Clark Media Productions

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Filtering by Tag: health

"Routines" and the New Year

Greetings!  Man, what a busy December, not to mention all the usual colds and various viruses the kids pick up at school and daycare.  Coughing until your head hurts, etc, etc.  Good times! I always love seeing the graphic below... It kind of sums up a lot of my days!


I was reading a post today by one of my favorite writers and current motivators, Austin Kleon.  He was discussing his daily routine.  Now, I'm usually kind of skeptical when I read someone's "daily routine" post, as I always imagine that they write these from the perspective of the "perfect day" where everything goes right, and you have unlimited time, and the kids are happy and firing on all cylinders, etc.  Ha!  Kind of like back in my triathlon days where you would read interviews with the latest hot pro triathlete and they would invariably give their "favorite workout".  It was always something insane that no one but a top-level pro would even benefit from attempting.  I always wondered how the magazines could even bring themselves to print these workouts for us mere mortal age-group athletes to read... That old feeling of "I can never do enough" was ever-present, as well as the realization that you didn't have 8 hours a day to work out...

Speaking of that feeling... So, over the years, and especially since kids came along into my life, I have been trying to cut back, simplify, and just generally concentrate my life so that the days have less items on the "to do" list and I can still feel productive.

So, here's my daily routine, which I have used for most of the past year, and will continue to stick with throughout 2015.

1.  Wake up, make coffee (unless I actually remember to set the automatic machine), get kids up/dressed/fed, and get everyone to school or daycare.

2.  Practice trombone - minimum 30 mins and ideally 60-90 minutes

3.  Exercise 30 mins - not gonna beat myself up about this... goal is to get out the door.  Walk, run, crossfit, split wood, whatever.  Just do something.  Ditch it if I'm exhausted and prioritize #4.

4.  Nap if I have time.  20-60 mins as needed.

5.  Work my J.O.B. as scheduled.  Some days this takes the place of exercise.

6.  Pick up kids, make dinner, play trains/Octonauts/cars/bike ride with the munchkins.

7.  8pm kids bath/bedtime

8.  10pm GO TO BED.  My number one weakness in life.  I stay up too late in order to have time to myself.  I think it's a sign of over scheduling and over committing during the day.  I'm gonna work on that in the new year.

Thoughts?  Leave yours in the comments... What works for you?  I'm always curious to know what REAL PEOPLE think!  Happy new year and stay motivated!

Healthy Habits During Marching Band Season

OK you young trombone jocks, I'm on to you! I know exactly what you do every day beginning in August: standing outside, slide parallel to the deck, running set after set in the hot sun, and playing AS LOUD AS YOU CAN PLAY! Yeah, I know that's what you're up to! How do I know? I know because I like to do that too! Who doesn't love to go out on the football field on a hot August morning or a cool October Friday night and play loud in your pre game warmup, loud in the bleachers, loud at half time, and loud during the 4th quarter? That's all well and good, provided you are playing with a good sound. You are thinking about your tone quality out there, aren't you?!?!

I want to address one way that we, as brass players, stay healthy. Well, what the heck does "staying healthy" mean? Do you ever have those moments where you play really hard and loud at a game or contest, and the next day your face feels like a brick? Maybe it's hard to warm up, your sound is super fuzzy, articulation and starting notes is difficult... sound familiar? That feeling is not healthy and it's a sign that you could be overdoing it! LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, it is trying to tell you something!

Now, I'll be the first to admit that restraint is not a common virtue among trombone players! We tend to have the reputation for getting a little excited at times, maybe overdoing it a bit... So, I want you to think about your practice habits during marching band season! BALANCE is key! If you are outside playing loud during rehearsal or performance, then the vast majority of your practicing should be easy. Work on soft long tones, lip slurs, Rochut etudes 8ba and in tenor clef 8ba. This is also a good time to catch up on listening and studying recordings of new pieces. You might work on music theory or ear training practice. There are many options. When I have had a period with a lot of loud playing, especially if it's outside, I balance that with easy, soft practicing on my own. Try it, I think you will feel, and sound, much better!


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