Whether you are a student, college professor, or full time professional player, the summer months offer the possibility of some much needed down time, as well as opportunities like summer festivals and (hopefully) more practice time. As a student I spent many summers attending various festivals, but there were also a few years when I spent my time working at home and practicing a lot. Either route can be very beneficial, and I encourage students to try both, perhaps combining them into a single summer by attending a shorter one or two week festival. For the last few years I’ve begun my summer break by making a list of projects I’d like to complete and goals I want to achieve before classes resume in the fall. I rarely make it through everything, but having a standing “to do” list of both long and short term projects and goals has helped me stay motivated throughout the long break. Even if list-making and organization don’t come naturally to you, I think it’s very important to develop these skills during the student years so that you can rely on them in your career. I’ve included my current summer to do list below, in no particular order. Feel free to borrow and/or adapt anything you’d like, and have a great summer!
- Continue working on my etude video project. At the very least I want to make good progress towards completing all of Kopprasch Book 1 by the end of the summer.
- Work on some arranging projects, including works for horn and piano and horn ensemble.
- Prepare and present a recital in July for a local church’s summer concert series. Works include the Beethoven Sonata, Op. 17, Chabrier’s Larghetto, Winteregg’s Blue Soliloquy, a new composition for horn and piano, and more.
- Continue regular posts on this blog – there will be a few down weeks for vacations and various other things, but on the whole I plan to keep writing.
- Catch up on my reading! My short list includes Dennis Brain: A Life in Music, as well as some other non-music related books.
- Some type of project based on beginning band methods for horn. I’m not sure where exactly to go with this, but I’ve been looking at the horn books for various beginner band methods with the aim of writing some kind of a comparison/review. More on that to come.
- Finish importing my old Guide to the Brass Quintet site into WordPress. There are a number of reasons for doing this, namely the ability to purchase my own domain name and the easier to use interface on WordPress.
- Relax, and spend time with family and friends. Although it’s last on the list, this is always one of my top priorities during the summer. Reconnecting with my relatives and close friends is something I look forward to every year.
Well, there you have it. It’s not a particularly long list, but it should keep me occupied for at least the next several months!