#nerdlution Round II: Reviving the Chops

trumpet_and_oilI’ve been thinking about what I want to do for my next 50 day challenge (a.k.a. #nerdlution round II) and I’ve decided to tackle a beast: reviving my trumpet chops. I’ve played trumpet since I was 9 and majored in music at UCSC. I was a decent player, got gigs, etc., but once I had my first kid almost 9 years ago, it’s been a slow decline.

For the first few years of Keana’s life, I kept my chops up and taught at two different music schools while working a “day job” full time. I had occasional gigs playing with a few bands around San Francisco and Oakland, with a wedding or funeral thrown in here and there, but about 5 years ago I really put it aside, only playing a few times a week, then a few times a month. At this point my chops are in working condition, but they are a mere shadow of their former glory.

Honestly, I’m not sure what happened. Did “life” just take over? Have I lost the passion to play the trumpet? Has it gotten too hard? Is it time to move on to another instrument/musical focus? Have I just allowed other aspects of life to distract me and I just need to refocus? Do I need a goal, like an audition or start up/join a band? All of the above? None of the above?

By committing to play every day—like I did for 20 years of my life—for at least 50 days starting on Friday, I hope to answer some of these questions. I also hope to find some sort of inspiration to make music that’s seemed to have faded—a creative ass-kicking if you will. There’s no question that music is important to me and is essential to my existence, I’m just not sure what my role will be with it going forward. I know it will be hands-on in some way, I’m just not sure if that also includes a mouthpiece on my face.

Stay tuned.