|Filipino food is delicious|
|Glad that Hummel wasn't alive to hear me butcher his Trumpet Concerto|
|"If I'm not at the bar, I'll be at the Mini-bar..."|
|Tom Harrell says he carries around "The Real Book in all 12 keys"|
That is not to say don't practice and learn all the skills. In some ways, the skills are the easy part, because they are more tangible then the "musical" part. Learning tunes: either you know it or you don't. Scales: same deal. Rhythm: set the metronome, wake up, and smell the coffee. This is your preparation. Practice as much as you can physically handle. It will be boring. But the more prepared you are, the more you will be able to concentrate on the FUN on playing MUSIC when you actually PLAY a concert. The more skills you have, the more fun you'll have.
However, it's extremely common for musicians to forget that. We start to become obsessed with the skills and trying to be perfect and getting uptight about our playing, and then it stops being fun. Music students have to stop and smell the musical roses. The bandstand is a great place to do this. When I was 22, 23 years old, I was lucky that I had so many gigging opportunities between Baltimore and Washington D.C. Also, I had no children, so I had a lot of free time. I was practicing a lot: 4-8 hours a day. But more importantly, I was playing 3 to 7 gigs a week. Everything I practiced could be applied to those gigs. My musical goals were to really focus hard on my weaknesses during the day, and then at night, just musically "go for it." Unfortunately, it's very rare these days for musicians in their 20's to be in a situation like that. Music school should be some kind of artificial yet useful recreation of that environment.