Brass Chicks

Five Things to Keep in Mind When You are Stressed and Busy

Here’s another repost from Brass Chicks –  a timely post for the end of the semester and busy holiday season.

Hi fellow brass chicks! We didn’t forget it is Friday and hope you didn’t either! It is such a busy time of year with the holidays, school, and gigs and we certainly know things can get a little crazy. Hopefully this post will help 🙂

1. Perspective. 

This one may seem obvious but it is always important to keep in mind that many of the stressful things that we are worrying about may often be “first world problems” that not everyone has the pleasure of experiencing. For example, after a busy day of teaching and  playing, I walked into a cafe and ordered a small salad. The woman behind the counter yawned and apologized and I said, “Oh don’t worry, I am tired too.” But then she asked if I get to sit down at my job, because she was tired after standing all day – and as a musician, most of the time we are sitting so I definitely didn’t have anything to say back.

2. Be Grateful

This is very similar to keeping your perspective in mind when in the face of “first world problems” but more related to simply appreciating everything that you have. Do you have food, a place to live, family, friends, and something you are passionate about? That is a lot more than some people and certainly something to be grateful for.

3. Appreciate where you are and what you have done

Especially in stressful times, it can be easy to lose track of your own personal accomplishments and truly appreciate and recognize everything that you have done. We are getting increasingly closer to the end of 2017 and I’m sure there are some amazing things that have happened that you can be proud of. Make a list and look at it whenever you need an extra boost! This is even more helpful for times when you feel like you are treading water and not moving forward in ways that you may like.

4. Look forward to something in the future.

Many of my students just finished midterms and are now preparing for finals. Some of them have holiday concerts. I personally have many gigs coming up – many of which all seem to be on top of each other and can make maintaining a healthy sleep schedule difficult. One of my mentors recently told me to keep this in mind recently and it is super helpful as a motivating goal to get through a long day or a long rehearsal. And it can be anything from getting to sleep in tomorrow (yeah!), having ice cream at home after the gig, or planning a vacation next year. Always treat yo self and give yourself something to look forward to!

5. Self Care

It seems like we talk about this a lot here on the Brass Chicks but it is super important! Beyond the usual eating well and taking care of your body and mind, when you have a free moment – evaluate your schedule. Do you really need to take on that extra opportunity? Do you really have time to do that other project? Is your time better spent getting a head start on your work or going out with friends? Sometimes the answer might not what you think but make sure to always pay attention to what your body and mind need!

Five Resources for Audition Season

Here’s another repost from Brass Chicks from my post on September 1st. We are approaching the beginning of the semester and the beginning of the freelancing season! I hope you have all had a great summer and are now gearing up for something exciting this year. Maybe that might include an audition! Here are five resources that might be helpful to you this year and beyond throughout your audition path – whether it is a school placement audition or your first orchestral audition.

 

1. Bulletproof MusicianI know this website has been mentioned before on Brass Chicks but Noa Kageyama does a great job at outlining many helpful tips related to performance anxiety, music, and mindset. This article includes tips for future auditions related to your preparation beforehand.

2. Audition Hacker – This is a great website that addresses many aspects of audition preparation – from practicing tips to concerns about what happens during the audition. Check out the articles here.

3. Crushing Classical Podcast featuring Denise Tryon – Denise Tryon (former Fourth Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra) is a master of the low horn and orchestra auditions. This interview describes her audition path and includes several helpful tips! Denise Tryon also runs an audition workshop to help students prepare with mock auditions, masterclasses, lectures and more. Check that out also!

4. Angela Beeching’s blog. Angela’s blog is so incredibly helpful on a wide range of topics including performing, speaking, marketing, and networking. Since the earlier points in this post are more about the physical aspects of playing and how/what to prepare, I knew a post on how to boost productivity would be super helpful to make sure we all stay on track in our preparation.

5. Find out what it’s like on the other side of the table — the panel! If you know someone in the organization, you might be able to find out an extra tip or two about what they could be looking for. Set up a mock audition with friends and alternate who is on the panel taking notes. You will learn SO much from being on the other side of it. Here’s a very interesting interview featuring Maxine Kwok-Adams – 1st violinist (I know, I know…this is Brass Chicks) in the London Symphony Orchestra. This interview with Maxine describes what it is like from her point of view on the panel – everything from what they may be looking for, common mistakes, and other tips.

Happy practicing and audition preparation 🙂 Got any other good audition tips? Reach out to us on our Facebook page and let us know. We would love to hear from you!

Five Tips for a Productive Practice Session

This is another repost from Brass Chicks from August 4th. I hope to write more helpful posts like these. Let me know if you like it!

 

Here are my five tips for a productive practice session! And the best part? These are all things you can do away from your instrument 🙂 I have done my fair share of traveling, touring, and various things where getting physical time on the instrument can be difficult. Maybe you are tired from a string of gigs or a summer festival but know you still have material you need to work on. Some of these things you can do instead of a practice session or can take place before and during a session. See what works for YOU! So here we go:

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Brass Chicks: Five Reasons Why I am happy to create and be a part of this community

Here is a post I originally wrote back on July 21st for my blog Brass Chicks. Brass Chicks is a blog celebrating the women’s brass community through interviews, news, and providing a space for fellow Brass Chicks to their their stories. We started a series called Five Things Friday for the blog so I am reposting some of my Five Things posts here.


 

I am so excited to create the Brass Chicks community and have the opportunity to showcase incredible stories and musicians. In addition to guest posts and interviews, there will be a variety of other posts – some themed and some not.

Announcing our new series called Five Things Friday!

This new series of posts will allow for many other guests to contribute and highlight their own individual perspectives. The list format is also a little different than our other posts so it may be easier to catch up with Brass Chicks related news on the go!

For this first Five Things Friday post – I wanted to share 5 reasons that I am happy to be involved in the Brass Chicks community and why this project is so important.

1. Awareness

I am currently on tour with an orchestra in Japan and on our flight the other trumpet player and I realized one of our flight attendants just started learning trumpet in Japan. We invited her to our concert and she said she would try to attend. Here is a picture we took together:

IMG_6128She told us that her teacher in Japan told her that due to her body structure and gender that lip slurs and other techniques would be very challenging for her. This was unbelievably shocking to hear for many reasons and we were quick to inform her that this wasn’t accurate information. She was surprised to learn that there are so many female brass players who are doing incredible things and hopefully this gave her a different perspective moving forward. This blog is for her and anyone else who may be in a situation where exposure to these powerful perspectives from women in the brass community can be extremely transformative.

2. Network

Even though I live in NYC (the center of the universe 😃) I realize that there are many other perspectives and stories worth sharing from all parts of the world. We can learn so much from everyone and I hope that Brass Chicks can be helpful in facilitating this process. So far Brass Chicks has been viewed in over 10 countries which is unbelievably exciting!

3. Inspiration

When I was younger, I didn’t realize how many inspiring women brass players were out in the world doing incredible things. I didn’t realize how many different ways there were to make a living as a musician. I hope that Brass Chicks can provide some inspiration to younger musicians – at a time when it can be most valuable.

4. News

There are a few other organizations that are great for brass related news – and our monthly theme is after all, the International Women’s Brass Conference, so we are very thankful for this organization and others. We hope that we can provide a space for updates and announcements in the women’s brass community – everything from upcoming CD releases to performances and more. If you have news to share – please reach out to us! We will post a monthly news update and we would love to feature your project.

5. Passion

I love bringing people together – especially those with like-minded interests. It is an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of Brass Chicks and create content to benefit the women’s brass community. I feel so lucky to interview some of my favorite people and feature them on our site. I hope that through Brass Chicks we can continue to positively impact the women’s brass community and create a more diverse and supportive musical environment.