Category Practice

Extra-Musical Affairs

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting a masterclass at Arizona State University for Deanna Swaboda and the Tuba-Euphonium Students. I had a great time and hope to get to see many of those students in the future (I know I’ll get to see a handful at ITEC this summer). The most striking […]

Prerequisites

I’m not talking about the classes you need to take in college before you can pass your upper level jury here. When I was touring with Synergy Brass, I would often get asked by young musicians how to be a better player—usually as that related to playing high notes or double tonguing. As much as […]

Five Things I’ve Learned from Gordon Ramsay

I know I’m a little late to this party, but I’ve become a bit addicted to Kitchen Nightmares, the show in which famous chef Gordon Ramsay walks into failing restaurants and rips the entire staff a new one. I’ve always found a strong connection between the culinary and musical arts and what it means to […]

What Others Say / Arnold Jacobs

Don’t encourage mediocrity. Play at your best and don’t be second class in the head. —Arnold Jacobs, principal tubist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1944–1988 Tweet: What Others Say / Arnold Jacobs

Five Truths of Being a Musician #3

Being a musician means you accept certain facts about the way you choose to make a living. We’ve already discussed that most people will not “get it” and that people don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on. This week’s truth: Sometimes you will (and should) turn down a gig. Doing a favor […]

The Marketer’s Question

A while back, Seth Godin posted a blog that had this to say: Is it interesting because it happened … or because it happened to you? … Should we read your press release or come to your gallery opening or take a sales meeting because it’s important, or because it’s important to you? Marketing is […]

Five Questions to Ask Yourself

Any time you sit down in the practice room or rehearsal hall, take a minute and ask yourself a few questions … 1) Is this new? The music may not be new, but your performance of it is (or should be). If the music is new, then sell it. There’s no room for same-old-same-old in […]