Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Candles in the Wind

Ever watch a young child trying to blow out birthday candles? Flames flutter but few are extinguished. Why is that? Then you lean over to help get it done with just one well-placed puff as all are amazed. Maybe it's the Blowing-More-Than-Focusing Syndrome, or also the dreaded Bad-Aiming Disability. Your intentions are great, but aim and focus is poor. To get the job done it takes too many tries, more than enough air, and frustration. But there is a cure.

Sometimes our trumpet-playing is a lot like bad candle-blowing. We huff and puff ourselves into quick fatigue, and still miss most of the notes. We often over-blow and aim at clusters of pitches rather than nailing them individually. We need that skilled parent leaning over next to us saying, ready, set, go, as we guide some well-directed air to its target. On your mark, get set, blow.

The candles go out when the right amount of air hits the middle of each flame. Notes get nailed when the right amount of air hits the center of each pitch. Think of taking care of one candle at a time. No second blows allowed. With both candles and notes, your air must make good contact with its target. Now make a wish, and blow 'em all out!

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