I woke up this morning thinking about an adult student I started last week. Those of you who know me as a teacher know that I make it a point to emphasize YOUR goals instead of mine. You have somewhere you want to take your music, your trumpet playing, and you have hired me to help you get there. I take that part of my job very seriously.
This new student knew what he wanted from his first lesson. He wanted a strategy to help him grow his strength on the horn. I listened to him play first, so I could get an idea of where he was. Then I asked him questions about his practice habits. That’s when I learned that he practices every day, not taking one day off in as long as a year. He even said he doesn’t even remember the last time he took a day off.
Master the Trumpet – Don’t Let It Master You
This morning I thought about what it means to take a day off from the trumpet each week. Yes, it is primarily a physical thing, but there is also a mental, psychological aspect to taking that time off. We should strive to be the masters of the trumpet, not to let the trumpet push us around and make US do what IT wants us to do (the “it” in this case being that psychological part of you that desires so much to be a great player).
There was a time when I believed in practicing every day. I know what that feels like. It’s a curse. It’s a burden. When you live that way, you are basically a slave to the instrument (slave to your desires to play the trumpet). This is not a good way to live. This is “sell your soul to the devil” kind of stuff!
When you take at least one day off from practicing per week, it goes a long way towards establishing your mastery over the trumpet.