“Routine” Travel

Jeff Conner

Many of you will be traveling to college auditions or wind ensemble competitions in the next few months. Here are some travel tips that will help you stay focused.

Stick to Your Routine

If you are at your best playing in the afternoon, ask if you can audition in the afternoon. If your schedule cannot be accommodated, and you are told that your audition time is at 8 a.m., start preparing mentally and physically by practicing at 8 a.m.

Research Food Options

If you have a favorite meal or a special diet that you know sits well with you, make sure you know where to eat.

Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water, especially if you’re a wind/brass player. If you’re dehydrated, your embouchure will dry up, making it difficult to play.

Know your Altitude

If you live in Iowa and are auditioning in Denver, you will be more than 5,200 feet above sea level. No matter how prepared and in shape you are, this altitude change will affect your body and performance. For wind/brass players, there will be a noticeable difference in your breathing and phrasing. If possible, arrive a day or two earlier to get acclimated to the altitude.


If you normally exercise, stay in your routine and continue your workouts. Something as simple as going for a walk will help clear your head. Try deep breathing to calm nerves.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

Comfort is key when performing. Make sure your suit jacket or other type of clothing is loose enough to hold your instrument properly and reach all positions if you play trombone.

Stay Consistent with Your Sleep

Know your time zones and understand how changes will affect you. You want to be rested and have energy for your performance.

These elements may seem trivial, but changes during travel can impact your performance in a negative way. Staying in your routine will help give you the greatest success.

About author

Jeff Conner

Jeff Conner is the only original member of Boston Brass. He has more than 30 years of experience building and branding the Boston Brass name in the world of chamber music. As a Yamaha Performing Group, Boston Brass has performed in 49 states and 30 countries, is a featured participant in conferences and conventions, and leads master classes and artist residencies around the world.

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