To successfully pursue music in this century, we must be devoted to the practice room. We must be obsessed with the craft of reed making. We must be top scholars able to write, speak, and relate knowledge of historical, cultural and analytical relevance to our music. Balancing priorities can often be difficult.
As a professor, my priorities have shifted over the years, but I still assess and reassess them regularly. Keeping my responsibilities in order of importance keeps a smile on my face and enthusiasm in my bassooning. Those that have worked with me can verify: I’m pretty darned peppy when it comes to bassooning!
Here are my top 5 priorities. May it help YOU set yours!
1. Family. This may be shocking to many that I don’t list bassoon first. Believe it or not, I am diligent about spending time with those closest to me. Some days, it’s as little as dinner. Other times, it’s a vacation to far off lands. Time with family/friends is important.
2. Reed Making. What good is practicing if I am constantly fighting intonation, response, or timbre? I always have good reeds. The real question is, why don’t you?
3. Practicing. I have played my 1-hour warm-up for so many years now, that if I go longer than 2 days without it, I begin withdrawl symptoms. If I have time for nothing else, I do this. Is Oubradous fun? It is for me. Habits are not born, they are formed.
4. Miami Bassoon Studio. These students work hard to be apart of this AWESOME studio. They deserve my attention, my respect, and my energy.
5. Emails. Responding quickly to YOU is important to me. I take care to write personal responses to each individual; however, email can take over! During school days, I don’t turn on my computer until my warm-up is complete. If it takes me a few days to respond to your email, now you know why!
I hope seeing my priorities, helps with yours. Do not feel guilty about neglecting things, instead prioritize the most important, and celebrate those weeks when you are able to achieve a bit more!
As always: Happy practicing!