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Editor's Notes

A Hip New Year’s Resolution

Meet Editor Jake Kot –

I can’t remember the last time I looked seriously at making a New Year’s Resolution, although I always more or less have “thoughts” that seem to crop up with the turn of the calendar (a lot of that revolving around how hip my New Year’s gig was…or…did the pay go down yet again).

I read a simple quote that actually got me thinking in terms of a resolution, actually more in terms of using January 1st as a starting point to pursue this quote that included a “time” quotient. Einstein made the statement that if someone studied 15 minutes a day, religiously, for one year, at the end of that year they would be an “expert” at whatever they were studying. Now, admittingly, if my next store neighbor would have presented me with that same premise as “his” particular insight, I don’t know that I’d be jumping on its validity and planning out my strategy. But this is Einstein, so I’m instinctively inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. So I propose this exercise in musicality to you all (including myself) as serious food for thought to pursue.

Acknowledging the randomness of players having a habitual/regimented practice schedule, I propose this procedure to follow banking on Einstein’s theory as an axiom. Choose what you would consider to be the four weakest points in your overall musicianship. The door is open here. It could be something as simple as sight-reading, or on the contrary something as esoterical as one’s inability to be creative on call. Think this one through. There are tons of possibilities, and they’re all personal. Once you’ve successfully honed in those weakest anomalies, commit 15 minutes a day to each of them…that just one hour, I repeat, “one” hour of your day for the next year.

Question: Where would you be at one year from now if you became an “expert” at your four self-admitted weakest points, and how would that affect your confidence as a player, much less your career?

Answer: Are you kidding…what dedicated player wouldn’t revel in that level of accomplishment?

Finding the best path for our time spent on our instrument is always a challenging prospect…always. But in this player’s humble opinion, this is a no-brainer. Said another way…what do you have to lose beyond just “one” hour of your time a day?

All the best to you in 2011,
Jake Kot

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