Congratulations are in order!

I have a few shout-outs to give to students today, because y’all are awesome and are doing great things.

Firstly, to Bjorn S. for making top orchestra in Minnesota Youth Symphonies- his first audition for the group and he’s already in the top spot! Well-deserved, too.

To Henry O. for making it into the Minnesota Junior Winds for the fall, plus participating in South High Summer Jazz Camp- truly a trombone superstar this summer.

To Maddie R. and Matt W. for their spots in Edina High School’s top band in the fall, and to Amanda M. for making section leader.

To McKenna R. for snagging an alternate spot for the All-State Bands in August.

To all my other students, who work hard and consistently surprise me with their newfound musical strengths. Keep practicing! Good things are coming to you, too.

Weekly Roundup 6/23/15

Reading: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J Levitin. (still reading)

Arranging: n/a

Practicing: A little uninspired to practice lately- the summer doldrums if you will. Usually when I feel this way I give myself a little space, or just sight-read etudes or solos I haven’t played in a while.

Rehearsing: Midnight in Moscow has three(!) upcoming gigs so we have a rehearsal Wednesday night to get ourselves into performance mode. We haven’t done a live show in over a year, so this will be fun!

Performing: Midnight in Moscow, June 27th at Hasley’s in Brainerd, July 1st at Driftwood Char Bar, and July 12th at Centennial Lakes in Edina. I have a new performance calendar! Bookmark it, subscribe to do, do what you gotta do- see you at the gig.

Listening: JD McPherson, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Modest Mouse- basically anyone who was at Rock The Garden this past weekend- and, on repeat, the new Tallest Man on Earth album (Dark Bird is Home) which is so painfully beautiful.

Teaching: So many students on vacation! Come back to me, students!

Relaxing: A family reunion in Chippewa Falls on Saturday, Rock the Garden on Sunday- I’m tired from all the relaxing.

Lauren Husting DOT COM SO COOL

Hello friends and students and colleagues!

This is my all new, renovated for ease on your eyeballs, super great merged website! I have combined my professional page with my studio page so that everything is in one place.

My name is Lauren Husting, and I play trombone. I also teach privately- trombone, baritone/euph, and tuba. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can use this site to find out when I’m playing next, what I’m working on, and how to get started with private lessons.

Happy practicing!

Weekly Roundup 6/16/15

Reading: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J Levitin. (still reading)

Arranging: A nice little reprieve from arranging, although I’ve got a mischievous little idea in the back of my head…stay tuned.

Practicing: Reading through the Blazhevich book, looking for fun etudes to work up. Speeding up my multiple tonguing.

Rehearsing: Metro read through new charts on Sunday. Some good stuff for our performance at the Hudson bandshell on July 23rd.

Performing: Midnight in Moscow, July 1st at Driftwood Char Bar. I have a new performance calendar! Bookmark it, subscribe to do, do what you gotta do- see you at the gig.

Listening: War on Drugs, Sleater-Kinney, Tame Impala (I’m painting the bathroom this week).

Teaching: Intonation across the partials on lip slurs- particularly up to the 7th partial.

Relaxing: Went tubing down the Cannon on Sunday. Picked up our first box of CSA goodies last week and have been cooking up a storm. Also- painting. Am I weird? I find it soothing.

Summer, to the max

Let it be said right off the bat: I am a summer baby. It’s my favorite season- my birthday! cabins and camping! the beach! bicycles! sweet balmy nights with a icy beverage and good friends! I COMPLETELY understand wanting to make the most of summer and not be tied down by responsibilities.

As a professional musician, summers also mean lots of gigs, hopefully, and you can definitely fill up your schedule with outdoor concerts and festivals. That means I get a lot of ‘face time’ on my instrument and need to maintain a routine to stay viable for all those potential gigs.

But for many of my students, busy in the summer means travel, or ACT-prep, or a part-time job, and this can mean that music falls to the side as schedules change constantly. You may not have time for a lesson every week, much less put the horn on your face everyday.

Which means it’s time to think about your routine, and how you schedule it.

I have a student this summer who’s home from her first year of college, and she’s hoping to expand on her musical knowledge so as to return to her band program stronger in the fall. I’m so inspired by this. I took summer lessons one year out of all 6 of my college and graduate school years combined, and the rest of those years I picked my nose and hemmed and hawed about practicing until about August, when I realized placement auditions were fast approaching. But this girl, she’s got it figured out. She’s smart.

Many of my grade school students have already had their placement auditions for the fall, and so musical growth is taking a backseat for the summer. But summer can be a tremendous opportunity to learn things outside of the range of band, pick music you like to play, develop new techniques.

Here are a few simple steps for keeping your summer musically healthy:

1. Find a regular time to practice. 

If your summer job is MTWF 10-4, maybe you practice from 9-945. Or 430-530, before dinner. But it’s always the same. On days off, you can expand your time, but keep the time slot the same.

2. Do your warm-up routine every day.

If this is all you get to- great! You got to it. You stretched your muscles and kept your musical brain strengthened. Next time you can add scales or a part of your etude.

3. Set small goals week-to-week, and one or two big goals for the whole summer.

If you’re taking lessons, I’ve assigned you a few things to focus on, like two or three scales, a technical pattern, a tune in different keys, an etude. These might serve as good weekly goals- “I’ll get C major learned in two octaves,” or “I’ll increase my double-tonguing  speed by 15 clicks.” They should be part of a larger goal for the summer- “Learn all major scales in 2 octaves,” “Multiple tonguing at quarter= 142.” etc.

4. Don’t sweat taking time off for travel. 

You get to take breaks. It’s okay. A week off the horn won’t make you forget how to play- it may make you fresher! It’ll take a few days to feel normal on the horn again, but you may notice that certain things are simpler once you’re back in the game.

5. Make it fun. 

I mean, duh. Music is about enjoyment. It’s a shame it has to be constantly ‘proven’ to be valuable to education programs and overall societal health to be taken seriously. I think it’s okay if music exists because it’s intrinsically valuable, not because it makes you smarter (although it will do that, too). Get your friends together and sight-read chamber music. Or start a band. Buy a book of songs from your favorite movie arranged for your instrument. Play for folks in a park or in front of a store on a sunny day. Think about your instrument and smile- you’re doing this for you, not for anyone else.

Happy practicing!

B

Weekly Roundup 6/9/15

Oh man! I totally spaced last week and forgot to do a roundup. Not even sure what I was doing. Not blogging. Whatever. I’m back!

Reading: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J Levitin. (still reading)

Arranging: Editing old arrangements for the Satellites. Still doing this, too. Endlessly. Arranging feels like it’s never done.

Practicing: Satellites charts, lip trills, double and triple tonguing, slurs into the trigger register.

Rehearsing: Satellites have their first rehearsal Thursday so those charts better be ready, missy!

Performing: Midnight in Moscow, July 1st at Driftwood Char Bar.

Metro put on a stellar concert last week. Really well-attended and liked. Da Pacem Domine (my arrangement) was a particular hit!

Listening: Best Coast (saw them live last night at First Avenue!), Tame Impala (give me the new record asap)

Teaching: How to manage your summer practice schedule.

Relaxing: Reading outdoors in the sunshine. Drinking iced tea. I love summer.

Weekly Roundup 5/26/15

Reading: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J Levitin.

Arranging: Editing old arrangements for the Satellites.

Practicing: I’m so close to having a real lip slur I can taste it (or maybe that’s blood).

Rehearsing: Midnight in Moscow this week- we have our first gig in over year in July!

Performing: Metro Brass: June 4th Variety Concert! Can’t wait to conduct Da Pacem Domine in the round.

Listening: Surfer Blood. Brahms Piano Quintet. Vampire Weekend.

Teaching: Probably overdue for a series of lessons on good practice habits, what with summer being here and all.

Relaxing: MAD MAX WAS SO GOOD. Tonight, seeing Surfer Blood at 7th Street Entry. Tomorrow I’m getting a MASSAGE and it’s all I can think about.