Dr. Carrillo's Trumpet Blog

This page is targeted at my trumpet students here at James Madison University and any other trumpet students or enthusiasts. I hope you find something helpful to your path here.

A Practice Thought for the Day...

Greetings JMU trumpeters and anyone else who might be interested.  As you head into the practice room today remember that every time you practice you are creating habits. If you are thinking about the habits of excellent musicianship, you will be creating and reinforcing the habits of excellent musicianship. If you are going on autopilot, you are still creating habits, but those habits may not be what you want.  


Practicing while not engaging your mind leads to stagnation and I would argue moving backward in your performing skills.  So what can you do to make sure your mind is engaged?

  • Have a plan for what you want to improve

  • Work on materials that support your plan of what you want to improve

  • Find a place to practice with as few distractions as possible (stay focused and calm your mind)

  • Practice in short increments

  • Adopt an approach of incremental improvement over time

  • Don’t let the desire for perfection to get in the way of progress

  • Practice slow (learning something slowly sticks, learning something quickly does not)

  • Have some fun with your practice and create some games for improvement


If you have questions, send me a message at carrilcj@jmu.edu.  


Happy practicing,

Dr. Chris Carrillo

Professor of Trumpet

James Madison University