So here we are at the dreaded first blog post!
I put off on writing this for some time, because let’s face it, EVERYONE has a blog post! While many are surprisingly relevant, there seems to be some difficulty in maintaining it. As a musician, father, and doctoral scholar, I find myself in a perpetual state of busy. I find it hard to maintain school lunches with regularity, so a blog post may be a bit ambitious, but here I am.
So, why then you might ask would I set myself up like this.
The reality is that by undertaking such a task I am allowing myself to be uncomfortable and vulnerable for the sake of offering useful information to others. This for me is a tremendous growth opportunity, and in my opinion a great way to practice vulnerability.
Let’s face it as musicians we are constantly vulnerable!
By vulnerable I am not referring to the likely conjured image of being curled up on the coach while watching and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ on repeat. I am talking about that feeling of being uncomfortable that often gives way to untimely nerves, the feeling of being evaluated under a microscope.
As music students…
we are vulnerable in our weekly lessons, in our ensembles, while we practice, pretty much all day everyday. We wonder if what we are doing is “correct”. Can we trust ourselves? Did we get lost counting rests? Do I practice too little? too much?
we are vulnerable in front of our students, colleagues, and administrators. We constantly question our legitimacy. Did the triangle come in early, or did I miscount in my score? Are we truly being honest and serving the music first? Have we over-rehearsed this piece? under-rehearsed it? Do we really need to purchase a triangle clip, when we have already taken so many budget cuts?
In the grocery store…
we are vulnerable when the intercom beeps and we can’t name that pitch, or when the pop tune comes on and we get stuck on our mental transcription, Are we phonies?
Or the percussionist…
as we stare in the face of that asparagus stalk, and have the epiphany that we really should be practicing soft snare drum. Should we really waste time shopping for groceries…Okay, Okay, you get the point.
How we handle and learn from our endless stream of small “minor” vulnerabilities, allows us the opportunity to practice for the inevitable, more extreme, vulnerabilities, such as auditions, recitals, and concerts.
With such a plethora of opportunities to practice this unique skill, what better way for ME to practice than through this blog! So, Thank you for allowing me to feel more comfortable being uncomfortable.
So let’s talk particulars…
If you are like many deep sea faring creatures, and are hoping for a detailed recounting of my memoirs, a la Moby…
I am sorry to disappoint you, at the same time, I am uniquely happy that you do indeed exist.
Which leads me to my point, through this blog, I want to focus on a group of individuals who I feel like have been treated as if they don’t exist, our band directors!
In the feedback loop between performing percussionists and percussion pedagogues, our treasured middle and high school music educators have seeming been left out of the loop, however I feel like they are a valuable source and resource for approaching the bigger picture of percussion in the band. So, I would like to offer a resource for band directors to stay up with current percussion practices ideologies, etc. and hope to hear back and learn from you all.
My Big Break!
I have a passion for working with band directors! They are everyone’s first big break! I love band directors, because they are like sponges, at times that can a bit salty, but in the end are always willing to soak up new things, while at the same time filtering out the stuff that isn’t useful. This process is awesome, and one I try to emulate in myself.
Finally! For an introduction this guy is surely long winded!
Nevertheless, I am excited to get stated with this blog, and offer my musings on percussion, with a sprinkling of practice tips mixed in. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a way to tie in a selfie with my french press… or perhaps, I should stick to percussion.
Happy Holidays, and I hope you check in again soon!
If this seems like something you are interested in, please leave me a comment, and let me know what you would like to have discussed on this platform. This is a standing offer, so even if you are reading this years from now, I am happy to take on your topic.