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
Always a-chance we’ll meet
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…
One of us!
TOP TEN MISTAKES CHILDREN MAKE AT AUDITIONS
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!