Practice Tips Posts

Five Online Resources To Keep Busy While Quarantining

If you are one of the “essential workers” out there, I would like to personally thank you for your hard work. If you are a “non-essential worker” you’re probably finding yourselves with a little extra time. It’s easy to get sucked into new shows and movies, and I have definitely been guilty of that myself. My biggest advice for those of you at home right now is to create a daily schedule and to-do list. This should include general upkeep to your home and yourself, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to dedicate some extra time to our musicianship.

Here are five online resources to keep you busy while quarantining:

A Music Performance Lifestyle is an Athletic Lifestyle

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said “marching band is a sport!” I could by the entire S&P 500. It is a truly silly argument. It’s like saying a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable—it may be technically correct but it doesn’t have any real-world implications. You can put tomatoes in a salad or in a salsa—one of which is mostly composed of vegetables, and one that is mostly composed of fruits. See—it’s just a point of view for the sake of having a point of view. This is not an editorial on such matters—it IS an editorial on approaching music performance like an athlete instead of purely as artistic expression.

3 Books for Crushing It in the Practice Room, and in Life

 

1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

It’s easy to get distracted. I’ve been distracted by outside noise in writing this sentence. Everything seems designed to distract us. That’s what the entire discipline of marketing is for–to distract the potential user or customer. Google and Facebook are companies that literally pay engineers, psychologists, and etc. to find new ways of grabbing and making use of your attention. Other things do it too–our desire for attention, affection, recognition, and so on and so on ad infinitum.

The War of Art is antidote to that. If we want to succeed in the arts, in business, in life, we must control the resistance that surrounds us. This resistance is “any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, and integrity.”

We can choose to put our higher nature (art, creativity, health, etc.) first and make it truly great, or we can give in to our lower nature (everything else). The choice is yours.

Practicing Over Winter Break

We like to share this post each year to give you some ideas for practicing at home over break!

You’ve made it through the first half of the school year! For many of you, that means you’ve probably played a few concerts, recently completed your marching band season, or maybe you’re headed to the Rose Parade. With winter comes the thrill of pep band, the improvisation of jazz band, the spinning of winter guard, or the rhythms of winter percussion. You know by now, being a musician is a never-ending process with performances and rehearsals perpetually around the corner.

What Books Should I Get For Lessons?

When I meet with a new student for the first time we always discuss what books they need to have for their lessons. Here are five method/etude books that are essential for good foundations to unlocking your full musical potential through the trumpet.

  • Complete Conservatory Method by Jean Baptist Arban

Widely considered by many to be “The Trumpet Bible”, this is usually the first book suggested by private instructors if you are serious about studying trumpet due to the amount of material that is covered. Any technical aspect of trumpet playing that you will need to succeed will be in this book including nice songs, wicked characteristic studies, and classic cornet solos such as Fantasia Brilliante, Norma Variations, and Carnival of Venice.

  • Technical Studies by Herbert L. Clarke

Mr. Clarke presents exercises that combine several fields and can be utilized for many things. The infamous second study can be played in several tonalities, or you can begin working on playing softer while going higher. The final etude from the fifth study is very challenging as well.

Jared Rodin Clinic at Paige’s Music – November 6th at 7PM – FREE!

Jared Rodin is one of the most active and successful musicians in the area. As a performer, educator, and contractor he must always deliver at the highest level. Learn his approach to making music at this free masterclass hosted by Paige’s Music.

More information and how to register is available at the Eventbrite page below!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/get-the-most-out-of-your-practice-with-jared-rodin-tickets-76817847249

Recital Reflections: Claiming small victories over performance anxiety

I have never liked recitals. Or auditions. Even playing my solo for Solo & Ensemble. I have always been more comfortable performing when there was at least one other person on stage with me. Some people will tell you if you get nervous it means that you aren’t prepared enough but I think that statement is not entirely accurate.

How to Ease back into Playing After Summer Break

I speak from experience when I say that playing after a long break is tough! If you haven’t picked your instrument up in a few weeks, it can be really difficult to play! Everything feels alien—your chops swell up, you get exhausted after a few notes, you lose your range, and etc. I get it, I get it—hanging out at the pool with your friends is more fun than playing concert F for 30 minutes a day. Here are a few tips to ease you back into playing after summer break: