Guidance

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ricecakes230, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi ricecakes:
    While I still contend that having a hero is possibly the most important facet of learning an artform and battling plateaus, it needs to be understood that performance plateaus are a very common part of the learning curve.
    However, first things first. Why compare and contrast yourself to the lazy person. This person isn't your hero are they? No? Good! Compare and contrast yourself to a hero worth emulating.
    Here's some good basic psychology on how to get past this stage and reasons why plareaus happen:
    If you can't get past a certain point, here's something to think about: 1) focus on technique
    2) stay goal oriented
    3) get immediate feedback on the performance. In other words, you need to practice deliberately to break through plateaus.
    4)Get back to basics. Even when you’re advanced at something, delving back into the basics can actually give you fresh insights that help you progress even further.
    5)Think long term. When we think short-term, we have a tendency to feel that plateaus are permanent.
    But when we take the big picture view of things, we start to see plateaus as temporary way-stations that we’ll eventually get past with a bit of hard work.
    To cultivate this attitude, reflect on a time where you felt you had reached the end of your development in some area, only to later bust through the plateau. If it was possible then, it’s possible now.
    ---
    Russell A. Dewey, PhD
    , describes what happens with a typical learning curve.
    With repetition of almost any motor task, learning occurs, and a person becomes more efficient or effective at carrying out a task. Progress in skill learning commonly follows an S-shaped curve, with some measure of skill on the Y axis and number of trials on the X-axis. Progress is slow at first, then a subject may experience a burst of learning that produces a rapid rise on the graph.




    [​IMG]

    The S-shaped "learning curve" typical of complex learning


    Why does an S-curve of growth eventually level off?
    What people call a plateau may be a period of stability after a skill is learned as well as it can be learned. Most growth processes follow the same S-shaped curve as motor learning. In general, an S-shaped curve of growth levels off because stability is attained, a resource needed for growth is limited, or a ceiling of performance is reached.
    What phases of learning a complex skill cause the "S-curve" pattern?
    The S-shaped learning curve is most obvious when someone learns a highly complex task(like trumpet). The initial part of the curve rises slowly as a person becomes familiar with basic components of a skill. The steep ascending phase occurs when there is enough experience with rudiments or simple components to start "putting it all together." Rapid progress follows until the skill "hits a ceiling" or stabilizes at a high level.
    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Hmmm... If Russel A. Dewey, PhD didn't follow his "Plateau" end outcome theory, perhaps he may have been Russel A. Dewey, MD, PhD - Yes?
     
  3. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Gman,
    You stated:
    "Hmmm... If Russel A. Dewey, PhD didn't follow his "Plateau" end outcome theory, perhaps he may have been Russel A. Dewey, MD, PhD - Yes?
    ---
    Well, actually no. He would have picked up the MD on his way to get the Ph.D.. The highest level of academic achievement is the Ph.D. or Ed.D both requiring the successful defense of the dissertation. Maybe he has and MD but felt no need to publish it in the article since the Ph.D. trumps the MD.
    Now I know what you're thinking.
    "Well Dr.Mark, the next time you need a radical *gerbalectomy, call a bookworm." and of course I wouldn't do that. I'd hire someone from the zoo that would use behavior modification to lure the little fellow out of the hole.
    *No animals were hurt or extracted from my anus during the posting of this message.
    Dr.Mark
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually static goals can plateau. Fortunately, with the trumpet they can be modified to be dynamic. The problem for most players is sorting the goals for maximum development.

    I agree with having heros. As long as they bleed just like me..................
     
  5. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi VB,
    You stated:
    "I still like the miracle analogy. It's kind of like children's trousers. They look fine until it appears that the children have "overnight" grown three inches. If we keep plugging away, that flat spot we were in suddenly "jumps" to a higher level. This jump seems miraculous.
    -----
    As a Dad, I'd have to agree.
    I also like the term "wonder". I think when we can approach music like a child full of wonder, the process never gets old, stale, or cumbersome.
    Dr.Mark
     
  6. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

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    There is truth in many of the comments and you will have to find what works for you. All I can do is tell you how I passed through the very frustrating phases you are talking about.

    I changed my focus. I stopped looking at the trumpet as an athletic event where success is measured by how high you can play, how smoothly you can slur, or how fast you can tongue. I started thinking about the trumpet as a musical instrument and focused on how the music is supposed to sound, reading rhythms correctly, paying attention to dynamics, and following the conductor.

    Try this for a couple of weeks. Take a phrase from a piece of music you are supposed to play. Listen to a recording of it. Try singing the phrase over and over again until other thoughts leave your mind. Then, before you start to think about anything, just put the horn on your face play the phrase. If you lose the feeling or concentration, start over again. Listen to the recording again, sing the phrase over and over again until distracting thoughts leave your mind, then try to play the phrase as close to the recording as you can. Repeat this process until the music is in your mind before you play.

    Of course, there is a daily maintenance program because there is a physical dimension to the trumpet, but there are things you cannot accomplish by physical conscious control. You will only be able to forge ahead if you give way to your musical mind and let govern how play. Everything else will fall into place.

    Good luck and be positive. Play for the love of it.

    BB
     
  7. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

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    You are very astute, my Doctor friend and edit-ee of mine. You do know 23 other letters and you use them very creatively, often in the wrong order, but very creatively.:lol:
    Now about the other stuff, I agree with you in every way regarding the attitude thing and calling the others lazy. Truly that is the worst thing you can do, and that lazy one will pass you in your sleep every time!
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    How I think learning curves work.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    You get no argument from me here. I always tell my MD friends that I am a "real" doctor, because I too have my PhD.

    Here is where I disagree. I picked up my PhD first from the City University of New York, did a pharmacology fellowship, and THEN went back to medical school about 6 years later to get the MD. This is my example of not reaching the plateau. If I had stopped there, my research ideas would be isolated to lab animals (other grad students I worked with) and rats (my thesis advisor), not to mention those furry little mice and bunnies we experimented on. I went on to getting my MD, and research horizons became unlimited (of course I would still need the veterinary degree to practice on Kingtrumpet). But the same is true of trumpet playing. If you are motivated, you should not sit on a plateau, but rather analyze the stall (PR interval) and quickly work through it and move forward. I honestly cannot say I have stalled more than a week, as my teacher, Eugene Blee would not let me get away with that and would have dropped me like a hot potato. As I progressed in jazz, each week was a new concept, a new experiment, a new level I found to challenge me.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    If you make them look like pH titration curves as displayed above, then I would agree. In this case, I would just call the "Plateau" the buffer zone. Nicely done Vulgano Brother, Nicely Done!!!:bravo:
     

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