January 2015 has been strong so far, as things go. I’m motivated and happy, and looking forward to the experiences, results, and opportunities that being motivated and happy will bring. I set myself some reasonable but slightly challenging goals (like re-introducing myself to the world of studying various musical topics), and so far I have been maintaining them.
Tuesdays are Blog Days for me (I will certainly write on other days if the inspiration strikes, but I will at the very least post something on Tuesdays), and I’m not feeling particularly inspired by anything new, at least not enough so to write anything great about it. So on days like today, Tuesday Blog Day will be something of a weekly round-up. Here we go!
This Week At Husting Low Brass Studio:
Reading: The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible, by Eric Booth. I picked this up thinking it was about being a better private teacher, but it’s more about how performing musicians can engage their communities in order to reach audiences. It’s not exactly what I do, but it’s given me some great ideas and I’m considering looking more into the idea of becoming a Teaching Artist in the Cities.
Practicing: Tyrell Etude #20, which has some feisty arpeggiated sextuplets that sound awesome when executed correctly. It makes me feel like a fancy concert violinist.
Rehearsing: Metro Brass ran through some new music on Sunday night and rehearsed some pieces that have been in our book for a while. We have a new location for rehearsals that keeps us positioned in a tighter half circle, and in my opinion it was very beneficial to our ensemble unity and flexibility.
Performing: On Saturday my yet-unnamed R&B project recorded a demo at Terrarium Studios in NE Mpls. We put three songs to track: Keep Me In Mind by the Bamboos, Sledgehammer as performed by Maiysha, and Right As Rain by Adele. This is a group of consummate pros and it was a pleasure to play with everyone.
Listening: John Mark Nelson, the new OKGo record, an 80s pop playlist, The Bamboos (seriously hip funk/R&B outfit from Australia), and starting to feel my January urge to mainline a lot of Prokofiev Piano Concertos.
Teaching: Back to basics this week. I’ve had many of my students focus on ‘letting go’ of their air and sound and pushing the limits of what they can play. You don’t know your limit until you test it. There’s no room for playing it safe when you play a brass instrument.
On that note, I had some amazing lessons with students this week that got me really pumped up about how great y’all are. You, my students, inspire me daily.
Relaxing: I took on the January Challenge at my yoga studio, Yoga Sol. 15 classes in January. Tonight will be #8!
I’ve also developed a major obsession with the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and I am 100% not ashamed because it is the best thing to ever happen to me. #WaterTribe