As I warm-up this morning I am reminding myself of something I regularly discuss with the students with whom I collaborate, “Being a good musician is simply a matter of having more habits of good musicianship. The more good habits you have, the better you will be. The more bad habits you have, the worse you will be.”
The habit I’m thinking about this morning is the idea of having excitement in the sound. As I play through my scales, Cichowicz flow studies, and Stamp studies, I’m thinking about creating excitement in not only the sound, but also in the phrase. Each phrase must have direction and the sound must spin accordingly. Habits are reinforced every time we make music through our instruments….every time! This is why autopilot is the reinforcer of stagnant development. If you’re not thinking about what you’re trying to do with a phrase, something bad is being reinforced. Create good habits of musicianship now! Right now!! This very minute!!!
As we all warm-up today, let’s concentrate on creating excitement in not only our sounds, but also in our phrasing. How interesting can you make your flow studies and morning exercises? Are they a routine? What is a routine anyway? What are exercises? Why are we doing them? Why are we warming up the way we warm up? Record yourself. Perform, listen, analyze, adjust: repeat: perform, listen, analyze, adjust, repeat.... Constantly ask yourself these questions and consider your objectives.