As I spend time relearning things that have gotten out of practice, I am having to write articles here so I can have quick access to them.  

Transposition on the trumpet is one of the most important skills that an orchestra musician can have in their tool belt.  It is an absolute must.  Orchestral music was written with the instruments of the time and area.  With the advent of the piston trumpet/cornet, there is very little use of older style instruments.  At times conductors will ask for them simply for the timber that they produce to help make an authentic artistic representation of the piece.  Keep in mind, my music history knowledge is very limited and is essentially limited to the Norton Anthology.

Here is some important information that you need to know when you get a piece of music and are not sure what you need to do.  I do not speak multiple languages, but I can make out most tempo markings and instrumentation on a score.

Language Instrument Keys Other
English Trumpet C,D,Eb,E,F,G,Ab,A,Bb,B major, minor, flat, sharp
Italian Tromba DO,RE,MIb,MI,FA,SOL,LAb,LA,Sib,Si maggiore, minore, bemolle, diesis
Frensh Trompette UT,RE,MIb,MI,FA,SOL,LAb,LA,Sib,SI majeur, mineur, bemol, diese
German Trompete C,D,Es,E,F,G,As,A,B,H dur, moll, is, es

I have attached a PDF from Wikipedia with a full list of these, but these are the most common ones that I have come across.

I am getting really tired of Clarke Studies.  Regardless of my long hiatus, I have been on Clarke #2 and #3 and parts of #4 for a long time.  They are starting to get really old, but at the same time, I know that these are essential studies of all trumpet players along with long tones.

This is the first time that I have had the equipment to record myself and really be able to listen back to the recording.  I started my break back when CDs were out but CD recorders were really expensive. Now I am able to record myself and listen back and analyze what I hear.

Link to today's recordings

Today I took to the horn to spend some time recording long tones.  I have never been the type of musician who played a single tone for as long as possible.  I do on the other hand like playing long tones in Allen Vizzuti Trumpet Method Book 1.  There are a variety of long tones all based on chords.  It helps to hear these chords.  I also buzz these chords using my BERP while fingering.  I will play these tones on both Bb and C trumpets in order to help distinguish between the transposition while always keeping in mind the concert pitch.

Recordings

  1. Long Tones #1
  2. Long Tones #2
  3. Arbans - The Art of Phrasing: Loving I Think Of Thee
  4. Arbans - The Art of Phrasing: Robin Adair

Today I decided to spend some time working on my attacks of middle G in the staff and middle C.  This is a very difficult skill.  This along with lip flexibility.  The problem that I am running into is that I took so long off from playing that my skills have severely diminished.  While I still have some skills, I have a serious lack of endurance.  I am so impatient with my practice as I want to have the skill right now but I know that it all comes with time.

Here are two recordings of my most recent practice on attacks both buzzing and playing.

Playing

Buzzing

Any constructive feedback would be appreciated.  Telling me that it sounds horrible is something I already know.  Each day is a step in the right direction.

So it has been 10 years since I took a break from any type of playing music at all.  In 2008/2009 my family transitioned into moving to a new area in the state.  A brave move that we did to move to an area where we didn't know any people and our family was 3 hours away.  

I remember the transition well.  Every single weekend, we loaded up the kids and headed back to our hometown to be with family and friends.  We did this every weekend for 3-4 months.  Many people thought we were crazy, but we didn't think so.  We needed a social aspect in our lives and we were not getting it where we lived.  It was hard to connect in a small town.  We were the outsiders.  After that transition time then we only went home once every couple of weeks, then once a month.  Eventually, it became only for Thanksgiving and Christmas and if we had the energy and the fish were not biting, then over spring break as well.

During this new and adventurous move of ours, I put down my trumpets and focused more on work and building a career.  I did manage to play once during our time in that tiny little town on the north Oregon Coast, but that was all.  I didn't have the passion to pick them up and practice any longer.

Days past, weeks past, months past.  After 7 wonderful years, we were moved in a new direction across the state to Eastern Oregon.  Far different culture and climate than that of the Oregon Coast.  My principal just said to me about a month ago, "How brave you and your family must have been to move all the way over here and not know anyone or have any family."  That is true.  It did take some guts.  We were right back where we were when we moved to the coast in 2009, isolation.  Social isolation.  Luckily this time we did not have the luxury to head home each weekend.  Mostly because our home was not back in the Willamette Valley, it was on the Oregon Coast which was 7 hours away.  Not an easy drive just for a weekend.

This caused us to do something that we had never had to do, force ourselves out to meet people and form roots.  This happened quite quickly for us and before you knew it we had many gatherings over to our home and have great friends here, friendships that will stand the test of time.

The purpose of this post is not to outline how these moves have allowed us to grow, but to point out that in school leadership you must take a very important look at self-care.  Being forced to get out and meet people to help form roots was not for a lack of boredom, it was for our self-care.  Just like music was for me in the past.  I was never going to be a well known professional musician playing in large orchestras.  Even though it was something that I would have loved to do, it just was not what I was put here on this Earth for.  

After really taking an interest in self-care to help reduce the stress that my job brings on, I figured out that there are just a few things that I have that are so important to me for this self-care.

First is my family.  They are everything to me.  I cannot ever get enough time with them.  I miss the ones that are still on the other side of the state but we do get to see them quite often.

Second is archery.  You ever see a stressed out person shooting a bow?  Of course not.  It is so relaxing being outside and among nature.  Whether it is competition archery or bow hunting, both are relaxing. (Archery Articles)

The third is playing the trumpet. This just recently came back to me. My son has decided to play the trumpet and with that, we have been exploring this together. When we first sat down together it hit me like a ton of bricks "Man I really miss this!"  I missed practicing etudes, technical skills, scales, all the boring stuff that students hate to play, I missed it.  Now I am doing it again, and daily I might add.

Finally is riding my road bike. I have gone through seasons of my life where I could not hit the pavement enough. While this is not the case any longer I still do try to get some rides in from time to time.

I encourage you to find what helps with your self-care in your leadership position.  We all need time to recharge and rejuvinate our souls to help the ones we serve.