Setting an environment where learning comes easily
Be in a place where:
– Check your ego at the door
– Don’t have to hide your insecurities or flaws
– Come together and see where you are at and see what’s up
Trumpeters With Real Gigs recently had a live interview with Adam Rapa. If you haven’t checked it out, the link is below. There was an amazing point that I took away from this live interview, setting an environment where learning comes easily.
Adam discusses the importance of being in the right, supportive environment that supports a positive growth. If you don’t want to listen to the entire interview, skip to the 45 minute mark and listen to this important point.
To me, this is interesting especially as someone that has entered the trumpet career world relatively late in life. In the past 2 and a bit years of focusing on trumpet playing and elevating my trumpet skills I have found the single most important element in my efforts of becoming a better player is being surrounded with positive people that have, as Adam says, a mindset of sharing information.
Here are a few ways that I have been able to surround myself with a positive network of people that have helped me, directly or indirectly, in my quest of elevating my trumpet playing:
- The Trumpet 4some Hang: There are a few trumpet players in Toronto that have been getting together to play arrangements of jazz standards written for 4 trumpets. Most of the writing was done by a local trumpet player who spent many years as a professional. He would write these arrangements and we would get 4 trumpet players together to play through them.
- Stay in touch with your teachers: When I decided to quit my day job in November of 2015, I put out a facebook posting to announce to the world my somewhat crazy plan of saying goodbye to a steady pay cheque and enter the world of freelance musician. Not two weeks after this announcement I got a call from one of my former college trumpet teachers. This player is one of the top guys on the Canadian scene. The words of the conversation still stick in my mind: “Klaus, don’t be ashamed of having a day job and playing trumpet on the side”. I first didn’t know what to make of this, but I knew that this trumpet teacher knew my playing and first I thought maybe he was trying to tell me that I just don’t got what it takes. It was a nice gesture and I took it as a motivation tool to practice and get better. 6 months later I texted this trumpet teacher and sent him some soundclips. What followed is a long lasting relationship of sending back and forth different practice ideas, clips from gigs, and general banter about the life as a freelance musician all over text messaging. I had also made it a point to take lessons from other former trumpet teachers since I figured that they would remember where my playing was at 10 to 14 years ago and could offer some advice. I found that all of them had the mindset that Adam talks about in his interview
- Facebook Groups: There has been a recent increase in the number of Facebook groups that trumpet players can be part of. Trumpeters With Real Gigs is a great example of a fantastic group. While I have only been here as a silent observer, the team of this group is super active in providing a tremendous amount of information on numerous topics for trumpet players in general, but specifically I am impressed with their information for freelance trumpet players such as myself. Another trumpet group I have grown to enjoy is Trumpet Hang. Trumpeter Jordan Hoffman started this closed group with an amazing attention to making sure the environment is positive and again, just like Adam describes. In this group I have been an active member and posted a lot of thoughts and videos for people to comment on. As a third group I have found Larry Meregillano’s Trumpet Students Worldwide to be a good group. The different here is that Larry is making an effort to recruit some top players that are actively posting and commenting on videos posted by students of the trumpet, no matter what level they are at.
- Local established trumpeters: For myself I found it important to reach out to local trumpet players who’s playing I respected. This again has been surprisingly positive. When I first started to treat trumpet playing as a means to put bread on my family table, I thought that due to the decline in the music industry being a trumpet player was like being in a shark tank. There are a lot of sharks and only so much meat to go around. I assumed that people were territorial about their gigs and approaches to the industry. Still, I made it a point to reach out and let people know that I am here and what I’m doing. The response was surprising to me. The vast majority of local trumpet players I reached out to were amazingly supportive and were open minded to share their thoughts not only about playing trumpet, but also about being in the music industry. A great example of this is Trumpeters With Real Gigs own Troy Dowding. Troy has been nothing but an open minded individual who has a tremendous amount of knowledge and willingness to share.
I have come to accept who I am as a player today and know that if I work hard in the correct mental and physical way, I will improve my playing. Thank you Trumpeters With Real Gigs for this fantastic interview with Adam.
- Some other interesting points from the interview:
Methods used by Adam as a younger player: Leon Merian “Trumpet Isometrics”
- “The dam that regulates the flow of air into the horn….is with the shape of my tongue”
Written by Klaus Anselm who is a freelance trumpet player from the Toronto Area in Canada. www.klausanselm.com or Klaus Anselm – Trumpet