Let’s get happy

What’s on your to-do list?

You all remember that I’ve set out on a year-long project to see if I can figure out some ways to be a happier trumpeter (and happier person). I am giving myself a kind of regimen to work on each month that I hope will help. Plus, I throw in impromptu things every now and then throughout the month that I think will weigh-in on the happiness side of things.

The regimens, or resolutions, are designed to help me grow in a deliberate way. I have started by focusing on my fitness, trumpet practice organization and recording, getting better about my to-do lists and acting the way I want to sound as a trumpeter: confident.

In addition, I’ve made one resolution to kind of bind everything together. I have decided to blog daily, because this keeps track of my progress.

How am I doing? Pretty good. I am definitely fitter with near-daily workouts.

My trumpet practice has been near-optimal for some upcoming performances, which has resulted in a more consistent tone, better range and articulation and a more-dependable repertoire. A reader suggested that I try his practice program, which is a kind of internet-based reminder system to get your practicing done. I almost went through with it, but it seemed too overwhelming, so I gave up on it, preferring the simpler style of practice discipline that I do. Nothing wrong with this suggested program, and I recommend that you try it if you have plenty of time to figure it out.

But I need to follow my commandments. Number 1 is “Be true to Stan’s musicality” and Number 7 is “Choose the more imaginative or enjoyable way, when possible.” Discipline is good, but it has to resonate and connect with your own sensibilities.

I’m staying on top of my to-do list pretty well, not only because of my intention to do so, but also because of more energy from being fitter!

Finally, my playing sounds more confident, and I feel more confident. But I can’t say for sure that my confidence is making me sound better or the other way around. Sometimes feelings are like that.

And, since I’ve been throwing in poetry from time to time, here’s another. You’re welcome.

Bento Love


A sliding lock
locking love,
in a divided box
of borders—I can’t
get out, and you can’t
get in. Glad we have
good boundaries.



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