Helping Students who Don’t get the Part

Weekly Teaching Tip – Sep. 9, 2013
by Aimee Geddes

This last week I have been running auditions for a High School musical. They are doing Guys and Dolls, and I had been teaching 7 students from the school. Some of them throughout the year and some just since the beginning of summer.

Two of them ended up getting leading roles, by unanimous vote of the directing team which consists of a Director, Music Director, Choreographer (me) and two student teachers.
Although all of my students did very well and their improvement was significantly noticed by the director and music director, they still didn’t get the parts they wanted. One Senior in particular was particularly upset. Her mother felt that she should have gotten the part simply because she was a senior and that a Junior (who got the part) shouldn’t be able to have a lead.

As I thought about how to help her mother come to terms with it I had to realize, that sometimes even though we work our very hardest, we (or our students) still don’t get what we want. Even if we have made TONS of progress in the last year. Even if we have taken hundreds of lessons. Someone can still come in and be more talented and farther along, so they get the part. And that’s OK.
The important thing to help them realize is that they are still talented and they need to keep trying. Their talent won’t simply disappear just because one show didn’t work out the way they wanted. This doesn’t mean that they will never feel success, but rather this will help them savor that success all the more in the future.

So, keep your chin up and try, try again:)

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