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Awareness & Mindfulness


Awareness

noun

  1. knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

synonyms: consciousness, recognition, realization.

  1. concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development.

Mindfulness

noun

  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

If there is one thought I have constantly returned to in my mind, regarding the trumpet & learning, its the thought of awareness and mindfulness. These two words resound with reverberation throughout my practice sessions, throughout rehearsals, throughout performances, and even invade my thoughts throughout the day. I would go far as to say that these two words are words to live by in order to get the most out of life.


In order to grow as a musician and as a trumpeter, you need to be aware. You need to be aware of your surroundings, aware of what you sound like in any moment, aware of what you WANT to sound like in any moment, and aware of fine and meticulous musical details, etc. You need to be aware of what you are doing and how the blueprint of what you want coincides. As the saying goes: concept first. Which means you need to be aware of what that concept is at all times and of what you are doing to achieve it.


To achieve the best results, you then need to be mindful. Awareness without mindfulness is a recipe for disenchantment and decline. You need to be mindful of how you practice - with correct form, correct sound model, correct character, etc. You need to be mindful of your concept and sticking to it like glue. If you are not mindful about your practicing (and performing), then you will not achieve the goal/s you have set forth for yourself.


If your teacher has given you parameters to work within (i.e. certain aspects of your playing to change, like technique or musical ideas), then you must first to be aware of what those concepts are and what they entail. Without that understanding (knowledge), then you are just searching in the dark. Understand what is needed and be aware of it at all times. You then need to be mindful of that concept as you apply it - in every situation (not just the practice room). By following these simple (yet difficult to do - it takes discipline) rules, you can learn quickly and effectively, taking your playing and music making experience to a completely new height!


The trumpet can be monotonous and frustrating. I find that being more aware and mindful allow me to be better prepared and therefore less frustrating and more enjoyable.



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