LISTEN ON –
On this episode of the podcast, we have a great episode with Tom Siders, the associate principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Tom is a wonderful musician, but this episode really highlights how approachable and down to earth he is.
We cover some really important topics that all musicians (and people) can benefit from. Here are a few takeaways:
Tom talks toward the beginning of the interview about helpful the mindfulness is to him. Making a conscious choice to be as present as possible in every moment you’re on stage. Letting the missed notes be in the past and worrying about difficult passages in the future when you get there.
For the runners out there, Tom uses the Nike running club app to do guided mediation runs. This practice enables him to have the opportunity to show up and practice of staying in your body and releasing your thinking mind. The thoughts that enter your mind are simply about what you are doing in that moment. It might be worth trying out if you haven’t!
Part of the conversation Tom and I had dealt with the topic of identity and perfectionism as a musician. This is so important to talk about. So many of us are trying to be perfect musicians and people so we can be worthy of other people. This can happen when we put too much of ourselves (identity) into our instruments. I’ve spoken and written about this quite a bit, but it’s simply not true. Playing an instrument is one thing that we do. Our worth is determined by who we are. Tom says it well:
“All of those thoughts that cause extreme anxiety, those thoughts of “IF I AM NOT PERFECT I WILL GET FIRED”… you can’t live like that for very long. And I couldn’t live like that for very long. And I had to extricate my feelings of self worth from the trumpet. That was not an easy process. I didn’t always deal with that in a healthy way.”
On Stage Thrill Seeking
I thought this part of the interview was fantastic. Tom gave a very interesting perspective on how he mentally frames the performances he is a part of. Instead of worrying too much about trying to keep things exactly the same from performance to performance, Tom aims to embrace the fact that it will be different. He talks about shifting his mindset to “being an on stage thrill seeker” and trying to pump himself up to celebrate the differences between performances as what makes them unique.
You can find Tom Siders here:
You can find me here –
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Until next time,