I need help...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet blower88, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Ever since college started, I feel like I'm getting worse at trumpet. I've had such a busy schedual that I have hardly anytime to practice, maybe 2 hours a week (outside of rehersals). I've been getting about 4 to 5 hours of sleep at night, and I feel like all the friends I have up here really don't seem to give a crap about me.

    I have my lesson tomarow, so I wen't up to the practice rooms to squeeze in a litle bit of practice time. I ended up just sitting there crying for an hour because I can't play anything that I'm doing for lessons tomarow. So I just gave up and came here asking for advice. I really don't know what to do. (other than take less classes next semester... but i can't do that untill next semester.)

    I'm really not looking forward to my lesson tomarow. I just wish playing my trumpet would be fun again like it used to be...
  2. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    David -
    The first semester of college can be daunting, to say the least. Freshmen have a million things going on at once. Don't beat yourself up over lack of practice time. If the trumpet has to take a back seat for a little while, that's no big deal. In time, things will level off & you'll be able to devote more time to it. Until then, just do the best that you can on limited practice. Remember, we got into this because it was supposed to be FUN. Hang in!

  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I agree with Tony.
    It may seem frustrating at first, but everyone is going through the changes that you are going through. You will get used to the hectic schedule and your practicing will become more efficient so you can take things in and apply them much quicker than now.
    Not being prepared for a lesson isn't the end of the world. Teachers do understand how busy it gets, and they too have been unprepared for things. Talk with your teacher and tell him/her what you are feeling. The teacher will have great advice. All of mine were willing to lend and ear to my many woes about playing and being a musician.
  4. Trumpeter656

    Trumpeter656 New Friend

    Mar 31, 2005
    Plymouth State University
    Hey, I know the feeling. It's been a difficult transition to college for me as well, and practicing schedules are definitely crazy these days. I find that I have to squeeze-in practice sessions, but I've learned that every little bit counts. If you have only ten minutes or so between classes, buzz a mouthpiece. It may also help to break up your practicing, like doing several short sessions instead of one long practice session. Weekends are the only times where I can sit and play for hours at a time, but it definitely is worth it if I can do as much as possible during the busy week. If I know that I cannot get a practice in with a few hours (either the rooms are full or something else keeps me from it)...I'll nap and then practice later (because sleep is so important).

    But amongst all of that, don't forget to take care of yourself...and don't beat yourself up. When I was frustrated once, my director said this, "Playing an instrument is like lighting a room of candles. You light one every time you improve at something. At first each candle makes a big difference, but after a while it can be hardly noticeable. The important thing to remember is that there is a change, if only a slight one."

    I'm a first-year music major, so I can completely understand everything you're going through. I hope I've helped.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Most, if not all of us have been in the same position as you at one time or another, and yeah, it sucks. When we've heaped too much on our plate we have to start making some pretty ruthless decisions about what, at the given moment, is most important. Like Tony said, it's supposed to be fun, so have fun playing the best you can with limited practice time, and talk to your teacher. Look then for a solution in your scedule that will give you the time you need to pursue your love of trumpet. Hang in there. Sleep. Sweet dreams!
  6. Magnusverdixon

    Magnusverdixon Pianissimo User

    Dec 25, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Playing (the correct way) is very physical. You need to get plenty of rest if you can. Twenty minutes of focused practice is better than an hour of unfocused practice. Playing should be fun ... Relax. Try to practice in 20 minute increments.
  7. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Bless You David,

    It's hard. If it weren't everyone would do it.

    Get some sleep. You're not a failure. You may have bitten off too much. Take a smaller bite next term. This term you're learning lots. It's just the lessons bite.

    I've felt like you have. In grad school, I found my self yelling at a rain storm. Like Lear, I'd gone of my nut for a bit.

    Eat sometimes. Sleep as much as you can. Practice when you can. Slow down the metronome. Don't ever think you can't cut it. If you got this far, you can cut it. Many don't make it to the point you find yourself.

    We're rooting for you. PM any time.

    Dominus Vobiscum,

    Richard Oliver
  8. masterfulmusic29

    masterfulmusic29 New Friend

    Dec 15, 2006
    The practice problem comes up at least once in every music majors college life. I've had it come up more than once. In between work, classes, church, and sleep I was having trouble finding time to practice. How did I work it out? I learned to move a little faster when doing simple tasks like cleaning or eating or homework. That got me time I needed to practice. Not much but anything is better than nothing. As has already been said the first year can be tough. Hang in there it will get better. If your "friends" don't like you either ask why or forget about them. You can always make new friends.
  9. beartrumpet74

    beartrumpet74 Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2006
    this approach cures this problem for me nearly everytime it comes up, and when you are in school it WILL come up as the other posters have stated.
    1. learn to visualize yourself as the only "arrbitor" (SP) of your worth as a player if only for the 20 to 30 minutes it takes to do the rest of this. Reason being is that in school other peoples judgments take on a more important light than they often need. Although important, they are not the final word!

    2. Take 20 to 30 minutes to practice anything you want BUT DON'T THINK OF IT AS PRACTICE. You are just playing. Play a beautiful melody. I always gravitate toward Danny Boy... I dig that one. Play it in an easy key, slur it, try to make your sound pretty, and whatever you do.....DON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW GOOD YOU THINK IT IS!

    3. Improvise on the melody a little bit. It matters not whether you know anything about improvising, just that you are CREATING MUSIC from your mind. The whole theory on my pary being that CREATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ONE CAN DO IN MUSIC. Creating something will give you a sense of value and excitement about your playing and will spur you to want to practice more because your desire to constantly express something musically will take over instead of that urge to "play perfectly"

    4. repeat every day for at least a couple of weeks.

    Next - Learn to take it easy on yourself. Whatever your friends think is usually meaningless unless you've robbed a bank or killed someone. If you had the good sense to express how you feel here and listen to others try to help, I'm sure you're a good person!

    In the end just remember this....music school is nice, but creating music from your heart is way way better. Music school can certainly help you do that, but in the end it's just between you and whatever power you're into.

    You'll get better as a player on your own time table and no one regardless of how eminent they think they may be, can tell you what that time table should be. Next time someone gives you grief about where you "should be" just tell them this it works for me everytime ....
    "Yeah...uh cool....BUT, I was just thinking that empathy and kindness might be the best way to go instead of the largely meaningless rant you've been on....sorry just thinking being a good person...." "Thanks though"

    Keep your chin up dude! Your skin will get thicker, your playing WILL get stronger, and you WILL reach your dreams....just trust me on that one for now...
  10. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Did you talk this over with your teacher up there?

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