Periodicity and happiness

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about periodicity–about the necessary fluctuation between stress and recovery that enables a trumpeter to get more embouchure strength.

What happens if you don’t practice enough? What happens if you’re periodicity emphasizes too much rest? Then you never adapt to a higher level of playing skills or physical stamina on the trumpet. High notes will be a problem. Learning new scales and repertoire will take a long time.

Josh Waitzkin, who reached the top not only of the chess world but also of the Tai Chi world, speaks to the necessity to push yourself. He writes, “Growth comes at the point of resistance,” in his book The Art of Learning. You must plunge into the mess that is music and the trumpet with a bit of anxiety over what is, to you, the unknown. It must not be only a rehearsal of things you already know. You must periodically challenge yourself to the core.

Do you know all of your major scales? Do you need to learn a new solo? Would you like to memorize a piece, but think you can’t do it? Do you want to transcribe a solo, but you are not crazy about the work you need to do?

In all of these cases, you should probably choose the path that expands your abilities. You should choose to stress yourself to help you grow as a trumpeter.


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