Title Change for this Blog

Sometimes I have ideas that I need help with. I’m hoping some of you can help with this by participating in this poll. I think the name of this blog could use an update, these are my ideas.

This is my coffee cup. I just had a sip and thought about adding a picture of it to the world.

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Clark Terry RIP

One of my favorite moments as a trumpet student was listening to Clark Terry warm up back stage before a performance. He is also responsible for helping to shape my view of music and becoming a musician. In a master class his quote to the class about improvisation was “first you must imitate, then you can innovate.” As a young musician I thought I should apply this to every facet of music in my life.

He was amazing.

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NPR’s – A Blog Supreme has a great piece about him and his career.

NPR – Clark Terry

The Mouthpiece Question

I know what your thinking, yet another trumpeter writing about the importance of mouthpiece selection and striking the perfect balance between back-bore and throat size. I happen to follow all those trends religiously but this isn’t another one of those rants. Coincidentally, I currently play a Laskey 75C with a standard throat and back-bore, not that it matters. The question about mouthpieces comes up for me at least twice a year. I’ve noticed this pattern over the past 5 or 6 years.DV016_Jpg_Large_471542.908_75MD

The question comes up because I want to improve my performance on the trumpet. Which usually leads me to examine my approach to the instrument and the art of creating music. In reality it’s a small question that leads to bigger thoughts. The progression of questions might start off like this:

 Should I play a 22 throat with a symphonic back-bore like I did for 12 years or stay with what I have currently?

  Am I producing the sound I want the audience to hear?

  Am I performing music as the composer’s intended and am I being true to the style of music I am performing?

  Am I growing as an artist and educator of music?

•  Can I continue to perform music and have a meaningful family life?

•  Do I make enough money as a musician and educator?

•  Am I doing everything I can to provide for my kid?

•  Should I finish this bottle of wine or just go to bed?

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4-up on 12-11-14 at 5.30 PM #9 (compiled)This is jus a small sampling of the rabbit hole I fall into late at night/early morning. It starts off with the idea of playing a different mouthpiece and whether it’s the “Right Move”. Then there are the other question… Can I afford it financially….Can I afford not to make a change?

Too many questions … Maybe I’ll open up the back-bore next month.

Grateful: Four Circular Things

The Best of It

Four circular things made me feel grateful this week.

My double nickel birthday excitement has not ended, and this is the latest, and continuing, celebration of my “play every day” year.

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Crazy, I know. Crazy fun. I have my first lesson this week. I’m finding it good therapy for my shoulder. But mostly, well, it’s music. Even the act of playing is circular. What a delight.

This morning’s pan was full of goodness from the farm box, fragrant colors which became a fluffy lovely egg pie.

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I’m always grateful for the act of creating and savoring good food.

I think this pair of circles confirms that I’m becoming one of those eccentric people.

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Another part of my “play every day” year, I’m having fun balancing on these during movies in the living room, or on desk breaks. So is my husband. Grateful for motion, circular or otherwise.

The fourth circular thing…

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Cool Article Bout’ Bjork

I’ve been a fan of her music for almost two decades now. I think Alex Ross has written an interesting piece for the Guardian about some of her favorite pieces of music. From Mahler to Steve Reich to Public Enemy… I love the diversity in her library.

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How Bjork broke the sound barrier

I Was Feeling This Way Also

Recently I listened to an NPR classical music podcast call Conducting Business. The subject of that talk was related to my blog post Faces At Concerts.

Naomi-LewinDuring the podcast the host Naomi Lewin facilitated a group discussion about the diversity of both audiences and members of major symphony orchestras in the United States. I’m glad to hear that these kinds of conversations are happening in public forums and encourage many to listen to the podcast American Orchestras Grapples With Lack of Diversity.