Hey firsties! I'm so excited for you to start this new chapter of your lives! Here are a few tips that I wish I had done in music school, and I hope that, with these tips, you guys can get further than I did!
The start of music school really felt like I was transported to Hogwarts. So much to learn! So much to see! So much to do! So many thing... I never even heard about.
I very soon became self-conscious of that fact that I really didn't know much at all about music. I questioned whether I was worthy of being in music school. I questioned whether I was worthy of my professors' time. I questioned whether I was worthy to even play the flute.
It took me a really long time to realize that I had mixed my personal worth with my professional work. Save yourselves the headache and heartache. You ARE worthy! You are worthy of music school! You are worthy of your professors' time! You are worthy to play your instrument! Your worth actually has nothing to do with any of those things!
Just the fact that you are a living, breathing human being is enough to make you worthy. You are worth everything. You matter much more than any instrument in the world.
Sending you guys so much love. Enjoy the wild ride of music school! <3
This was a really difficult video to organize my thoughts well. I'd been wanting to talk about this subject for a while, as I have been finding myself constantly preparing students for auditions since the spring!
The hardest thing to hear from my students is, "I HAVE to win." But... do you? Back a few months ago, I stunned a student into silence when I responded with, "But what if you don't win? What happens to you? Nothing, right?"
Ever since then, I've been trying to figure out my own thoughts about auditions. I used to hate them because I felt like I couldn't control them. Now, I don't hate them anymore (granted, I still don't like them, haha!)... but for the exact same reason: I can't control the outcome. I've come to the conclusion that if I can't control it... then why bother trying to control it? It's been incredibly liberating since then, and I wanted to share that liberation with everyone. :)
This was a delightful surprise!! I'm absolutely certain that I'm not the first person to come up with this practice technique, but it was cool to stumble on a new (to me) way to practice technique! Who knew that my piano background would help me like this on the flute??
Practicing regularly really makes me a better teacher--I don't stay stagnant in how I see practicing and the flute, and I always have new things to share with my students! It keeps me humble and grounded. It's surprisingly difficult to carve out time to practice when you actually do this for a living (ironic, isn't it?), but I encourage all teachers out there to do so! It really helps enrich your professional work. :)
Hope you guys try this out, happy practicing!
Curiously, this topic was brought up a lot this week in various parts of my life. I had a few comments on my last video that talked about this, and a few of my students raised some questions about sustainability as a musician. I have thought through this topic for a long time and have created boundaries for myself that have helped me feel like I am working a sustainable career, so why not talk about it?
That being said, it was really difficult to figure out how to talk about this topic. It took until I chatted about the topic with my family, friends, and Patreon patrons to figure out a way to organize my thoughts in an understandable and cohesive way.
I'd love to make another video about my thoughts on my worth as a musician. I actually broached the topic a bit while shooting this video, but never made any conclusion about it, so it was ultimately cut from the video. That's a whole other can of worms for another Saturday video. :)
Let me know your thoughts! Would love to continue this discussion with you guys. :)
That bad tone day was ROUGH.
The hardest part about figuring out your tone on a bad tone day is getting over the feeling that EVERYTHING you're trying feels alien and weird and not at all what you're used to feeling on the flute. You try what feels right, and it doesn't work. You try an extreme of what's right... and it feels wrong, but sounds right.
It turned out to be a great experience though, because I had a light bulb moment about what could be happening with some of my students. I realized I had COMPLETELY forgotten about my teachers teaching me to drop and relax my jaw. It had become so normal that I took it for granted! I've already started to make the rounds with my students now concerning this issue, and I'm excited to see where this takes us.
The only bad part about bad tone days is the tone. More good came out of this than bad, and I'm good with that. :)