Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shrinking the Gap

What's the purpose of practicing?  Is the purpose of playing just to practice?  And should we continue plowing through that same checklist of assignments hoping for a good result? How easy it is to loose sight of where we're going and why. There is always a gap between how we sound and how we want to sound. The main purpose of practicing is to shrink that gap as quickly as possible.
Motivated students tend to focus on the other side of the gap, not the great chasm before them. It's not about the distance but the vision. The practice session becomes a game of "how fast can I get out of here, and get over there?" The best students can taste the other side, aim for it daily, and listen carefully to the best musicians. The goal is to not sound like a student!

What then compels any sane person to jump headlong into countless hours of struggling with the trumpet? Is it not that strong concept of a powerful yet beautiful sound, and the passion to pursue it? The carrot before the horse is that great trumpet sound that captivated us from day one.  That's what sustains us through nerves, obstacles, discouragements, and even defeats.  Many jump, but few survive.

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