September 21, 2011

Let’s start with the easy stuff:

  • Music is not about winning.
  • There is no Best Trumpet Player.
  • Music is not about winning.

I grew up in the extremely competitive environment of Texas bands.  There is no doubt in my mind that the hours of rehearsals getting ready for, and number of performances in competitions helped me become a better trumpet player and musician.

But if I used the competitions as my only motivation, I would have peaked at age 17.

My motivation is very simple: I want to be great.  I want to be a great musician, a great trumpet player, a great teacher, a great performer…well, you get the picture.

Competitions and auditions can be great short-term projects.  They are not long-term goals.  You can be extremely motivated to win a competition or audition.  You work really hard, do your best, and sure enough you win.  Congratulations.  Now what?  Are you done now?  If you’ve won a job, does that mean you’re finished growing as a musician?  I hope not.

It’s time to starting thinking big.

I mean really big.

Now get to work.


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