I am posting two videos in this blog post because I didn’t have time to do two separate posts this time around.
Not Quantity, Not Quality, but How You Spend Your Time
A lot of people say that it’s not quantity that counts, but the quality of what you do that counts. And while I do agree that the quality of what you do is important, I also believe that, if you are doing the wrong things, then you will get the wrong results.
I have had a good reputation as a trumpet teacher since the 1980’s. Because of that reputation, I have attracted some very desperate students over the years. They are eager. They are hungry. But their ambitions are often their own worst enemies. Their ambitions blind them to the truths about proper practice and they struggle with things that most of my other students accept without complaint.
It’s so very important to practice the correct materials, in the correct sequence, in the correct manner. If you deviate from these conventions, no matter how passionate you are about making progress on your instrument, then you will never reach your full potential.
Your Musical Value as an Individual
I talk often about your value as an individual. It’s one of those areas that can be a bit risky to talk about because the language can come dangerously close to new-age philosophy. And that is NOT what I teach.
What’s the difference?
We must ALWAYS keep in mind that music is a subjective topic. Art is NOT objective. No matter how people try to cram art into an objective box, it simply doesn’t fit. The industry is rife with false myths about what is good and what is bad in music. I can go into how they do this, but that is a topic for another post. Just know that it is true.
Music is an expressive art. Everything we do in music should express our thoughts and feelings as an individual. This is even true in contexts where you are just one of twenty trumpet players in the trumpet section. You are still expressing yourself within the context of your part. That is your partial contribution to the whole.
That said, it doesn’t mean that everyone will always like what you do. You have value and it is important for you to recognize that you have worth, musically speaking, whether you know what that worth is yet, or not.
I also talk in this video a lot about people who take this too far and think that their worth is greater than everyone else. That sort of arrogance and lack of humility has no place in the music industry. Contrary to what some will tell you, there is nothing to gain from that kind of conceit.