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Patience and Grace

"Musical Solutions to Technical Problems"

Phil Smith has said many times in his masterclasses, "musical solutions to technical problems." It has always resonated with me, but there is a creative balance between improving the physical aspect of playing the trumpet and seeking musical solutions exclusively. I by no means have this figured out, but I sense that I am one step closer to understand what this means for me. There are a lot of moving pieces.

The first aspect is awareness of a physical skill that needs to be improved, for me it was a combination of reading pedagogy books and some encouragement from my teacher about a specific issue of jaw and teeth alignment to tackle. I believe that I must work on this physical skill away from the instrument. Problems arise when I focus so much on it that I lose focus on the fundamentals of a full breath, steady flow, and a strong musical message. There must be practice where I put aside these technical issues, that I know that I am working hard on, and go after the musical idea that I want to convey . In fact, I am able to hear what it sounds like when my teeth are aligned. If I go after that "sound" within the context of a full breath and steady flow, we can begin to see what Phil Smith might mean by "musical solutions to technical problems." I also believe, there is an aspect of positive muscle memory combined with positive visualization that must take place here as well.

Time to Keep it Simple,

Adam C White

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