Accident?

Or Success by Design? I have to credit my friend Clint McLaughlin for this quote: "Most people play trumpet by accident." (Visit his website for the rest of the story.)

Recently I heard a fantastic speaker address this issue. He wasn't a musician, but he did go through the levels of commitment that we find in all of life. For trumpet players, we start with "by accident." I'll list them today, and then expand upon them later (take the links when they are up).

But you have to answer this question. Why do you play the trumpet?

  1. I don't know ( by accident)
  2. My parents made me ( by accident)
  3. I thought it would be easy ( by accident)
  4. I like the sound so I play it at home sometimes
  5. I like creating the sound so I play at home almost everyday
  6. Band is fun! I want to make it more fun by being a good player. (We're almost at the "on purpose" stage.)
  7. I like marching band and trumpet is fun, but I don't want to play it when not in band
  8. I like creating a beautiful sound and sharing that sound with others so I practice our music to be better
  9. Higher, Faster and Louder! Let's blow the roof off! I play a lot! Not always sure what will come out…
  10. I like playing and I want more opportunities to play with great players, so I practice enough to be in the top band. [Now we are entering the "On Purpose" Stage!]
  11. I love playing and I want more opportunities to play with great players, so I practice and study enough to be in the All-Region Band
  12. I love playing and I want more opportunities to play with great players, so I practice enough to be in the All-State Band
  13. I love playing and I want more opportunities to play with great players, so I listen to great players, practice and study enough to play in college
  14. I love playing and I want more opportunities to play with great players, so I listen to great players, study trumpet and practice enough to lay the foundation for playing trumpet for the rest of my life just for fun, in church orchestra, community band or other groups
  15. I love trumpet. It is a part of my heart and soul. I want to do this every day for the rest of my life. Trumpet is not just a preference, not just something "fun" to do. It's a conviction! I listen to all the greatest players and try to imitate their sound, I practice with a consistent developmental routine, take lessons, study the how and why of trumpet and "music" in general. I must play the trumpet or I am not "me." It's a part of my DNA. Life without trumpet would be almost unbearable. [ Welcome to my world .]

 

Random practice equals … not only random results, but FRUSTRATION! Insecurity, fear and  sometimes pain. And that's when "practice" becomes a dreaded and humiliating experience. And if you aren't going to get any better, why practice at all?

I agree. Totally. Don't practice. Not until you find out how to get better without "practicing."  Why not "play" instead? And why not do it with a designed "game plan" that's fun? Learn from your Xbox, Wi or Playstation. Let's break this down and see how to do this.

  

SO WHAT MAKES A GAME FUN?

I'll give you some ideas. Feel free to add your own:

  • Competition. You might win! Or you might not. But you got so close! And you played again and won! You got a little better and then the game got harder on level 12 and you lost. But you tried again and did something "better" and won…and the pattern continues.
  • Excitement. Something new at each level.
  • Escape. You focus on the game and  you are, for that time, in another world "playing."
  • Pride, You beat the game, or bowled a 300, or scored the most points.

Send me more ideas. I don't really do games. I play trumpet. 🙂

SO WHAT MAKES PRACTICING FUN?

Fortunately, the "fun" in trumpet playing is much deeper than a game. It takes a little more thought to get "into" the game, but the rewards are not just points on a board, you get to create music, and you can get better at it every day. And they better you play, the more fun it becomes. It never "runs out."

RECORDING JOURNAL:

Before we get too deep in the "how" of practicing, consider this as "playing the game every day. If you're reading this, you have the ability to record yourself every single day and hear YOU playing, and compare it to the day before, the week before, the month or year before. And maybe someday, someone will be recording you and PAYING you to "play." it happens. But only to those who are really into the game.

And if you have an extra $36 per year (that's about 10 cents a day!) you can get a Smart Music account, record to background tracks for just about everything you play, receive a grade on your performance and get an instant report on how to make your playing better, or to "score more points." For the same price as some video games, you have 24/7 access to a "music game!" Watch the video. This is cool and relatively CHEAP!

 Flash Animation 

 

 

AND NOW:

Take the links to the separate sections we need to really master the game (not yet active…soon):

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