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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Why We Prepare

Andrew Hitz

"Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That’s why we train so hard."
—Chad Winkler in Episode 30 of The Brass Junkies

This is probably the most succinct quote about preparation I've ever heard. When Chad mentioned this in our interview with him at Duquesne University we made him repeat it.

I personally love hearing stories of the people like Chad who were able to win a job with the likes of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (which is his hometown orchestra on top of it about pressure!). When you hear him in his interview talk about the path he took to get to that point and all of the preparation that went into it, it takes a little of the mystique out of wondering "How could I ever win a job like that?"

Not that it is simply as easy as preparing a lot and then winning. But you hear over and over again from people like Chad how intentional and thorough their training was leading up to an audition like that.

I hate saying nice things about trumpet players, but when you hear how much effort went into his preparation for the audition for his dream job you have to say he deserved to win it.

But please don't tell him I said that. :)