Thinking positively

I just came back from a lesson with my teacher, Kenneth Grant. I think it was the shortest lesson I’ve had all year! We went through the excerpts for the audition much faster than I was anticipating…I hope that is a good thing that he didn’t have much to say. I’m glad I’m home earlier than I thought…I can take a little breather since I’ve been going pretty much nonstop since monday morning. Also I have time to blog a little bit! Overall, I think I’m playing pretty well. I’ve been really drilling myself the last week or so…I’ve been trying to play 100% all the time, which is hard to do.

For Christmas, I got this book called The Musician’s Way by Gerald Klickstien ( Although I am far from finishing the book, it has helped me adjust my attitude towards my own playing, which I really needed. I’ve realized for the past year or so I’ve been so hung up on auditions and what other people think of my playing, I forgot to notice what I think of my playing! I’m pretty sure it had caused me to play too stiffly under pressure, or caused me to simply fall apart (like a few of my audition experiences….West Virginia….Glens Falls…RPO…to name a few). I have a bad habit of focusing on what the judges want, usually with the thought, “omg what if I can’t play this, what are they going to think?” I need to focus on what I want. I don’t necessarily want the job, I want to play at my utmost best so that the result is winning the job! After some reflection, I’ve noticed that this is the biggest difference between my good and bad experiences. I need to focus on musical goals, not nonmusical goals like jobs and such.
I have discovered that I need to focus being a musician rather than just a clarinet player. I have discovered in doing this that I’m much more capable of true music making than I thought I was!! I’ve been letting myself go while playing, which is much more satisfying than I thought it would be.
Since I have a very limited amount of time that I can set aside for practice, I’ve also been practicing more attentively, and with an emphasis on music making but also perfection in the music making (if that is possible). I have to remember that my technique is already pretty good, but musicianship is harder to achieve, so more attention should be put to into it. I think I may have gone a little to far with that concept though, I was rushing all over the place in my lesson tonight! But that is an easy fix, some hard core metronome work in the next few days and I’m set.
So although everyone in clarinet world (or at least it seems) is going to be at this audition, I’m trying to not let it bother me too much. In other words, I’m trying not to let myself get intimidated by the sheer number of people planning to be at the audition. I have to keep telling myself that I really am a better clarinet player/musician than most of the players that will be there, and stay confident.
There. Thinking positively!!

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