Mind to trumpet–Season 13/14


Over the past moth and a bit I have been away from the orchestra but not from the trumpet. I spent some time contemplating where I am and where I would like to be. That has led me to a few revelations and a few ideas about how I will ascend to the place I would like to be.

1.) Where I am
{Literally}. I am a member of a good (often great) orchestra and am able to provide a nice life for myself doing what I love and playing the trumpet all the time. I have a good amount of free time and resources to concentrate my artistic efforts and create something for myself outside the orchestra. However, I am in Malaysia. A very confining and often depressing environment. The cultural, social and literal climates all seem to find their own way of bringing down my overall quality of life. Trying to separate myself from the environment cuts me off from one of the most important aspects of life; connecting with people you respect. I find myself with all the resources I need but also with a lack of people that I would like to connect with.

{Trumpet} I am at a crossroads with my playing. I continue to enjoy playing and have some good strengths that keep me feeling competitive. I have a good musical sense and can make a wonderful trumpet sound all over the instrument. I still feel like I can do anything on the instrument. The crossroad is that I still haven’t found that real consistency that would put me in the position to win the job I see myself holding. There is a carelessness that I need to address. I need to make a thicker connection from my brain to the instrument.

[How to get where I want to go] The easiest way to fix my literal location problem is to get out of KL and get a position in an orchestra with the population and culture I am looking to become a part of.

Taking my playing to the next step of mindfulness will get me the job I am looking for. I have no doubt.

So, for the immediate future I need to focus all if my effort on growing a strong and consistent mindfulness in my playing. My current standard has gotten me to where I am and it is something I can be proud of, but where I want to go is still just out of reach with the way I am currently playing. I need to assiduously make a couple of small improvements with a relentless and watchful process.

***connect my mind to the instrument and play clearly and purposefully. Every time I pick up the horn, “I will make this trumpet in my hands produce the carefully thought out sound that is in my head.”

This is the kind of feeling I get only through true preparation. Those instances that I went into an audition situation and thought, “there is no way I can do poorly here, I pretty much know exactly how this is going to go.” That is what I need to harness. What made me feel like that? What elements can I reproduce? Any elements that are totally out of my hands?

Steps to take.

1.) Keep learning to improvise.

My pace is really really slow at the moment in this. Try to turn up the productivity level on this and certainly don’t give up.

2.) give yoga a shot. It is designed to connect your mind and body. Give it a whirl.

3.) be assiduous with tongue and AIR. Find the balance between forward air and relaxed tongue. Myelinate with slow range changing drills. Don’t just stay in one range. The control comes with being able to change octaves with full air.

4.). Think of more steps…

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