As I warm-up this morning I am reminding myself of something I regularly tell my students, Being a good musician is 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, Concone, Cichowicz flow, Plog, 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 created and reinforced every time we play 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 and making good habits, you're most likely either staying stagnant or worse, creating bad habits. 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 routine? What is a routine anyway? What are exercises? Why are we doing them? Why are we warming up the way we warm up? Constantly ask yourself these questions and consider your objectives.
Compel the audience to listen to you. Performing with a compelling, exciting musicianship is a habit we can all stand to create.