Learning Journal Assignment 1

What is your unique gift? – Do you believe in it enough to invest everything you have in it?

         My unique gift or, in my case, gifts are not only being able to perform trumpet at a very prestigious level, but singing in a 1950’s crooner style with a live swing band, understanding technical theater aspects that go unnoticed by audiences and comprehending the importance of performing in a music theater orchestra pit and keeping time, tuning and balance with the singing individuals. 

What difference are you trying to make in the world? – How passionate are you about doing this?

         I am going to show that a musician is capable of so much more than one instrument or style of music because being a versatile and veritable musician requires an understanding of the work and effort needed to do every single aspect of creating music. I am beyond passionate about this as I push myself daily to excel and surpass the basic understandings of what it means to be a musician by auditioning for singing roles in musicals, strive to learn new techniques in the theater, apply for graduate schools to learn more about my primary instrument and open new doors to avenues of music I’m just now being introduced to. 

How do you define success for yourself? – What challenges do you face in order to create success?

         I define success for myself as the point at which I know I have done everything in my power to make what I’ve been working towards as refined and complete as possible. If I haven’t shown off every ounce of talent in something I do, then it is something that I am dispassionate about. The challenges can range from time constraints, having too many ideas to include, or simply not having enough information to make the ideas all come together and having holes in the final form of what I am trying to complete. 

What is career vision and a mission?

         My career vision is to be sitting on the stage of the New York Symphony Hall, performing trumpet as a stable career, no other job, with the finest musicians of the country, arguably this side of the world. My mission is to be the inspiration to the next generation of trumpet performers just as the previous generation has inspired me. 

Can you innovate and creates value and successfully communicate that value to intended audiences?

         Value in the sense of performance is always in the eye of the beholder. Currently, the director for the New York Philharmonic is viewed as a terrible maestro, but clearly someone had to have thought of him as worthy to direct the NYP. If value is created and equally shared amongst a large group of individuals it is then and only then successfully communicated. 

Do you have a positive attitude?

         In the workplace, yes, I do have a positive attitude. People do not desire to work with someone that has a poor attitude. To keep a job is to seem happy with said job. Catch me anytime outside of work, you’ll find my positivity to be hit or miss. Occupational hazard. 

Have you set your goals? What is your road map to success? Can you set inspiring and realistic goals?

         I have set my goals. My roadmap to success is to continue my education into a Master’s Degree in Performance and then set to auditioning and climbing the ladder of succession into my dream occupation. (See answer to question #4.) All of my goals are realistic and always have been. The roadmap leading to those goals changes over time as the map becomes more detailed the closer it is looked at. 

Do you have and/or acquire the necessary expertise to actualize your vision?

         I am in a constant state of forward progress, learning daily how to hone in my craft and how to be everything I have dreamed of being since I first started playing trumpet. If I don’t have the skills to accomplish something, I find a way to achieve the skills necessary to be successful. 

What are your priorities? Can you set priorities?

         My priorities are my education, my future, and my sanity. We all set priorities. My priority is to graduate undergrad and move directly to graduate school. For many people, a very high priority is making enough money to pay rent on time. Try to not prioritize that and see how that works out.

What opportunities are you looking for? What opportunities are you creating or intend to create?

         I am looking for every opportunity to learn something new every single day. With that I intend to create a playing field where I can talk with someone in casual conversation and them be able to tell me something that I had never known before and I take away something important from that conversation. 

How comfortable are you with uncertainty? What risks are you willing to take?

         Uncertainty is perplexing and discomforting. Without it, though, we would all be too bold and full of ourselves, so finding a good balance of it is enough to drive individuals to ask the right questions. I am willing to risk little pieces of time for the right opportunities. 

When facing challenges, do you persevere or do you walk away?

         I always persevere. Challenges are made to be challenging, not impossible. If I faced every challenge and then walked away from it, I would have never learned anything in life. Challenges inspire personal growth, understanding, and greater appreciation of the world. 

What experience have you learned the most from?

         When I auditioned for NEC and Curtis and wasn’t accepted into either program I found where my talents and abilities truly were and re-grounded myself for learning to push myself even further into the next level of performance. 

What actions are you taking to realize your vision? Are you consistently taking action?

         I am constantly practicing and revitalizing my performance aspects even when the trumpet isn’t on my face.  

How well do you put things in context? Are you able to easily respond to changes in your environment? What’s your best example?

         The first question is ambiguous. That depends… what’s being changed and how drastically? 

What is your plan to continually grow and evolve? How have you grown or evolved in there past year or three?

         If I find myself in a rut I will reach out to others for advice, look to YouTube for inspiration from my favorite artists, take lessons with extremely talented and successful individuals and change the way I look at a situation. I have grown mentally in my understanding of music and my place in the music world. 

How easy is it for you to reach out to others to ask for support and to offer help?

         I don’t even hesitate. If I have a question that needs an answer I know I cannot find on my own I reach out to anyone I feel confident in asking and attempt to learn as much as I can from them. I am always willing to offer help or advice. I found that I can be a good resource for teaching theory to those who need assistance and have shared plenty of tips and tricks with those that come to me for assistance. 

How are you inspiring others to join and/or support your mission in order to create a financially sustainable enterprise that allows you to live your gift and contribute something valuable to society? – If you aren’t currently, how do you intend to?

         Nobody has told me whether I’ve inspired him or her or not. If I already have and I’m just unaware, cool, but if I haven’t, I’ll keep doing what I do until I’ve inspired someone. 

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