What I’ve learned from Tom Clancy

Author Tom Clancy (1947-2013)
Author Tom Clancy (1947-2013)    

I don’t have a whole lot of time to read books–I’m busy with jobs, family, recitals, practice and, well, blogging! But I have read a few Tom Clancy novels. He died yesterday at the relatively young age of 66. I was always impressed with the flow of plot in his books. And his masterful knowledge of military weapons and tactics (especially the Navy stuff, since I am actually in the Navy).

But the quote that I read today by the late Mr. Clancy hit squarely home with my overall philosophy of learning and improvement on the trumpet, in music and pretty much anything in life:

“You learn to write the same way you learn to play golf… You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired – it’s hard work.”

Please keep this in mind with trumpet playing. Of course, it is possible to spend lots of un-mindful time playing the trumpet and NOT get better. But for most of us, when we start spending lots of time on our instrument, we naturally become more efficient and more mindful. And we get better. The trick is to find out if you really enjoy spending lots of time on the trumpet. If you do, then the trumpet world is yours.


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