LISTEN ON –
This week on the podcast, we have a great episode with Ashley Hall, professor of trumpet and manager of career coaching at the Longy School of Music. Most of you know I’ve recently started taking on clients as a coach to help develop more practice independence, so I was really excited to get to speak with Ashley, a trumpet player who runs a coaching program at an actual university.
She has a lot of wisdom about the trumpet, personal development, and work/life balance to share. Here are a few takeaways:
Music Competitions Are Both Good And Bad
Ashley spoke early in the interview about how much of her early trumpet/cornet life was defined by music competitions. She received praise and positive reinforcement for her abilities. The problem with this is that as with many others, this way of life became her identity. She began to feel as if her personal worth was dictated by how well she did at a trumpet competition. She notes that it took a long time to separate from that identity.
Competitions are inherently subjective, but we often use the results to make objective judgements. Receiving first place means you’re the best, and you feel like you’re the best. Getting last place means you failed, and you’re a failure. It’s hard to break away from that feeling when you believe that winning the competition is the whole point of doing one in the first place.
In our conversation, I asked Ashley if she felt competitions could ever be a good thing. She quickly responded by saying they can really help push people to fully invest in the process of improving. The competition itself isn’t the problem, it’s the value we assign to the outcome. If you’ve found yourself struggling with this kind of thing in competition, try shifting your focus from worrying about whether or not you’ll win to focusing on whether or not you’ll improve through committing the to process.
The Answers Are Already Inside Of You
One of Ashley’s favorite parts about working with her clients/students is helping them begin the process of realizing that they have many more answers inside of them than they realize. Instead of telling people what to do, her approach to coaching is much more about guiding people to asking questions that will help people see themselves in a new light.
One effective method of achieving this goal is simply to visualize. If you’re someone who wants an orchestral job, try to imagine what it would be like to have that job. What kind of daily routine would you have? How much would you practice? What else would occupy your time? How much of that lifestyle could you begin living right now? This process can really help people to make positive change in their lives that is directly related to the future they hope to realize.
I hope you enjoyed this episode with Ashley Hall! If you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating and a review on iTunes, I’d really appreciate it. Don’t forget to share with others so they can enjoy the episode as well. Thanks so much for listening! Stay strong, be kind to yourself, and never stop growing!
Until next time,