This summer's theme is "Summer, A Great Opportunity for Improvement!!"
Week 1 is focusing on practicing. So the title of our first video is "Your Practice Sessions."
It Takes the Right Attitude To Get the Altitude!
If you think of yourself as the pilot of your improvement, you will quickly see that your attitude plays a key role in your height or altitude of progress. The A.R.T. of someone really serious about growth in any field needs the qualities of Application, Regularity and Targeting. If you want good retention, have immediate application on a regular basis. This will increase your awareness, and your ability to reapproach and fine tune your results.
One obstacle to steady progress is thinking it should happen in a straight line. For actual development to happen it really is necessary for things to go a bit up, down and sideways from time to time so we can get different insights and learn a variety of lessons. Another obstacle is not spending enough time with just a couple of things. Taking on too much can put us on overload making it difficult to process our information clearly and effectively.
Let's say you have forty minutes to practice. You might need five or more minutes to get yourself in a better more clearly focused state of mind and another five or so minutes of horn warm-up time. So now you could have 25 or minutes left for some excellent concentrated time to work on a passage that is giving you a challenge, or play through a couple of excerpts all the way like a mini audition round or work an any area of playing like articulation, slurs, range building, dynamic contrasts. etc.
Remember that you can strain your embouchure in these 25 minutes if you are not thoughtful. Twenty-five minutes of loud high range can really be harmful for some people. You might want to take that twenty-five minutes and play some low range then mid range and then go to some high range playing ending with some low range playing again.
In working on the three step assignment, do some breathing exercises first, followed by some simple mouthpiece glissing in a comfortable range for a minute or two then go to your exercise or piece of your choice. Blowing air on your palm to feel that air pressure is great. I always imagine a micro-cresendo while the air is being blown on my palm as well as thru the trombone. It is so easy to sag which means we are losing our mental focus and intention as well as air support weakening. To become conscious of our mental support, I practice the finger on the palm as shown in the video. Here it is important to practice a micro-increase of pressure for maybe thirty seconds or so to give yourself the discipline of slow but steady pressure and mental focus. Support means not dropping the ball! It can be done in a way that's not full of tension but is held in a stable and balanced way.
In order to get the altitude, we need a supportive and grounded attitude! You can have the greatest methods in the world, but with an unsupportive attitude it will not happen or take you much longer to achieve what you would like. Remember it is the balance between allowance and resistance. Have standards but give yourself the chance to achieve them!
I hope this writing gives some extra clarity to the video. If you have any questions put them on the comment page and I will answer them.