Balancing Family life and Music

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by indigoblue, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. indigoblue

    indigoblue New Friend

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    Parenthood is a roller coaster as it is but balancing children and practice time can sometimes be a challenge. I am sharing some thoughts on finding time for the trumpet in the chaos of family life and how it has made music more rewarding for me. I would be grateful to hear anyone elses thoughts as well on how they manage family, work and music.

    When I was a little girl the trumpet was my first love. This was a time when I was able to devote almost every free moment to trumpet playing. Fast forwarding now too the birth of my son.I was aware that my life would surely change. I was not however prepared for the challenges of balancing parenthood with my love of music. I enjoy being a mother, in fact, I love it more than life itself. It just makes balancing music and trumpet playing a bit more tricky. It has been a beautiful eye opening experience, one I can honestly say has made me into a better musician. This I am grateful for.

    Appreciation

    I have learned to appreciate my practice time more. Not always having time to practice when I want has made it more fulfilling when I do get to play. I am grateful for every minute I have towards music more than ever before. I have fallen into the 'every minute counts' approach and it has made my practice more efficient and rewarding.

    Time Management

    Finding time to practice as a parent can be tricky indeed but not at all impossible with the proper approach. I mostly break up my practice into mini sessions since I don't always get the luxury of long periods to play. I find it has helped me build up more stamina than ever before. I welcome interruptions as an opportunity for a much needed R&R. Even if I pick up my trumpet for fifteen minutes before I start dinner and another twenty after, I always start practice feeling refreshed.

    Living in the Moment

    Our children truly are great teachers even when we don't always see them as such. I was watching my son play one day. He had a wide grin across his face as he played farmer with his plastic horses and other animals. He was very animated all throughout the experience which I found particularly refreshing. He was experiencing life with little judgment about anything other than just enjoying his playtime for what it was. Nothing more and nothing less. It was simplistic and beautiful.

    That's it! I thought to myself. He is truly living in the moment. As an adult I have had the guilty habit of over analyzing things to the point of worry. This has affected my nerves when preforming, thus, my playing as well. From that point on I made it a personal mission to live in the moment more, especially when playing music. I now try not to over analyze every note and every breath, but to just go with the flow. Breathing in the music and the moment as if hearing for the first time.

    How does everyone else balance their responsibilities with their music and how has it changed your life?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    What a touching post. First welcome to TM and I sure hope we can help you. As for the trumpet, it too is a deep love for me. When love works best, it is unrehearsed, spontaneous and sincere. That is how we should make love to the trumpet. Finally, one of our drummers for our quintet that plays with the most passion I have ever heard in a drummer, with this saying has REALLY influenced my mindset when I go to playing EVERY solo that I play:

    "Play your solo, like it will be the last time on this earth you will ever be able to play."

    Let you solo express that kind of feeling. That is the mindset I have now adopted whenever I play a solo. It has worked well for me. And how can you analyze every note I am playing, as I should be concentrating on the structure the ensemble is giving me. I concentrate (not analyze) more on that than what I am playing, as to merge my passion with theirs is the best way to go out playing for the last time you will play on this earth. I want to go out as a team effort.
     
  3. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Really nice and thoughtful post! Thank you! May I take the liberty and forward this post to a very dear friend of mine (in fact, she's my goddaughter), who is an excellent cornet player with a Scottish brass band and has just given birth to a wonderful baby daughter? She surely would appreciate your thoughts.

    As an aside: It's much easier if your partner is into music as well. Mine is a professional opera singer, so there is total understanding of things like "all-night rehearsals", "warm-up time" or even that dreaded word, "practice". And as our youngster is into trumpet playing and singing and dancing as well (he's now twelve), life's not so difficult. In fact, you might call it a family ensemble. We regularly do a mixed recital programme including "Let the Bright Seraphim" and "Jauchzet Gott...", going on to a few trumpet and soprano solos and ending up with a series of popular tunes, with "Kalinka" as encore, and Raphael doing the dancing to that!
     
  4. RustoleusMaximus

    RustoleusMaximus Pianissimo User

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    Very nice post Indigoblue ! I can certainly sympathize with you. My Christian Faith, Wife and Children always come before my trumpet; therefore, I practice when time allows. Since I work a third shift job, I sleep a lot during the day. I may go several days without playing at all. I try to practice more on my days off ( particularly while my kids are at school).

    I am very fortunate as my wife TOTALLY supports my playing and has even encouraged me on several occasions not to quit. In fact, she bought my trumpet and flugelhorn and presented both to me as gifts. Her encouragement is a big reason I continue to practice (having had no gig in about six years now).

    You may be interested in - Female Trumpet Players featured at Trumpet Players Directory
     
  5. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Welcome to TM, indigoblue. I certainly appreciated your post. It conjured up memories of what my wife and I did in order to maintain balance and appropriate priorities when our children were at home. You seem to be doing a good job of that. Enjoying your little ones while you can, maintaining your relationship with your spouse .... and cultivating interests of your own across the years pays dividends later, after the children are grown and gone from your home.

    Jim
     
  6. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Come over to Europe, and I'll arrange a few gigs for you. With a proper Big Band as backing.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Evidence that there is a God and He is merciful.
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I dunno about that. I miss the jam sessions and lively discussions over which is more difficult, guitar or trumpet!
     
  9. indigoblue

    indigoblue New Friend

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    It's great to hop on and see such great replies to this subject! I just wanted to take the time and thank each one of you for your response. It's great to hear all the different perspectives on what each one of you are doing to balance your love for music with life. I also appreciate the much needed advice as well ;)
     
  10. indigoblue

    indigoblue New Friend

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    Thanks for the welcome! I loved your reply especially the quote, "Play your solo, like it will be the last time on this earth you will ever be able to play." I will remember this every time before I play :-)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014

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