"I'm gonna fix it!" "I can't wait until I don't have to worry about this anymore." Sentences like these are not helpful in gaining process-oriented perspective. When we encounter an area of our playing that needs attention it's easy to get into an academic, product-oriented mindset. One that says, "I'm gonna work on this super hard, with everything I've got until I fix the issue and 'turn it in.'" This outlook ignores that learning is process oriented, and requires long-term commitment to working on our issues.
Rather, let's use words such as "progress" or "patience." In fact, I am lightheartedly reminding myself, "you can't fix it this week (or today)!? But it will get better!" (Knowing that I am daily addressing the issues that I have with imagination, patience, problem-solving, and process-orientation). This language is helpful, but perhaps one of the most helpful concepts is to develop a clear mental picture of the ideal sound of various passages (more posts on this soon), and send that through the horn in the moment. This doesn't not fix everything, but engages the core aspects of our playing. We must be okay with seeing a mental picture so amazing that our playing always falls short as a mere reflection. Let's live in the messiness of the process.
Time to Keep it simple,
Adam C White
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