Thanks so much for reading these posts and following my website.  Crazy videos aside, I took to social media after making the album so that there was a face (of sorts!) to the sound.  I've found the blog to be a helpful tool in keeping my mind sharp and my thoughts organized.  In some cases, these posts serve to keep me accountable in the things I'm working on and the goals I'm striving towards.  Here are my big three resolutions as a musician for this year.

1. Create

For many years now, I've been obsessed with improving my accuracy.  As much as I practice, I am never fully able to have a performance that was 100% the way I felt it should be, and much of that is due to the minor chips and misses in my playing.  When I started playing, I was self-taught, so I spent most of my time trying to get a great sound and playing the most beautiful music possible.  Over the years, I've gotten more and more technical in my thinking, which has led to definite improvement but has led to a way of performing in which I'm reciting the steps it takes to sound good.  The album was a good start, but this year I want everything I play to be a performance in and of itself.  I want to spend the minutes I have on my instrument making music.  This also applies to the opportunities that I wish I was getting.  If I find myself wishing I was playing more classical music, I need to create my avenues by letting people know I'm available and setting up my own endeavors, like recitals.  

2. Practice two hours a day, outside of fundamental work

I have felt for many years that I have a very hard time attaining the mental peace and time I need to really get somewhere in my practicing life.  A lot of this has been due to the apartments we've lived in, but we're finally in a place where I don't feel like my sound is being soaked up by the furniture around me.  Now of course we have a ton of tiny people around, so there's are two new adorable cogs in the mix!  Similar to the way we're forced to block out time when I leave to play a show, I owe it to myself to block out two hours a day for personal practice.  Many days I play a warm-up, scales, and a routine, and that's it.  It's maintenance work, and for something that means so much to me, I deserve that time to truly make strides on my instrument and put me on the track to finding the success I want in performances.

3. Get the help I need

I find that many freelancers have a hard time reaching out to their colleagues for help, or even getting medical care that they know they need.  While financial strains certainly play a part in this way of thinking, sometimes I find myself looking for reasons to tell myself that solutions are not possible.  I recently joined Weight Watchers, and it's helped me feel better and take control of my post-baby belly, after many months of telling myself it was too expensive and I could do it without any help.  I am resolving to remove the obstacles I set for myself on the horn, and that immediately translates to a big decision that I've been putting off for some time: it's time to buy a new horn.

I've had many great performances on this horn, and I've put many dollars into upkeep and repair, but there are just too many little things happening that are resulting in mistakes on the job.  We replaced our car last year for the same reason: it had hit the ten-year mark, and our awesome mechanic told us that the car had hit the tipping point where little repairs would creep up on us on a more regular basis.  This horn has seen many different countries and has been through some rough bumps too, but I love it and I will definitely keep it.  In shopping for a new car, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that a base model car comes with some amazing technology in 2017 that just wasn't around in 2007.  I'm excited to experience the advances that have happened in triples in the ten years that I've been working with the Schmid!

So here's to you fellow traveler: if you choose to make resolutions this year, I hope they lead to you feeling better off than before.  Maybe a better resolution for me to make would be this: do what you need to do for you everyday, not JUST on New Year's Day.  And maybe eat more veggies, too. ;)