I’ve had a rough week, but I learned something I think everyone needs to hear
On Tuesday I had a lesson with our brass tech right before rehearsal. He came into it super pissed. I had just gotten a new mouthpiece (that he made me get) two days earlier and hadn’t gotten to use it much yet. The entire time, he’s getting mad at me for sounding bad, yelling at me fore not playing things correct the first time, telling me I need to practice every day and make time for it even though I literally don’t get home until 8:30 - 10:00 pm 4 of the 5 school days a week. And I have homework and grades to keep up. As much as I love music, practice isn’t my top priority right now.
So the lesson hit me really hard. I’d been close to a mental breakdown for two or three weeks now and this was the breaking point. As soon as it was over I left my trumpet in the copy room where we had the lesson and ran into the band room, pulled my drum major outside, and burst into tears. He could tell I was about to cry as soon as he saw me walk in. I was so done with everything, I couldn’t handle anything at the moment. I felt like absolute shit. I had to go move my car which would take like 10 minutes, which is when rehearsal started. I’m someone who doesn’t miss rehearsal for ANYTHING but I told my drum major I was leaving for a bit and I’d be back later. I finally went to rehearsal after 30 minutes.
My friend in brass ensemble knew what had happened and asked if I was okay the next day when we saw each other. I explained that what my tech had done during my lesson completely destroyed my confidence. I felt like I should have quit trumpet. I felt so incompetent. I even told her I felt like I was taking someone else’s spot in the Rose Parade Honor Band and that I should quit. I haven’t been able to produce a good sound for a while now. What she said is something I think everyone needs to hear.
Nothing matters outside of that audition. Whether it’s 2 minutes or 15 minutes, the only thing that matters is what happens during that time. It’s not like a job where they’re gonna go through your account and see how you used to be, it’s completely different. Sometimes you have good auditions and sometimes you don’t. It’s not a complete judgement of you musicianship, it’s just how you did that day. So stop worrying so much about how you’re doing now because if you got in, then you did it. You made that impression and they liked what they heard. Stop doubting yourself. You were able to go in and show them what you’ve got and that’s what matters.
I’m not saying stop practicing. I’m not saying that only auditions matter. I’m saying that if you doubt yourself after an audition, don’t. It basically came down to was they have no idea what you may sound like when you struggle or when you practice, but they honestly don’t care because they’ve heard you just once and that one time was enough for them to know they want you in the band and that you are definitely good enough.
Don’t be so hard on yourself in your practice sessions. Don’t let other people break your confidence. Every single one of you is an amazing musician whether you believe that or not. Keep doing what you love, what makes you happy, and please just believe in yourself.