From: "" <>
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 09:43:44 -0400
Subject: [TPIN] (no subject)

I thought I'd go a step further in responding to the inquiry into developing the Mental Imagery, in this case for the right internal sound. I find there are three basic phases to developing a clear mental image, for Trumpet, or for anything else.
NOTE: For those who think that my first reply was to "heavy", please do not read further

The three phases are:
1) Imagination
2) Meditation
3) Activation
Here's how it works...

1: Imagination

The first thing is to fuel the imagination. The intent is to identify a goal; to get an outcome in mind. There are several ways of achieving this. One way is to do what some call brainstorming. That is, just think of ideas. A good seed question might be: "If there were no limitations, what type of trumpet player would I be?" This type of questions helps one get beyond the mental border/boundary of "possibility".

For the record, all things are possible (some are less probable, some are less valuable, but all are possible)

BTW, I think one of the great values of this list is that the realm of imagination is fueled by the suggestions of trumpet players from all over the world. In my pursuit, I had not thought to set my chops at G atop the staff. When I saw Pops' recommendation, I tried it, and achieved a desired result. Would I have come up with that on my own? Yes, over time (and depending on how much I worked on my imagination, a long time). But the suggestion gave me a head start on the mental process. How do I know I would have come up with it myself?

2: Meditation

Once I have imagined a goal, the next step is to transfer that goal from the conscious realm, to the sub-conscious realm, to the unconscious realm. This is done by meditation. Now, I'm not talking about sitting still repeating the syllable "Ohm". There is a value to that, but that is not what I'm discussing. By meditation, I mean focusing on the goal and repeating it to yourself over and over again. That also means thinking about every facet of the goal. Some good questions for this process are:

"What will achieving the goal mean for my career?"
"How will others around me respond once the goal is achieved?"
"What is it going to take to achieve this goal?" (This is where Pops suggestion would have eventually shown up if I was doing this by myself. Thanx again Pops for the head start) etc. Once the answers are determined, begin to speak of the outcomes in terms of them already being a reality.

"When I play, my audience is able to hear multiple 'colors' in my tone"
"When I take a breath to play, the air fills my lungs from the bottom to the top"
"Once I committed to practice at least 4 hours a day my results begin to show"

You could even imagine yourself being interviewed after you have achieved your goal, and the reporter asks you how you came to achieve such a brilliant sound.

The whole point is that you become so familiar with every aspect of your goal, that you can discuss it automatically, reflexively like blinking the eye to avoid a dust particle. The practice of repeating this process over and over makes it a permanent. We all do it. Take walking, for example. Once we've learned to walk, we don't think about it until our ability to walk is inhibited or lost. In fact if you think about it while you're doing it, you will probably lose your stride.

It's now on automatic.

Meditation accomplishes for the mind, what performing repeatedly does for the body. You may stumble. you may wobble. But eventually you gain your footing. Then you begin to hop, skip, jump, and run.

3: Activation

This is the fun part (for me anyway). Once you start to get the goal ingrained in your mind, it will literally become a part of you. Your body will begin to make adjustments to carryout the goal that has now been implanted in the unconscious area. And when you do something contrary to your goal, your body will reject it, like a sneeze expelling the irritation that came into the nose.

It's like holding your breath. If you hold your breath for too long, your body will shut down, causing you to pass out, so that the body can resume normal breathing without your conscious interference.

The key to all this is, spending the time on steps 1 and 2. Step 3 just happens.

"Wait a minute...nothing just happens."

I know. I know. It doesn't "just" happen. But rather, because the goal has become a part of you, it occurs at the same level as digestion. Digestion is a complex process, but it operates without your intervention. Because the process is engrained.

"But, I didn't have to imagine digestion, then meditate on it, then let it happen. It has always happened."

True, you were born with it already in motion. But, the way to get other activities to that same level of operation is Imagination, Meditation, then Activation.

You may use other terms to describe this process. You could certainly use less words to describe this process. But the process pretty much works this way.

Most of us, though, don't actively pursue this process. We allow it to occur mostly from the input of others, rather than by our own focused effort. We just do what our friends do, and the habits become ingrained. We just say what others say, and the attitudes become engrained.

Why not actively engage this powerful process, rather than let it lie dormant.