About a month ago my 3-year-old was invited to his buddy Melanie's 3rd birthday party. He is one of three boys and does boy things. Girl things do not interest him at all! Melanie's party was a Princess party and my 3-year-old did not want to have anything to do with it. I said, "there will be a Princess and several Princes there". He yelled, "I donâ€™t want to be a Princess!". I said, "No. I mean you will be a Prince and there will be one or two other Princes there". He yelled louder, "I donâ€™t want to be a Princess!!" I said, you get to be Prince Ali from Aladin and then I started singing the Prince Ali song and got him to start laughing. Eventually he was excited about getting to be a Prince! I started thinking about thisâ€¦ Princess vs. Princes For those of us that are English speaking and have been spelling for longer than we can remember, the difference between these two words is very clear, even when spoken. For a 3-year-old who can't distinguish the subtle difference between these words, it means wearing a dress out in public! No wonder he got mad at me! Relating this back to trumpet playing, how many players who hear a trumpet sound are unable to perceive the difference between a loud sound versus a resonant sound? They would fall into this same position of not understanding the subtle difference between the two sounds, just like the 3-year-old with the word Princess and Princes. In a recent article by Craig Morris, entitled Fundamentally Speaking he discusses the importance of spending time every day with â€œfoundationâ€ exercises. He mentions James Thompson and James Stamp and says that, "this book is perhaps the most misunderstood and misused book in the trumpet community. When done properly, though, these exercises can be a great way to establish balance and center in oneâ€™s playing." It took me years to understand what to listen for in my own sound to be able to distinguish a "loud" sound from a resonant sound (and finding my center). I felt very much like my 3-year-old when my instructors would model a sound and then have me play. The would say, "There! Do you hear the resonance? That's what I want!" The problem was I really couldn't "hear" what was different from behind the bell. Princessâ€¦Princes? I could write about my experience with these subtleties all day and provide quotes from very prominent players. I don't want to do that though. Just out of curiosity, what have you done to find your resonance? If you haven't found it yet, please know that in time and with enough concentrated focus everyday, you will get closer to seeing the Princes for the Princess!