The variables of motivation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tpter1, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    I began writing this on another thread, but thought twice, and thought it is actually its own topic.

    As a music teacher, my performing schedule is quite open. (As is the case with many public school teachers; in comparison to working professionals). So my question is this:

    How does one, not being a professional or no longer taking lessons maintain accountability in playing? What motivators exist? I spend about 1 1/2 - 3 hours over the course of a day practicing; some of that is just playing, some is actually practicing, to be honest. But if there was greater accountability, like "Let's see...recording session this week, young people's concerts this weekend, quintet at the church", well, you get the picture; instead of "hmm...well...nothing coming for another 5 weeks". That is liberating, but holds alot less accountability; the lack of structure or demand on your abillities can also allow you to get lazy.

    Something I am doing to combat this is just applying for auditions nearby whenever I hear of or see an opening. Any other ideas? What pushes/motivates you?
     
  2. Chris4

    Chris4 Pianissimo User

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    Jul 16, 2005
    What motivates me of course are great players. They motivate me to become better and to keep trying. What you're doing right now(applying for auditions) is good but here are some other ideas: You could make a card advertising what you do, post an ad at your local church, start teaching private lessons etc..Just try to get the word out as best you can.
     
  3. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Glenn,

    I feel that the greatest accountability needs to come from with in ones self and by doing so you are accountable to your own enthusiasm. The internal source should never run dry, while if outer sources are responsible for your motivation, good enough becomes apart of our vocabulary. ( thanks manny ;-) )

    Now for a few suggestions that are less esoteric:

    Something that helps me is that I continue to take private lessons at least once a month from two different professional orchestral players; I also attend as many symphony concerts as possible. I find that this keeps me focused and moving forward.

    One easy suggestion that I can also give you is to record yourself. I recently and finally got a really good microphone to use with my computer and I use it record almost everything now. I am currently recording my lesson material, trying to get it to what I feel is A+ quality.

    Hope that helps,
     
  4. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    I sub in for a couple of other people. Not knowing when they will call for a sub means I have to keep my chops up (random reinforcement).
     
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    Jason- I think you are spot on. That's excellent advice. I have started to record myself on occasion...maybe I should just let it roll for an entire session, then listen and evaluate my practice habits as an outsider.

    Listening to and interacting with Manny, Wilmer, Ed and the rest here is a GREAT inspiration.
     
  6. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Recording yourself is definitely the most efficient way to improve, inspire yourself and explore. It is also eye-opening.

    I strongly recommend recording yourself. With notebook in hand, do the listening hours later so your ears can be more objective and write down all you want to improve for the next session.
     
  7. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    I agree 100%!!!!!!!!

    it allows you to be the performer when you play and lets you be the teacher later, instead of having to do both at once.
     
  8. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    Enough people have recommended recording to warrant a more serious approach to it. Alex, I like your suggestion for coming back a few hours later with a notebook.

    I can usually get about an hour and a half in the morning; I'll try recording that time and get back to listening to it either on lunch or after school before I head home and make some notes. If I leave it rolling I can critique my practice methodology as well as my playing.

    I've also been holding myself to the fire by keeping a journal/log for about a month now, including observations about weak areas and strengths. That has done well enough that I've launched a project with all my students in grades 5-12 to keep one, as well. I'll use my log for recording critiques.

    Great ideas, folks. Keep 'm coming! And thanks!
     
  9. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Glenn,

    If you do record yourself I highly recommend getting a good set up to do it, it makes all the difference in the world. I have been recording myself off and on for years but with a cheap tape deck and never got much out of the process. Lately, I have been using Smart music with my minidisk microphone and I am having good results.

    There have been many times when my teacher would point out a little detail that needs fixing, and before I really couldn’t hear what he was talking about all to well. Now with the higher quality I am using it is clear as day! After I listened to my first etude recording I could almost hear his voice in the back of my mind saying "well duh, I told you so!".

    For now I am recording only my afternoon session’s at home and that is working fine. I will play something, then listen to the play back and adjust what I need to and record it again. The end goal is for the final “take†for the day to be better than the one from the day before. I no longer need to keep a pracitce journal becasue my journal is a series of MP3’s on my desktop. I can also listen to the takes the next day before I start to practice picking up right where I left off. I have gotten a months worth of practice done in the past week using this new system becsaue it frees you from asking questions while you play and lets you be the teacher after the piece is done.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    For me the motivation to practice comes from a few different angles. First and foremost is my realization thet playing the trumpet makes me a better person. The concentration required is much like meditation for me. It quiets my mind, helps me become focused, and relaxes me physically. These attributes helps me become more effective on many levels and in every facet of my life. Secondly I must keep my own playing in top shape for my students that I may demonstrate to them the benefits of consistent, quality practice. Teaching by example. Thirdly I owe it to my fellow musicians and the people who come to hear me play.
     

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