Manny, I posted this at the other site and I wanted to get feedback from this site as well. I had a fantastic lesson yesterday and I thought Iâ€™d share this with everyone (probably as a reminder for many of you). I received the play list for the Wind Ensemble that I play with last month and saw that we will be playing Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. I knew that this was going to be a challenge for me, so I asked my instructor for the 1st trumpet part to the orchestral version and Iâ€™ve been listening to the NY Phil recording of this for the past couple of weeks (even before looking at the music). Wow! These guys make this music sound effortless and extremely exciting! This was the Bernstein recording from 1961 with William Vacchiano, Nat Prager, John Ware, and Jimmy Smith. Well with this sound ringing in my head I picked up the part and when I looked at the music I could literally hear everything before I even played a note. Talk about engraining a fantastic sound model! Well, I quickly discovered that the Mambo section and the part that switches to Trumpet in D are going to be very challenging for me. I took this into my instructor to see how best to tackle this part and get the most out of my limited practice time. I am concerned with both range and endurance and wanted to target some exercises to make this part sound as easy as the model that I currently have in my head. He knows how I play and approached the WSS part from my strengths. After I played some of the Bai Lin flexibilities to show him how I was planning to get ready for my December concert, he simply had me transfer what I was doing with the Bai Lin book directly to the part. We moved to the Mambo section and he had me play (completely out of time), some relaxed flexibility drills using the printed WSS part. I was slurring everything and simply thinking of flow and connecting everything (which I do very well). Sure enough, I was playing through everything on the page without any difficulty. Nice and easy slurs 3 or 4 notes forwards and then backwards, connecting large intervals, ringing sound. He said I have to approach this literature from a vocal, lyrical standpoint so that I donâ€™t get tense and just shutdown. He had me playing up to an Eb on my C trumpet with ease, and the top pitch is an optional E on Bb. That made me feel great! We worked through the piece in this manner, targeting each of the â€œchallengingâ€ lines, and each time I played the intervals easily (out of time) with a lyrical approach. After several of these examples I told him that this was a very slight variation on what Michael Sachs mentioned in his ITG presentation in Denver: My mind is getting a very clear picture of what the music sounds like by doing this (even though its very slow and out of time). My body is playing all of the notes with a freedom to sound production and good airflow (literally no tension). By working through the music in this way, I will be laying the building blocks to gradually add more complexity to the line when Iâ€™m ready. Once the notes and air are solidly in place, the rest can be added an element at a time. The part that I like best about this is that Iâ€™m not going to be adding a bunch of lip slurs and arpeggios into the higher register to my â€œmaintenanceâ€ work to be able to be able to play this part (which would burn up all of my time and not allow me to get to the music). Iâ€™m going to simply do that work in the context of the actual part! So for the next month, Iâ€™m going to be working out of the Symphonic Dances lip flexibility book! Talk about some great combination of tasks and good time management!