• The beginning should be “gentle”: Make sure that the start of the music is loud enough to be heard, but not so loud that it startles the skater, judges or the spectators. Generally, it is preferable for less experienced skaters if the tempo at the beginning allows a gradual start to the program.
If a skater has a fast start and for some reason misses the beginning, it will be hard to catch up. It may be helpful if a quick beep or click occurs a second or two before the real music starts. This will help the skater to identify the impending start. The referee won’t start the stopwatch until the skater actually starts moving, so the beep won’t hurt anything. Skating Lessons Pickering
• Avoid excess dynamic range: You should have volume changes in the program. But keep the loudness “range” somewhat limited. If the program goes from painfully loud all the way down to so quiet you can barely hear it, you’re inviting problems.
Either they’ll have the volume turned way up when the suddenly a loud part comes on, or they’ll have it turned down so much that your quiet part completely disappears.
• Use the correct duration: Freestyle programs allow up to 10 seconds over or under the stated time (except for adults). Short Programs must stop at (or anytime before) the stated duration. Don’t cut the length of the music too close to the limits in either direction.
• It is not wise to make a new program from a shorter old one: It’s tempting to extend an old program when you move up a level, especially if the skater really likes the music.
Adding to an older program runs the risk of the skater becoming confused under the stress of testing or competing. A skater who has been doing a program for a long time has that pro-gram’s elements mentally bound to specific musical segments.
A new program will probably require different elements or a different placement – its going to be hard for the skater to not “go on autopilot” sometimes, and if it happens during a competition the result might be really unhappy.
• Avoid long silent portions (and/or really quiet parts): if the music stops for a while during the program, or gets very quiet for a while, you risk having the referee stopping the program because he/she thinks a music problem. He/she may signal the music people to stop and make corrections. Even though they’ll probably let you restart, it will break your skater’s concentration and possibly fluster them enough that they are unable to perform at their best.
• Consider professional help; Cutting good music is tough. It’s difficult to make nice edits without special equipment; its expensive to develop a good enough “library” to suit the needs of all skaters.
There are lots of people in business specifically to create music programs to your specifications. It costs more than doing it yourself, but if you consider the on-ice costs of choreographing the program, the costs of the new dress the skater will probably get to go along with it, and the amount of time the skater will probably use the program, you might find that the cost isn’t all that significant.