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Microblog: #tacetbone initiative

I’m not practicing today. 😱

Now that I got your attention with the cardinal sin of trombone playing ;), I want to invite you along on a journey we’ll call #tacetbone

You may have noticed I went dark on practice videos since the start of 2021. The intentionality behind that has been to remove my voice from the seemingly endless pool of content we see on social media (and in our field) which compounds the culture of practice shaming.

While I am immensely grateful for all the wonderful feedback from you all, these videos - meant to help stimulate each other during a time where gigs, concerts, and general life has been upended - I realize, do not align with my mission.

If you ask any of my students about my thought on how much we should be practicing, you should hopefully hear this: “He would rather me practice an incredibly focussed, diligent, and productive 30 minutes a day than practice for 4 hours without that same intensive focus.”

While 30 minutes a day is the bare minimum and won’t truly get you to mastery, the idea behind it is this: that we must remain human beings first and foremost; that our lives do not exist to practice - our lives exist to live; that, without living, what are we able to bring into our art?

So, here’s the plan: I encourage you to schedule one day per week into your life where you leave the horn in the case and allow yourself to connect fully with nature, family, friends, and yourself. If that’s too much right now, try once every other week or once a month. My hope is that you will begin to see practice as something to look forward to, you’ll feel more refreshed both physically and mentally when you do practice, and that you will, most importantly, truly see yourself as a human who just so happens to play the trombone.

I’ll be posting in the future my findings about sticking to this plan, weekly, for 3 months. If you’re coming along for the journey or you’ll pop in every here and now, please tag #tacetbone to a picture of anything you’re up to that isn’t trombone related. And please feel free to DM me with any questions or things you’re noticing along the way.

Here’s to the adventure!

-Christopher

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