Monday, December 23, 2013

Year End Message 2013

Hello All! It has been awhile since I have posted anything. Perhaps many of you are traveling and preparing for holidays and time with family and friends. Surely a small break from the crunch of a tight schedule and due dates of various kinds is needed. 

For me, it as been a very busy Fall on all levels. I am grateful for my many friends and family members who are always so supportive of me in my life aims and pursuits. I would especially like to say that my wife Carol is not only supportive, but is with me in what we do together. And that is not to be other than who we are with the desire to never stop evolving. To always keep the Light lit and to help others as best as we can, to keep their own light lit and to be themselves. To be their true Self. She, is a brilliant Light.
I am thankful for my dear son Ben and his support. A wonderful person and musician who will surely make a difference in the world. My brother Neal and my sister Marcey, always there, there love always felt. They, I know, are making the world a better place too, without a doubt.

This video was made on December 22, 2013, in the afternoon. Perhaps it will have some usefulness to some of you. it is called Year End Message 2013.

Your Art is as close to you as you are close to your Self. The closer you are to your Self, the more you will be you and express what your true instrument needs to express. We are all instruments for something. It is wonderful to hear when someone is being 'played' by peace, inspiration, love, the urge to try, the quest for honor, joy, devotion and other such refined qualities. This is a choice. Our choices choose what will 'play' us. And that is part of the deal here. We have the choice. Let's all try to choose wisely.

I wish you all a very joyous, restful, peaceful, loving Holiday. Go where few have gone before, into the ocean of continuance and progression of the Spirit of Life. As a great,  great mentor of mine said to me, "Be the very thing that   lights up your life." 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

FBSMC5, Playing Through the Years, Session 5, Part 2

Here is part 2 of Session 5 about the college years. It is an involved topic on many levels. In this video, I discuss certain aspects of what I think is important in college. For example, the choice of studio instructor, what would be useful material, in general terms, to work on. Also,  how important it is, in my view, to eventually start doing some kind of music work outside of school such as freelancing, teaching, ushering and other networking. Speaking of college, it was exactly 40 years ago today, September 3, 1973, that I started going to New England Conservatory. It's living proof of how time truly does fly! Make hay while the sun shines, and keep making hay whatever the sun is doing! So without further delay, here is College, part 2.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

FBSMC5, Playing Through the Years, Session 5, College, Part 1

This video is about our college years. Freshman year is a time of new beginnings in many ways for people. Away from home, being a freshman again, new people, often times a new city, dorm life and new teachers. On top of this, it can be a time of starting over again on our instrument. It is a relook and deepening of the foundations of our playing, but this time from a more experienced place in ourselves. So here is a part 1 of college years.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FBSMC5, Playing Through the Years, Session 4, Middle School and High School

So let us continue looking at "Playing Through the Years" with focusing on Middle School and High School. In this 3 part series, we will see how things can start to change very rapidly during this time. With so many big physical changes alone there is much to discuss. The biggest factor is coming to the decision that one wants to pursue a career in music playing their instrument. I will talk about what I think is needed in practice time and what the requirements are for someone thinking about taking college auditions. There is so much to discuss in this area that I encourage people to email me or make comments that I can then respond to.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday, July 15, 2013

FBSMC5, "Playing Through the Years," Session 3, "The First Couple of Years"

The first couple of years can be a very important time as we collect our first impressions of learning music and our instrument. In this 3 part series, I have focused on some basic feelings and thoughts I have about the teacher's role in helping the student develop healthy attitudes about practicing and technique without a lot of pressure or an unhealthy stress. I cite many examples from my own life as well and encourage others to reflect and find the value and (hopefully) inspiration from those early years. Not everybody's first couple of years might have been joyful. Some students who were really pushed into music could have had a terrible first couple of years no matter how talented they were. Hopefully, if they are still at it, there is a relationship that was forged from their finding their own love and connection with the Art.

In Part 1, I talk about my own experiences and address various ways a person may have come to play trombone, either self-motivated or inspired by any number of reasons.  I also speak about how regular practice sessions can be introduced in an inspiring way, with the spirit of the music being integrated during this early playing time.

In Part 2, I get specific about when to introduce more discipline and certain exercises to the young student. I also stress the importance of the teacher's attitude when working with the student and how to introduce healthy habits without stress. A first look at the Overlay System is introduced at this time, as well.

In Part 3, I 
get even more specific about the needs of of the student at this stage of playing. I also encourage young players to listen to music of all kinds or, at least, kinds they like. The importance of "analogy" is stressed a great deal in this video and I give numerous examples of how to do it. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FBSMC5, Session 2, "Making a Start"

Session 2 of FBSMC5, "Making a Start," gets into the those very first moments of playing! I tell my own story about my first few notes and lessons to inspire all of you to time travel back and remember that moment or time of your playing life. Everyone has their own story to tell and the human story is such a powerful and personal way to connect to ones life or the life of others. Ask yourself, "how much is that initial spark still in me?" Perhaps it has grown into a marvelous bright star that radiates in many directions or a lamp that warms the soul. Both?  Maybe it needs to be rekindled. Here is Session 2: "Making a Start"

Friday, June 28, 2013

FBSMC5! In The Beginning....

Year five of the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection is here and so is video 1. In this first session called, "In the Beginning..." I will be giving an overview of what this summer will be about which is titled, "Playing Through the Years." I touch on some issues that come upon us at various times of our playing life and career and what will be the constant most important thing to be connected to. In the other videos, I will be more specific to each age grouping. So without further delay, here is session 1, "In The Beginning..."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The FBSMC 5! Starts June 28, 2013

Yes it is true! Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection 5 will start Friday June 28th. This year's videos and postings will be centered around the title, "Playing Through the Years." Since we all go through many years of playing, whether we become professionals or not, there are different changes on all levels, physical, mental and emotional and at the core of ourselves. How to handle these changes and to enjoy and be with that time of our lives will be addressed and gone into.

I will discuss the younger years of playing, from beginning through high school. Then college and after college. This will lead into all the years up to older age. There should be something in this FBSMC 5 series for all to enjoy, learn, get knew insights and to encourage our continued relationship with our love of music as it relates to our lives, those around us and our environment.

The first video will be titled, "In the Beginning.."

See you on Friday!

P.S. Take your love of music everywhere. Don't leave home without it! (Good advice for everyone, including the professional freelancer, professor and ensemble player).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer is coming...

It has certainly been a while since my last post! But, summer is almost here and soon it will be time for the Frequency Bone Summer Music Connection 5! That is right, year five. Time does move and it is true the older you get it moves quicker. Funny how that it is. The tempo of time seems to accelerate the older you get. I'm sure this is true for as long as your health stays in good condition, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. By spiritually, I don't mean any one religion or faith. If that is the case though and it keeps  a person to always be improving and has the higher human values of care, patience, tolerance, good deeds, honor and respect, to name a few, then wonderful! If it is not a particular faith but has those and/or similar qualities, wonderful! For the higher inner core life that a person is anchored to, is going to be the stability that will last regardless of other changes physically.

It is the same with our Art. There will be a time for all of us, some earlier, some later, but all of us, where the physical aspect of playing will start to diminish. But your inner music can always grow. That is the value of teaching and passing on your love and knowledge to others. Or by writing music, books, or conducting groups. Or by simply enjoying and connecting to the essence of the music by listening.

That is why it is vital to create and form a relationship with your Art that goes beyond your own playing or performing. I can use music, by the connections I have made, to heal myself in many ways on several levels. To uplift my mental or emotional state if they get cluttered. To express inner thoughts that perhaps music can convey better than words.

Listen to the birds, hear the wind and rain, listen to people talk, listen and feel all what the world of sound does to you and make your own 'cocktails' of sonic splendor, upliftment, refreshment and rejuvenation. It is there waiting for you. Are you not your own composition, a walking symphony of life sounds and experience? Change your tempo consciously at times and meet another side of your own self created music. A side you might have never heard before...

Oh! The FBSMC 5 will be starting around the second or third week of June. Keep tuned for updates!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


We were all 'given' a voice. We all have feelings, thoughts, wonderings, qualities, senses and so forth. Each person has similar but different experiences in life. We all have backgrounds, genetics, surroundings, friends, not such great friends, family, co-workers and the like. We have associations with all of these things whether consciously, semiconsciously or unconsciously. We are a package, a bundle of life. Some of it known and some of it unknown. Each one of us has options. Opportunities. Pathways to be discovered or revisited from another angle. A past, present and a future.

What if we were to exchange the word life with the word music? Your life, every second of it, is filled with rhythm, pitch and timbre. Sometimes in your life you have the lead voice and melody. Other times you have the harmony. Each one is vital to the music of life and the life of music. You are a unique being. No duplicate or replica. One and only. At the same time, we are all interrelated and connected by coming from same core point of origination. We are all various overtones of the One pedal point of existence.

YOU HAVE A VOICE. It can be heard and felt regardless of your technical level. Not everyone will become a marvelous masterful instrumentalist. Some marvelous masterful instrumentalists might not become instruments of essence or life depth. Some of course do and some who aren't will too.

To work on our craft is important. Avoidance of it encourages laziness and more not 'facing the music' of our weaknesses, hence more avoidance. By working on what's hard for us we find a new set of balances and develop in ways we never thought we could. But.... YOU HAVE A VOICE. That voice can be added onto, developed into undreamed of ways, or be lost in the quest to be something that we actually are not. This is the danger.

Your voice is not necessarily your tone. It is the Spirit of what is in your Self. Your unique acoustic and experience.  Embrace what you are and have and go where few have gone before...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


As I started my first day of the Spring semester yesterday, my mind was very focused on the human technology. What an incredible design and living mechanism! So intricate, fine, totally made for purpose and function.

Then there is the trombone. Without the human technology the trombone is obviously not capable of doing anything. This is obvious but is a very important value and attitude that lives in me strongly. Depending on what the person is connected to when they play, will determine the potency of their music making.

A student was playing a solo today and it was quite good. I then asked them what they were thinking about when they were playing. It was not specific enough to create a strong atmospheric presence or transference to me. The person was concerned about playing it 'right.' This concept was not a part of themselves in a real way. It was on the basis of thinking things like, "I'll put a little of this here and a little of that there." If one is not clear in the message, story, image or character they want to communicate, it will not happen. Or at best there will be fragments of it that appear and then disappear. Then when they tapped into something real for them it was better in every aspect of playing. We were also talking about rhythm not being a metronomic thing but a movement of the spirit of the music.

The human person is the instrument for the music. Music is energy which expresses itself through rhythm, pitch and timbre. What a person connects to, gives the vital fuel for the spirit of the music to emerge.

It was an interesting day working with people. For there is the music they want to work on, then there is the music of their lives in the foreground and the background.... you can't escape it. The music ideally, needs to be a part of it. The two musics, need to support each other, be in tune with each other. Otherwise there is an imbalance and lack of unified resonance.