I like a good formula…something simple and easy to remember, yet all encompassing. A phrase that allows for a lot of detail within…like E=MC2. So consider these three keys to success: Knowledge, Awareness and Time. In my early days in music I didn’t have much working with any of these important keys. The first Key to awaken was Time…I was told to practice more, and so I could see improvement in my playing. However, after a while my progress leveled off…I would “hit the wall.” I needed more information…more knowledge to help me get unstuck.
As I studied with better teachers, I was given things to practice that got me back on the road to improvement. Sometimes it was a new exercise, or a new approach to the same exercises I had been doing before. I was also given a greater Awareness…asked to pay attention more to my sound quality and rhythmic precision. It was enlightening when I returned to New York for a week’s worth of trumpet lessons with Roy Stevens because I didn’t get a lot of new information (Knowledge). In fact his advice to me sounded a lot like what I was telling my students (sometimes almost word for word!). What this told me was that my Awareness needed to grow…that I needed to pay attention more and perform the same basic foundation building exercises at a much higher level.
It became clear that there is a relationship between these Keys, and that they all depend on each other and inform one another. More to come!