

  8. Andrea says:

    YAY! this should help alot i got an audition and now i know how to be prepared!

  9. Linda says:

    Hi Conrad,
    My 8 year old daughter has been in her school talent show every year and this will be her 4th one. She has always picked her pieces and it has worked out very well that way. Last year she did “Almost There” from the Princess and the Frog and it was a wonderful success. She is in a competitive dance group and the choreographer helped with staging. She also has a great love for theater, which she has done through the summer for the last 3 years. She likes the meaty, villain roles, and so it was no surprise to me that she said she wanted to be Ms. Hannigan from Annie and sing “Little Girls” at the talent show!
    I had to explain to her that it was a “mature” role (and while Carol Burnett can sing, you might remember that she was a bit “tipsy” in this song and acting silly, let alone she was wearing a nighty) I was afraid this was WAY too much for a 3rd grader in a school talent show. But, she seems to pick the show-stoppers.
    I think I’ve come up with a happy medium.
    She LOVES “Hello Dolly!” (she has only seen Barbara Streisand in the movie) and she struts her stuff around the house singing it.
    Do you think this is a good choice? (I’m certain the other children at school will not know it, and perhaps plenty of the young parents will not, either) But, should this even matter?
    Please let me know your thoughts.
    I enjoyed your insights on this page and was hoping you might have more to share.
    Thank you,
    Linda in Tampa
    ps. My husband and I are in the music business and recognize her strengths and weaknesses. She is a good singer, a good dancer, but is a GREAT actor.
    Thank you again for your assistance.

  10. askland says:

    Hey Linda,
    I think “Hello Dolly” is a fantastic choice! It can really give a chance to show some brassy showbiz chops. Vocally I think the tricky area would be the higher melody part with the lyrics “you still going, you still you growing”. I’ve heard this song done at auditions where the kid didn’t start on a good pitch reference and when they got to that part it was out of their range, or they had to change the key in the middle to make it work. So just make sure it’s rehearsed and the child knows what there first note is so they can ask for a pitch before starting.

    I wrote all these tips several years ago. I read back through them and I still think they apply.

    One point I wanted to be ultra clear about – in choosing songs the reason to be age appropriate is for the comfort level of the audition team: MD, director, etc. It doesn’t matter if the child is comfortable, it’s about the audition team.

    And this is all in context. This view applies to auditions for community theater. I’ve seen children perform songs that are not age appropriate (in my view) on American Idol and it worked well. But that’s a different setting. It’s big, it’s over the top and sometimes a performer can pull it off with the audience.

    And I guess that was my main point in all of this. Your audition team is your audience.

    Great pick for a song. If you can remember, let us know how it went. I’d bet money it will be a hit with the team.

  11. mikayla says:

    hi im mikayla im 12 this is very helpful i have been singing im just a little stage fright im afraid everyone will laugh at me or make fun of me or i might even throw up. so i practice every day it sounds different every time i sing.

  12. Natalie says:

    Hi, I’m 12 years old and these tips really helped me, and now i’m not nervous any more for my audition into CCTA in 2 weeks, and I know exactly what song to sing.
    Thank you again.

  13. Emmett says:

    Thanks I was in a Tom sawyer play and loved it and I’m in a new play now and needed a good audition song

  14. Anonymous says:

    i have an audtion coming up thanks for the advice

  15. emma says:

    none of those help I have do an audition really soon and I don’t know what song to pick

  16. abbi says:

    hi I have an audition coming up soon and I am really stuck on what song to sing I need your help asap please get back to me thank you.

  17. Maiasmiles says:

    Hi um I really need some pointers for a singing audition. I am 10 and am an alto nothing seems to suit me HELP WANTED!!!

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