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Educator | Performer | Clinician | Composer

Learning – Editing – Mastering.


I have been reading a book called  “START”  ……  punch fear in the face.”    There is a specific part of the book called “The land of learning” that  I truly enjoy.

The chapter deals with entitlement, misconceptions, and skipping ahead to what is called ” Mastery”  

QUESTION:  Would a newly graduated high school student approach a PHD professor in Dentistry and say “I know how to work on teeth better than you!”

YUP!  I have seen it in my field DAILY- and it hurts more than PULLING TEETH!



Our society teaches students that they can get anything that they want quickly.  IF they do not hear that in school than they are sure to hear it via the web on facebook, youtube, etc.


So what is the problem?

People skip right to what they think is “mastery” in so many things. I meet people all the time that “deserve” a manager position with no experience or a Job in a field that they have never worked in before. But lets talk about it from a musicians standpoint.   What every happened to 1) Learning  2) Editing  3) Mastering ?????     I meet so many students that are told that after college they are entitled to a 50-60K job a year doing what ever it is they want?  Really?  That is not reality at all!  Or the student that thinks they should be on the gig but never take time to practice!    We have all heard the term “you cannot just flip the switch” right? One of the most eye opening experiences is going on an audition for a spot in the President’s Own band and seeing 4,000 people applying for that ONE SPOT!  Uh ….. yeah.  Ya wish you practiced more  for sure because you are surrounded by thousands of people WHO DID!

So what to do !

Well the first thing I find myself doing is getting real with myself and finding a way to be grateful for the things I can do.  Second, I try to remain humble at ALL TIMES.  I run into students today that have NO problem telling veteran instructors or elders what to do while they list several excuses as to why they cannot do whatever it is you ask of them.  POINT BEING – Everyone needs to be humbled.  If not, they just continue through this world of “reality television” based logic that IS NOT REALITY!   I needed to be humbled and continue to be humbled every week of my life.



That’s right!  Listen Listen Listen.  STOP TALKING about what you think is correct and why you can’t do it (I use to blame others for all of my excuses too) and START LISTENING TO GOOD ADVICE.   More over, listen to your elders and people who have more experience than you.  Just face it !  We all need to listen more! WISDOM TRUMPS IGNORANCE —ALWAYS!


Rough Waters Create Skillful Sailors

So here it is …… you are in the middle of a hurricane and you MUST get into a boat.  You have 2 choices.

  • Choice #1 you can climb into a canoe with a guy that has NEVER been in a hurricane and has no experience.
  • Choice #2 you can get into a boat with a navy seal that has an amazing boat and has survived 7 hurricanes.

WHICH boat are you climbing into?    EASY Decision right?  The point is this——–>  ROUGH WATERS CREATE SKILLFUL SAILORS.  

So we all need to be able to identify people who give good advice when listening to speakers, watching you tube videos (LOTS OF GARBAGE THERE)  but also an amazing resource if you know how to filter through the garbage!

Most importantly, we have to be willing to break free from the imaginary safety net called “social media” and other web-based resources provide and sit down with a friend FACE TO FACE and listen.  Or take a lesson from a teacher that will listen to you! These humanistic experience are priceless and will never be replaced with anything digital or social media.

The way I see it getting better.

  • Face book is great but we must admit that in most cases it is faceless and has caused ADDICTION to all ages !
  • Make time to be alone with your craft.  This is for musicians or for basket weavers!
  • Get in a group of people who meet together LIVE and share experiences with one another that will make you stronger.
  • MOST importantly—-  DO NOT skip to MASTERING.  Learn-Edit (REPEAT) until you feel that you can call yourself a “master.”

Rough waters do create skillful sailors!

Take anything in your life that gives you a challenge or puts you in a place where you need to overcome and USE IT to become stronger!   If not – we are choosing to take a risk to climb into a canoe with a guy that offers us NOTHING but lack of purpose and in some cases death.





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