Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 10:23:58 -0700
From: "Reaban, Derek" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [TPIN] Jens
Lindemann Master Class (Part 1)
Jens presented a fantastic masterclass on Thursday morning at the ASU
School of Music (Katzin Concert Hall). He communicates his ideas
extremely well and had a nice structure to his presentation. As always
he was lively and engaged the audience with fun stories, a great sense
of humor, and a wealth of knowledge. I took good notes, so I'll do my
best to summarize what I learned. Find a comfortable chair because this
is a long one!
He began with personal information about where he grew up and how he
get involved in music (some luck was involved in giving him a really
good start in music - with his Jr. High and High School directors) and
really drew everyone in with his story telling style.
I learned that he studied with Dave Hickman at the Banff Center Summer
Workshop after his first year in college (where he was in a law
program!). This experience at Banff was pivotal for him because it
exposed him to great players his own age as well as hearing Dave's
amazing sound up close. He then transferred to McGill and studied with
James Thompson (who was Principal with the OSM at the time).
At this point he got excited about playing in the Munich International
Trumpet Competition and worked very hard preparing with Jim Thompson.
He knew in his heart that he wanted to be a trumpet soloist some day
even though he was still very young. When he arrived at the competition
he met many French and Asian trumpet players that were used to
practicing 5 to 6 hours a day. Jens had never spent this much time
playing and didn't even know it was possible. He felt compelled to step
up his time in the practice room (while at the competition) to feel
like he was keeping up with the other players.
After about 4 hours in the practice room one day (before the
competition), there was a knock on the door. It was Gabriel Casone. He
saw the bruising on Jens' chops and said, "You play too much! No
practice today. Come for a cappuccino!" After the cappuccino Jens said,
"Now we go back to practice?" Gabriel said, "No! It's a beautiful day.
Let's take a walk around the lake." After about an hour and a half Jens
says again, "want to go back and practice?" Gabriel said, "No, no!
Let's go for another cappuccino. No play. It's too much." After about 5
hours Jens was itching to get back to practicing and Gabriel said, "OK.
Now we go back!"
Jens was in the room ready for another big hour and a half practice
session, and after about 15 minutes, Gabriel knocked on the door. "OK.
That's enough. No more playing! We go for another cappuccino!"
After we all stopped laughing Jens said, "I didn't get it. Gabriel was
an older player and he got it!" The message that he was telling Jens
was that if you don't know it by now, you don't know it. Just relax! If
you try to play this contest of "I can play higher, faster, or longer
than you, you have the trumpet meat-head approach." Jens ended up going
no where in that contest and Gabriel ended up being a finalist.
Jens paid close attention to what he had learned from Gabriel. He went
back to Montreal and met with Jim Thompson (who had heard the results
of the competition) and he asked Jens, "So? You still want to be a
soloist?" At this point Jens told us that Jim Thompson knew he didn't
have a chance and wasn't going to go anywhere in the competition, but
he also said that Jim never told him that he ever doubted his ability.
But here's the point of his whole story, which is exactly why I love to
attend events like this. Jim knew that Jens HAD to go to this
competition to see what it was all about. He could have warned Jens
about what he was up against, but it wouldn't have mattered. He had to
go through this trial by fire on his own. After this experience he was
really ready to work (after surviving a lesson that he couldn't learn
any other way).
I know that I've had an experience like this as a player. When I had
prepared as well as I was capable of at the time and still had
endurance problems making it through a standard orchestral program on
the principal book (a community orchestra), I was devastated. Of
course, this is exactly the experience that was required for me to
start asking the right questions to overcome my many deficiencies
related to ease of sound production.
Jens said that after the Munich experience he entered 40 solo
competitions over 8 years and he lost almost every single one of them.
He said, "You don't learn anything when you win something! This is just
an affirmation that you were the best player on this one day." Then he
said, "You only learn something when you learn. Because losing SUCKS!
It hurts." He followed this with a great discussion and to
summarize...Accept what the reality is and don't shift the blame
somewhere else when things don't go well. Look at yourself and say,
"Wow. I really didn't play well enough. There were so many other
players that were better than I was. And then think about all of the
great players that you got to hear and learn from them!"
The next story was simply priceless...
After a loss at a competition Jens called his Dad, looking for the
voice of comfort and on the other end of the phone he heard (in a
strong German accent), "Vell...I guess it vasn't obvious enough that
you vere the vinner. Next time you should practice more and make it
obvious. Don't complain to me! Click..."
But then he alluded to the Olympic snowboarder that threw the
showboating move on the way to a gold medal and had to settle for the
silver. Take care of business and things will be more effective for
Another thing that was significant was that in these 8 years of
competitions he always had a deadline and was always preparing
literature. I know the four times that I have worked up auditions I
have made more progress in my playing than I could imagine was
There is so much more that Jens touched on in this part of his talk.
Memorize to set yourself apart from the competition. Getting the horn
and your attention out of the stand allows the music to change
completely. It's the human perception of communication with the
audience. "Sharing" versus "imposing" the musical message. And on and
on...all great info!