A Man with a Plan

Over the next four years I know that everything I have to prepare has to catered to the outside job world, and that world right now is pretty rough. It’s constantly changing though and that is where the challenge will be. I have to predict what I will need in four years when I graduate in order to be able to get a job. I will have mostly everything I need for horn, but jobs aren’t always open and orchestras are comparable to roller coasters. Thus the business degree double major, but would should I be focusing on with it? What is going to be the most needed skills for struggling groups like orchestras? I’ve already written multiple papers about the challenges being faced by modern orchestras and why they aren’t overcoming them, and so I am quite familiar with the topic. Now I just have to learn and figure out what can help them, and then be able to present that. As has been mentioned before, I’m just going to need to pickup as many skills as possible in four years. It’s a scary world out there, but that’s why we go to school.

The Right Man for the Job

Skills. What could be more important than having skills? More and more I hear professionals tell us that the more of them you have the better off you are. Do I have skills? Well I’d say I have a pretty good set seeing that they have gotten me to where I currently am, but I’ll always be needing more. I think my time in college has shown me so far that while my skills doing pretty well in horn, my academic skills need some polishing. I’m quick at adapting though, and I think that eventually there will be more important skills to focus on  other than academics or music. People skills are in high demand these days, and so I will definitely be taking advantage of the fact that there are about 10,000 people I don’t know here on campus. I’m sure that after 4 years of schooling here, I will have all the skills I need to do well.

My Motivation

I’ve never really had shortness of motivation. I mean after all, when you love music, it becomes the motivation in and of itself. I’ll be sitting, and a recording of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra or the Berlin Philharmonic will come on, and then all I can think about is how I want to be that good someday. This has been the driving force behind my studies in music. This is the case for most of musicians in some way. We all want to be like those legendary figures in orchestras around the world that sound absolutely amazing. I guess the pitfall comes along when people realize that none of us have good chances at achieving that dream, and so some people then lose their motivation and pursue other careers. But is it not worth doing what you love even though you may not get your dream job? I think so. So that’s what has gotten me here today at the Meadows school of music. Doing what I love.

The “Inner Stuff” that Got Me Here

In my first blog I wrote about how it was really my childhood that shaped and funneled me into wanting a career in music, but it was really the values that I learned in that time that got me where I am. I can’t really say that I’m a very religious person. Mostly because my parents had been at one time, but I guess through the course of their lives it had fallen away. However their prior experiences with it is probably where my values came from anyway. I took on the work ethic and social skills of my father, and then the compassion of my mother. It’s not like I just naturally “absorbed” these traits from them though, they’re things that everyone practiced at one time or another to develop them.

Where does that happen? Well school of course. It all starts with doing your homework before you watch T.V. and cleaning your room. Then you tell yourself everyday to practice at least thirty minutes. I could say that when I practice that I practice for four hours, but what does that matter if that’s once a week? What if I was only focusing for thirty minutes of that? Without the same values that made me clean my room and do my homework I would be nowhere with horn. I strongly believe that what people become and are like has to do almost solely on his or hers childhood. That doesn’t mean however that people can’t change course and break out of a mold, but it won’t be easy. I sometimes look at what people do, and then I ask myself why did they do that or how? It can usually be found back in the days of childhood.

I strive to constantly improve my work habits and to be an all around better person. I like to say sometimes that I get along well with everyone, even people that strongly dislike each other. I work hard to be open to people. It would be a shame if I missed an opportunity because I just didn’t get along with someone very well.

The good, the bad, the habits we form.

What is the importance of good work habits, an often undervalued subject? It’s debatably more important than natural talent can ever be. For me it started with just a daily fifteen minutes of piano a day. Five minutes on scales, and 10 minutes on whatever small ditty my piano teacher was having me work on at the time. It’s amazing how far doing that everyday can take you, but eventually you become more advanced and so does what you’re doing. I played piano for several years before ever even picking a horn up. By the time I did, I had already learned how to be proficient at practicing on one instrument, and it was just a simple task of transferring those learned habits to another instrument. Really though, those skills could be used for anything.

Testing testing 1,2,3…

Oh my, my own blog and website… This seems so fancy. I already spend too much time on the internet. I’d normally think of myself as technologically adept, but this is pretty overwhelming. Where to even begin. Well this blog is dedicated to me and my horn playing so I guess the first thing to address is, what in the world possessed me to play such a strange and exotic looking instrument? Well I was brainwashed I tell you.

I grew up in a house hold with a father that is quite the fan of classical music. As a child I spent my time playing, and running around all to the sound of pieces such as Mars from The Planets by Gustav Holst, Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss, Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich, Symphony No. 4 by Tchaikovsky, and more. These are the kind of pieces and composers that horn players dream about in their sleep. My father played horn in his highschool days, and it remained a love of his as shown by his choice of music. As a little kid though, I probably couldn’t have been able to distinguish a horn from a piccolo, but my father would always sit me down and point it out. He would tell me how the hero of the story was represented by the horn, or how the rocking melody being played by the horn section to him sounded like a ship out at sea climbing wave after wave.

When you grow up in such a fashion it’s inevitable that somewhere in the back of your mind you learn to love horn also. So fast forward 7 years or so to the 6th grade, and what’s the obvious instrument to pick? Well horn of course, and no band director is ever going to argue with that. I loved it from the beggining. Somewhere in the course of 4 years of highschool I decided that horn was a part of who I am, and not having it in my life would lead to unhappiness. So I now find myself at Southern Methodist University working towards a major in horn performance and making sure horn playing sticks with me. The next four years should be quite the adventure.