Listen on –
On this episode of the podcast, we have another installment of “Winning the Job”. This time we are featuring Aubrey Foard, principal tubist of the Baltimore Symphony, and Nick Platoff, associate principal trombone of the San Francisco Symphony. Congrats to them both on their successful auditions.
Both Aubrey and Nick had some great advice to give regarding how to be successful in an orchestral audition. Here are some takeaways:
Love The Process
Aubrey revealed in his segment of the episode that he has taken a total of 45 audition in his career. After all those auditions, you would think he would have grown tired of going through the process of learning the excerpts, playing the audition, and possibly getting rejected.
But for him, it’s actually the opposite. Being in love with the process of preparing for an audition is what allowed him to continue to work hard and take auditions, all the way up until he won his job with the Baltimore Symphony. It’s a good lesson for all of us; for long term growth, we must focus on loving the process and not focus on the result.
Have A Plan
In all of the audition episodes I have done so far, Aubrey gave by far the most comprehensive look into what he did to prepare for his audition. He took elements of an audition prep designed by Mark Inouye, principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony, and tweaked it to suit his style of preparation.
You can tell by listening to him that over the course of the auditions he’s taken, he was able to develop a plan that he really believes will help him be successful. Aubrey’s plan shows us that having a detailed plan can keep you on track with your practice, and it can help your mindset stay focus on the task at hand.
In Nicks segment of the episode, he tells a humorous story (you really have to hear him tell it) that shows an important aspect of being successful in an audition: it is your number one priority. The story Nick told may be an extreme example of how obsessive he got about his audition, but the results speak for themselves. Being able to find a way to make sure you will have the time and focus to get the work done each day is an essential first step in ensuring your success at an audition.
Believe In Yourself
If you don’t have the belief that you can be successful, it’s going to be an uphill battle to achieve your goals. The way we view ourselves will have a direct impact on the choices we make, and will determine how well we are able to prepare.
If you don’t believe you can be the principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony, it will be hard for you to convince yourself it is worth it to put in the time necessary to be fully prepared for that audition. Conversely, if you visualize yourself in the hall, in the orchestra, and in the chair doing the job, there’s no doubt you will have a much easier time staying motivated to work hard.
This point is summed up well in the quote Nick relayed at the beginning of his segment: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Here’s a Spotify playlist of music to get to know these guys a little better. Hope you enjoy!
Until next time,