Praised for being "an entrepreneur bringing innovation to classical music" (Forbes), Chad Goodman serves as Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony and as an Assistant Conductor to the San Francisco Symphony, where he has worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck, Daniel Harding and Simone Young among others.

As Founder and Artistic Director of the contemporary music group Elevate Ensemble, Goodman commissioned fifteen works from American composers and collaborated with photographers, poets and chefs to bring vibrant performances to unique venues like yoga studios and art warehouses.

Goodman has served as Music Director of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, rehearsal conductor for the San Francisco Ballet and Conducting Fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival. Outside of performing, he teaches young musicians the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to navigate the music world in his workshop “You Just Earned a Music Degree. Now What?”

Goodman’s mentors include Michael Tilson Thomas and Alasdair Neale.

Audition days are stressful. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to a more focused and calm audition experience.

  1. If you can visit the audition facility ahead of time, take advantage of the opportunity 

Knowing what the space looks like can greatly settle your nerves and will also allow for improved audition visualization practice leading up to the audition itself (see No. 2 below.) If the audition takes place in a location with a significant time zone, weather or altitude difference, do your best to arrive at least two days prior to the audition so that you can better acclimate.

  1. Get in multiple rounds of audition visualization

Visualization is a tool that can generate a tremendous amount of confidence while preparing for an audition. Close your eyes and, in as much detail as possible, visualize yourself playing your audition. Hear your ideal sound, picture the sheet music on the stand, the clothes you are wearing, and every detail of the audition room. 

  1. The night before your audition, be boring 

Apologies for sounding like a parent right now, but don’t stay up late or go out partying the night before the audition. Taking part in any activity that could tire you out or take you out of a focused headspace will only increase your chances of having a poor audition. Remove yourself from all major distractions until the audition is completed.

  1. Stay hydrated at all times

Dehydration can have a dramatic impact on your energy levels as well as your ability to focus. It can also wreak havoc on the physical act of making music for vocalists and wind players, who rely entirely on the control and efficiency of their lips/mouths/vocal chords etc. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the audition day. 

  1. Dress to impress, even if it is a blind audition

Until the finals, most auditions today take place behind a screen, so the judges never actually see you enter, perform, or exit the audition room. However, this does not mean that you should show up in sweatpants or looking unprofessional. You never know who you are going to encounter at an audition. Arts administrators and members of the committee might be walking around or helping to proctor the audition, so dress to impress, leaving everyone you encounter with a great first impression. 

  1. Bring headphones and a good book

Oftentimes, the most stressful aspect of the audition is the time spent waiting to play! You might arrive at 8 AM to find out that your audition time is not until 2 PM. Because of this, you should make sure that you have multiple ways of keeping yourself occupied. Reading a good book or listening to music that you love will help pass the time and keep you from obsessively thinking about the audition.

  1. When the audition is over, do something to celebrate

By taking an audition, you are putting yourself one step closer to your next big career move. Find a way to celebrate your hard work: you’ve earned it.

Just remember, the more audition experience you gain, the more comfortable it will become! 

Click here to sign up to the 21cMusician newsletter