When picking out instrumental music for cheerleading tryouts, there are a few things to keep in mind. The right music can help you really see the qualities of the hopeful cheerleaders.
The Right Music to Get the Right Cheerleaders
Every cheerleader knows that tryouts can be nerve-wracking. First time cheerleaders are especially nervous because they are not sure what might be expected of them. They are hopefully just going to do what every cheerleader does - give it all of their spirit and ability, and hope for the best.
You might be inclined to use some music from a previous routine for your squad or perhaps a pop song, but before you do, consider some reasons to use instrumental music for cheerleading tryouts:
- It's easy to find an instrumental song with a steady beat and an extended play. This makes teaching new combinations easier since you don't have to keep going back to the beginning of the track.
- Choosing instrumental music that is new to all the potential cheerleaders creates a level playing field since everyone has to adjust to following the music.
One of the traits important in a cheerleader is the ability to listen to and pick out the beats in a song - both the obvious ones and (for more complicated dance routines) some of the more subtle beats. This is definitely a skill, and when you're going through potential candidates, using the instrumental music will help bring out this ability as the young women learn the steps.
Finding Instrumental Music for Cheerleading Tryouts
Once you've decided to pick out some nonverbal songs for your tryouts, the next step is figuring out which kind of instrumental music you want. Think about the qualities of the routine you're going to teach the aspiring cheerleaders. For example, you can ask questions like:
- Does the music have a fast-paced feeling? Or a smooth and graceful flow?
- How long is it?
- If there are stunts, is it important that they be on a certain beat, or is there time to "pad" the moves to get people into position?
This will help you get an idea of which kind of music you need to find. The most important part of the music will likely be a strong and steady beat, but certain stylistic choices (like a samba feel, a marching band sound or a drum cadence breakdown) may also be necessary.
Where to Find the Music
One of the best ways to find free music is on the web. However, it might not be obvious where you should look. After all, one of the goals of finding instrumental music in lieu of something with words is to make it as unfamiliar to the candidates as possible. Here are a few possibilities for finding new and unusual music that fits your criteria:
- MySpace: The popular social networking site is a haven for musicians to showcase their music. If you find a piece of music you like, you can often get permission from the artist to use it in exchange for advertising his/her band. Now you have a really unique sound to go with your original routine, a win-win situation.
- The Creative Commons has links to all sorts of media, including music, that is released under various conditions such as non-commercial use or attribution.
- The odds are there are people in your school who are into using DJ software programs to create their own music, and usually they would be surprised and flattered if you wanted to use their music for the cheerleaders.
Whatever the source, remember that no matter how good the music is, it's the cheerleaders that make the difference.