From Finland To The Detroit Symphony – David Binder | Ep. 87




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This week on the podcast, I’m excited to bring you a great interview with David Binder, who plays second trombone with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. David and I went to Northwestern together, so it was really great to reconnect with him and hear his perspective on his career, his mindset, and more. Here are a few takeaways:

Winning An Audition Doesn’t Equal Happiness

I really appreciated David’s perspective on this topic of happiness. When I asked him how he was able to continue taking audition after audition without getting discouraged by the outcome (not advancing), he simply mentioned that he was ok winning or not winning. He recognized that if he wasn’t a happy person before winning a job, he probably wouldn’t be a happy person after winning a job. I’ve struggled with this in my life as well, and I have come to a similar conclusion as David.

Find A Process

David’s attributed part of his audition success to the way he prepared for the auditions. He used a process that he learned from Mike Roylance, principal tubist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This process is quite similar to my own approach (which is pretty cool for me): you start slow, gradually increasing the tempo over a number of weeks. I’ll let you listen to the whole thing in David’s episode. Something to try out for yourself if you’re looking for organizational ideas!

Take Advantage Of Your Surroundings

David mentioned one of the things he wished he had done differently if he could go back to Northwestern would be to play more duets, more quartets, more quintets, etc. Listening to other players, learning from them, and using it to improve his own playing was something he didn’t do as well as he could have. It’s easy to get caught up in your own strengths and weaknesses, trying to prove to others you belong. It’s a good idea to expand your perspective and try to observe all of the resources for improvement you have all around you.

I hope you enjoyed David’s episode! If you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating and a review on iTunes, I’d really appreciate it. Don’t forget to share on social media as well, so others can find the episode and enjoy it themselves. Thanks so much for listening. Stay strong, be kind to yourself, and never stop growing!

Until next time,


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