Motivation to play more?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adrianbyrne, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. dan42guy

    dan42guy New Friend

    May 6, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Rowuk, I have to kind of disagree with you, but I think this is more a matter of differing perspective and emphasis than anything else. I'd like to explain myself more fully and maybe you can tell me what you think. I've read a lot of your posts and have come to respect your opinions, so I'd love to discuss this matter more fully.

    I do get a great feeling when I get my paycheck as a reward for the hours I've put in and I love making people happy, but I could have made a lot more money with much better work hours as an engineer and I could make a lot more people happy playing piano at nursing homes! What I'm getting at is that I believe there is a deeper purpose that is fulfilled when we play. When you make music for any reason, you are giving voice to your soul and therefore making something more real and more genuine than many people ever experience. Mahler said "If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music." I think the same could be said for the performer. Just about any of us could make better money another way, but would never be truly happy because we need that outlet, that form of expression.
    I enjoy turning up the metronome as much as anybody else, but I also enjoy getting my mile run time down and I wouldn't want to be a professional runner for anything! I think there's something about music that keeps us coming back for more punishment and that drives us to excel.
    So in a sense, "the right reason is one that works," whether it is not sucking or watching great players or the next number on the metronome, but I believe that the motive behind all the reasons (or the "base" reason if you will) is not pragmatic, but that of expression. That's why we chose music and that's why we keep at it diligently.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    OK, I'm detecting romance as a motivating factor here, Right?
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have been doing the trumpet performing and teaching thing for a very long time. I think joy is a lot simpler. When one of my younger students gets another note, another notch on the metronome, or some other "mechanical" thing, they go home feeling like a million bucks - no additional expression, just simple accomplishment. In teaching, I accept joy from wherever it comes. Sure, eventually the small steps lead to more expressive playing, but when living the moment, other things are important.

    I had a retired person as a student (tuba player) a couple of years back. He had a stroke and half of his face was not functional AND he couldn't talk. Believe me, the first notes were a gift of God and even although there were no tunes for a (long) while, a big breath, two articulated notes one after the next were motivation for more. He was able to play before he was able to talk. It NEVER really got back to "good", but those small (for others insignificant) steps were his motivation until he died of cancer a while later.

    I guess I have found a more basic approach. In the business world we also talk about turning bad things into assets. I have a contract with all of my students. If they do not come to lessons prepared, I send them home - no lesson. Respect for my time is the message. I do not "sell" time slots. I can tell you from experience, they go back home motivated to practice more. I have only "lost" one student in 30+ years.
  4. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I don't think there is "1" answer to what motivates a trumpet player to want to play. Trumpet players are just as diverse as there are opinions. Some of us are 1's and some are 9's or 10's. Human nature tells me that we all want to strive to be as good as we are capable. Some of us simply don't have the money to attend seminars or commit to regular private lessons. I am not knocking private lessons in any way. 1 on 1 is the ideal learning situation. How much do we want to be the best we can be ? Once we are " motivated " to give it serious attention, we will succeed at bettering our trumpet playing. I believe that the Trumpet is the most beautiful instrument for expressing ourselves. What it boils down to in my opinion is self motivation. That brings up the original question. What motivates us ? It sounds like the OP wants to know what keeps "us" going. It's a personal thing for each of us. Is the frustration worth the reward ? I think hundreds of people clapping has been worth the frustration for me. It certainly isn't the money. We have a good "trumpet players" support group here.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  5. Adrianbyrne

    Adrianbyrne Pianissimo User

    Aug 18, 2010
    Oakville, Ontario
    Thanks Everyone

    I take it there is no one answer to my question. It is not the issue of motivation to play the trumpet, but one of keeping the desire to practise at a high level so you can achieve the next level. Maybe it is questions of letting yourself achieve this over time, and enjoying the process.

    Thanks for everyone that responded to my question.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    My motivation is based on learning to play the trumpet mechanically correct. What I mean by mechanically is learning to get my body mechanics as profieient as possible to achieve MY top level of performing on the horn. This is a life long endevor, as everyday I learn something new on the horn, every day the horn humbles me. Just when I feel indestructible on the horn, it says to me “ Ahhhhh Jack, here’s a taste of what you can sound like, but not yet, keep up the good work though”. It teaches me patience, lots of it. I hear how I should be playing in my head, but have been only able to hear that sound physically periodically. I practice everyday, a few hours every day, (Except performance days) I have to keep up my endurance because if I decide to take a day off, the phone call always comes asking if I can play that day. Not that I can’t perform if I miss a day or two, I just go into the gig feeling good about playing if I stick to my routine. I am a quality engineer and have a 50-hour a week job, and have over 130 shows in for the year so far, with 5 bands total. Yes I have a full schedule. So I never know when the call can come. Overall I love practicing to improve, and taking that to the stage, I’m very lucky in that I perform with a few “SMOKIN” tight horn sections and bands…….
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    You have figured out TM pretty darned quick!

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Adrianbyrne, I think you answered your own question. ” Keeping the desire to practise at a high level so you can achieve the next level.” If you are dedicated to the trumpet, and I get the feeling you are by this question, Wouldn’t the desire to achieve the next level motivate you to practice ? I know in my case this is true, I want to reach MY personal highest level, so I look forward to putting in my time daily to achieve this next level. AND as you say, being patient and waiting for that next level to happen. True if you don’t have a place to “Put it to the test” it can make it harder, although when you don’t it’s the shear “Desire to achieve the next level” that keeps me going in the slow times.
  9. dan42guy

    dan42guy New Friend

    May 6, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Thanks, Rowuk! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I've been pretty busy with my masters degree.
    I think "joy" is a great explanation! I really enjoyed that story of the tuba player! It reminded me of an older student I had who simply wanted to play cornet solos in church.
    Do you think that music has a greater propensity to produce joy than other "hobbies"? Or do you think it's more of a 'to each his own' type thing?
    Maybe it all comes down to joy, but I find that joy through expression whereas a beginner might find it in learning a new note and a stroke victim would find it through a couple notes in a row. (and Local 357 finds it by looking for hot 3rd trumpet players named Myra)
    Does that sound like a more well-rounded view of music?
    Thanks for your time and willingness to talk through that with me! I feel like a have a better grasp and I'll have more to hand off to my students.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The motivation we need is internal. As a teacher we can encourage that by providing praise, but external motivation doesn't produce nearly as many results as internal motivation. If a player toughs it out, practices and sees results, playing becomes more fun--more fun, and the player wants to practice more.


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