Time Management Struggles -AP Kid

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ttf_Isabel Trombone
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Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:03 am

I am a junior in high school, and now that school is in full swing, I have found that I have gone from practice at least an hour everyday during the summer to practicing a total of about a hour or two during the school week.

I have a very busy schedule, as I am pretty involved in extracurricular activities. I volunteer every Wednesday, I am in the National Honor Society, and I am a club officer, and was involved in making a parade float for Homecoming. I just took Driver's Ed and have been learning to drive, which has been taking up a lot of my spare time.

Not only is my extracurricular life busy, but I am in 2 AP classes and a higher level math class. Also, since I am a junior, I will be taking the PSAT, SAT, and ACT this year.
(I am in two music classes at school, so at least I am getting some playing time in, though it is not individual practice.)

How can I get in much needed practice time in? Any suggestions to how I can manage my time more efficiently, or fit in practicing?
Thanks Image
ttf_SilverBone
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Post by ttf_SilverBone » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:40 am

You are one busy guy, so it's possible that finding more practice time could be difficult.

As a suggestion, look at your life for things you are doing that don't need doing.  Are you playing video games?  Watching television?  Spending a lot of time on your cellphone?

Do you have a few minutes between classes?  You could put a mouthpiece in your pocket and practice some buzzing.  Or even free buzzing.

If you can't find things that don't need doing, then I guess you have to give up sleeping or eating.   Image
ttf_BGuttman
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Post by ttf_BGuttman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:10 am

Wow.  Just describing your schedule makes me tired.

I would prioritize the studies.  Also, you don't have to be the principal contributor to everything, even if you think you are the only one who can do it.  Silverbone's suggestion of doing as much buzzing as you can in free time can help.  Of course doing it in class or at a meeting can be quite distracting, so keep it to transient points.

Also, make the best use of your practice time as you can.  Devote at least half of it to fundamentals (scales, long tones, rangebuilding, etc -- whatever you need most) and the other half to stuff you are playing that is giving you trouble.  If you are taking lessons, talk to your lesson teacher about your time issue and see if he/she can give you some suggestions as well.

Good luck!
ttf_timothy42b
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:34 am

For people my age the answer is get up a little early and play before work.

That doesn't work for a teenager.  Most are chronically sleep deprived anyway and this is risky.

I think you have to accept that there's going to be a period where you get less than optimal practice - if you're not going to be a music major.  If you are, then you have to practice, and do less math. 

I do think 15 minutes a day, every day, plus your ensembles, can have great benefits.  The way to ensure this is set a regular schedule.
ttf_Dan Hine
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Post by ttf_Dan Hine » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:52 am

Some rough guidelines:

1) Decide what your priorities are.
2) Ask someone you trust to review those priorities (not a peer - your parents, a teacher, guidance counselor, etc)
3) Designate time accordingly. 
4) Recognize that it's ok if practicing doesn't end up getting more time allotted to it. [/li][/list]


That said, just as with practice topics, your best bet to get good advice is to speak with your teacher(s) and, in this case, parents and mentors.
ttf_trombonemetal
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Post by ttf_trombonemetal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:09 pm

Quote from: Isabel Trombone on Yesterday at 12:03 AMI am a junior in high school, and now that school is in full swing, I have found that I have gone from practice at least an hour everyday during the summer to practicing a total of about a hour or two during the school week.

I have a very busy schedule, as I am pretty involved in extracurricular activities. I volunteer every Wednesday, I am in the National Honor Society, and I am a club officer, and was involved in making a parade float for Homecoming. I just took Driver's Ed and have been learning to drive, which has been taking up a lot of my spare time.

Not only is my extracurricular life busy, but I am in 2 AP classes and a higher level math class. Also, since I am a junior, I will be taking the PSAT, SAT, and ACT this year.
(I am in two music classes at school, so at least I am getting some playing time in, though it is not individual practice.)

How can I get in much needed practice time in? Any suggestions to how I can manage my time more efficiently, or fit in practicing?
Thanks Image

Are you planning on majoring in music in college?
ttf_sowilson
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Post by ttf_sowilson » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:22 pm

Schedule your practice time in a planner, schedule your homework, classes, and other activities too.  My son was in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Drumline, played football (starter), had AP classes, had CIS (college in schools) classes, lifted, was a thrower in Track and Field, was being recruited to play football, as well as taking the various tests (SAT, ACT) as a junior and senior in HS.  His planner saved his butt.  He has an equally hectic schedule in college; Econ major, math minor, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Football, Track and Field, lifting, working and he schedules everything in his planner.  Try it, you'll find the time.  If you have time to watch TV, play video games, or date then you have time to practice.
ttf_Bjroosevelt
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Post by ttf_Bjroosevelt » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:02 pm

Isabel,

It is very impressive that you have a goal of practicing an hour per day.  However, you have designed for yourself a schedule of someone who does not prioritize music.  I know you are taking two music classes.  However, you are not allotting time in your schedule to do the homework for those classes.  I suspect you figure out how to squeeze in your AP homework. 

For example, why in the world would are you take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT all in the same year?  I guess it is okay if you really like studying for exams, but if you are trying to get into college, most schools will take either the SAT or ACT, but don't need both.  In addition, the PSAT only helps with being a national merit scholar.  If you don't need the scholarship, should you be studying for the test?  I've been to school at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and University of Southern California.  I've only ever taken the SAT out of the 3 exams you mentioned....and I had to pretty much pay my way through college....It turns out that none of the students from my school who got into Harvard, Stanford, Penn, and Yale ever took the PSAT.   They all focused their efforts their Junior year on top SAT scores, which they got.

Rather than trying to do everything as a Junior, try to think about your goals better...and structure your activities around your goals.

1)  If you want to go to school as a music major, I'm not sure why you are prioritizing your other extracurricular activities.
2) If you want to go to school for Liberal Arts, Engineering, or Business, ask yourself how important music is to you......
3) If you are going to school for Liberal Arts, Engineering, or Business and it is important for you to do music, why are you bothering with the National Honor Society or decorating Floats for Homecoming.  Is there a music related leadership role you could take on as an extracurricular?  If music is important to you, focus your extracurriculars around music.....it will resonate much better on College applications than 'NHS officer' on your college application.  Alternatively, you could change your volunteer work to playing music at a local assisted living center....The seniors would love hearing you practice and enjoy spending time with you
4)  Only thing I wouldn't sacrifice is the volunteering.  It's gods work. Not sure if you are person of faith, but if you are a high achiever, you need to do something for other people in order to keep your mind calm and focused.  Humans aren't wired to constantly go, go, go.
5)  Ask yourself how many of your time allocation decisions are focused on your goals, and how many time allocation decisions are based on what everyone else is doing......so "It must be right for you."  If it is the latter, you can be confident that it probably "isn't right for you."

You are facing a struggle every high achieving adult does....and it is great prep for your future in college, when you have twice as much homework.  I remember my first semester in Undergrad, my professor gave us 21 books to read for the semester.  That was only one class.
ttf_timothy42b
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Post by ttf_timothy42b » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:46 pm

When I was a junior in high school, 1970 or so, SAT prep classes were unknown in our area.  We took the PSAT as a practice the year before doing the SAT. 

It worked out for me; I was a National Merit Scholar and that helped greatly with the costs at Notre Dame (which in the 70s were nothing like they are now.) 
ttf_Ellrod
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Post by ttf_Ellrod » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:50 pm

Why do you think you can do everything you want?
ttf_afugate
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Post by ttf_afugate » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:50 am

    Quote from: Dan Hine on Yesterday at 05:52 AMSome rough guidelines:

    1) Decide what your priorities are.
    2) Ask [s]someone[/s]*an adult* you trust to review those priorities (not a peer - your parents, a teacher, guidance counselor, etc)
    3) Designate time accordingly. 
    4) Recognize that it's ok if practicing doesn't end up getting more time allotted to it. [/li][/list]

    That said, just as with practice topics, your best bet to get good advice is to speak with your teacher(s) and, in this case, parents and mentors.

    This is good advice.  Image Image  (I made one minor tweak to #2 just to emphasize what I think Dan was indicating in the latter part of the item.)
    -Andy in OKC
    ttf_sonicsilver
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    Post by ttf_sonicsilver » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:12 am

    Do you get a lunch hour at school? Take half of it for practice.

    The other half hour? Get up a little earlier? Arrive early at band practice? Neither is great but it's better than nothing.

    And remember, if the instrument is out of its case you are practicing therefore you must be getting better, right???

     Image
    ttf_Matt K
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    Post by ttf_Matt K » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:11 am

    You could also consider doing something like the pomodoro technique.  It really has helped me in the past in handling lots of various subjects. 

    https://lifehacker.com/productivity-101 ... 1598992730
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

    The basic idea is that you do work for 25 minutes then break for five.  Repeat 4 times then do a 15 minute break.  Then repeat that.  No task is worth more than one, nor less than "one pomodoro" or 25 minutes. If you finish a task before the 25 minutes is up, spend the balance making sure that its right or overlearning. 

    The subject of a pomodoro can be anything and you'll get better at defining tasks as you do it.  If you are studying, then you would make the topic one of the subjects. Or home work for one of the subjects. If you aren't finished at the 25 minute mark, stop what you are doing. Take the break, then devote another pomodoro to it. Repeat until finished.  Its a good way to keep track of how much time you're spending on a particualr subject area (sometimes you might find yourself overstudying, other times you might find yourself understudying). 

    Use that knowledge moving foward to plan resources. I work much better in the AM. So I devote time to my hard tasks in the morning.  I also will plan to spend more time on those tasks. I spend one pomodoro (25 minutes) planning my weekend. If I'm not done, I'll spend another. Similarly, I'll spend perhaps 2 - 3 pomodoro planning my work week.  Monday and Wednesday, or MWF.  It might seem like a lot of planning, but being able to switch tasks without putting any thought into it makes going through the week or studying for difficult things much easier.  You put a surprising amount of strain on your brain in making decisions.  May as well take as much of that process out if you can!

    Obviously school would interfere with this type of schedule in the morning but you can still utilize it afterwards for studying and on the weekend. 

    PS. This post took two 5-minute breaks to finish.  Its a good way to keep yourself off social media, reflexively answering e-mails and texts and what not while you study.  I would know, I'm working full time and doing a masters degree simultaneously  Image  But you also then have to be careful to still be accessible. I'm admittedly not the easiest to get in touch with.  If you catch me on one of my breaks, you'll probably get a response immediately. If not, it might take some time. I'm going to be trying to add some communication pomodoro in towards the end f the day to be more available. What is the old addage? YOu can pick two: good grades, social life, or sleep.  Maybe it is possible but I'm still trying to figure that one out!
    ttf_Isabel Trombone
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:12 pm

    Quote from: trombonemetal on Oct 06, 2017, 12:09PMAre you planning on majoring in music in college?

    Yes, I am. I want to major in trombone performance.
    ttf_Isabel Trombone
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:32 pm

    Quote from: Bjroosevelt on Oct 06, 2017, 01:02PMIsabel,

    It is very impressive that you have a goal of practicing an hour per day.  However, you have designed for yourself a schedule of someone who does not prioritize music.  I know you are taking two music classes.  However, you are not allotting time in your schedule to do the homework for those classes.  I suspect you figure out how to squeeze in your AP homework. 

    For example, why in the world would are you take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT all in the same year?  I guess it is okay if you really like studying for exams, but if you are trying to get into college, most schools will take either the SAT or ACT, but don't need both.  In addition, the PSAT only helps with being a national merit scholar.  If you don't need the scholarship, should you be studying for the test?  I've been to school at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and University of Southern California.  I've only ever taken the SAT out of the 3 exams you mentioned....and I had to pretty much pay my way through college....It turns out that none of the students from my school who got into Harvard, Stanford, Penn, and Yale ever took the PSAT.   They all focused their efforts their Junior year on top SAT scores, which they got.

    Rather than trying to do everything as a Junior, try to think about your goals better...and structure your activities around your goals.

    1)  If you want to go to school as a music major, I'm not sure why you are prioritizing your other extracurricular activities.
    2) If you want to go to school for Liberal Arts, Engineering, or Business, ask yourself how important music is to you......
    3) If you are going to school for Liberal Arts, Engineering, or Business and it is important for you to do music, why are you bothering with the National Honor Society or decorating Floats for Homecoming.  Is there a music related leadership role you could take on as an extracurricular?  If music is important to you, focus your extracurriculars around music.....it will resonate much better on College applications than 'NHS officer' on your college application.  Alternatively, you could change your volunteer work to playing music at a local assisted living center....The seniors would love hearing you practice and enjoy spending time with you
    4)  Only thing I wouldn't sacrifice is the volunteering.  It's gods work. Not sure if you are person of faith, but if you are a high achiever, you need to do something for other people in order to keep your mind calm and focused.  Humans aren't wired to constantly go, go, go.
    5)  Ask yourself how many of your time allocation decisions are focused on your goals, and how many time allocation decisions are based on what everyone else is doing......so "It must be right for you."  If it is the latter, you can be confident that it probably "isn't right for you."

    You are facing a struggle every high achieving adult does....and it is great prep for your future in college, when you have twice as much homework.  I remember my first semester in Undergrad, my professor gave us 21 books to read for the semester.  That was only one class.


    I want to go to school as a music major. I am taking test prep as one of my classes in school, and throughout the year we go over the PSAT, SAT, and ACT (as part of our grade). My mom thinks it is necessary to take all three exams, as those are the exams colleges look to see that you have taken, and most juniors take all three. With the PSAT you can qualify for scholarships, and any extra money would help pay for college.

    I like your advice about centering my extracurriculars around music- I plan on auditioning for select band and doing other performance-centered activities throughout the year. As for leadership, there are limited options available for me as far as I know. We have Tri-M (National music honor society), but the officers already are in place.

    As far as my other extracurriculars go, I like art, so I am an officer for our Art Club. I am in NHS because it is centered mostly around volunteer work and making successful leaders, etc. I am Christian, and I volunteer with AWANA, a children's ministry.

    A lot of the things I do, like take AP classes, standardized tests, and being in NHS are mostly because it is what is being done. Yet, each activity does have its advantages, especially considering college in general.

    In the end, I'm not sure what activities I could drop. Thanks for your advice!
    ttf_Isabel Trombone
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:37 pm

    Quote from: SilverBone on Oct 06, 2017, 12:40AMYou are one busy guy, so it's possible that finding more practice time could be difficult.

    As a suggestion, look at your life for things you are doing that don't need doing.  Are you playing video games?  Watching television?  Spending a lot of time on your cellphone?

    Do you have a few minutes between classes?  You could put a mouthpiece in your pocket and practice some buzzing.  Or even free buzzing.

    If you can't find things that don't need doing, then I guess you have to give up sleeping or eating.   Image

    I do spend a lot of time on my phone unfortunately- I just deleted Instagram because I got so addicted to it.
    I have some free time between classes, but I'm usually trying to do homework during those breaks, although I usually just talk with friends.
    I think carrying a mouthpiece in my pocket would be smart- even though I usually am doing things at school, there would be moments I could probably find to buzz a little.
    Thanks for your advice  Image
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    Post by ttf_zarkosis » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:38 pm

    I have a very busy schedule just like you! I'm taking 6 AP classes, and have marching band practice after school (4:00) till 7:00 every day (which barely leaves time for the hours of homework, let alone practicing)! Essentially what I have been doing is getting to school an hour before it starts and practice before school for around 45-50 minutes, and practice as soon as I get home for about an hour to two hours, then the rest of the free time I have is allocated to classwork. I basically get 7 hours of sleep every day, and since my school has a A-B day schedule (4 periods per day, each 1.5 hours long (so all 8 classes are over two days)) I'll have played for a little over 3.5 hours per day (sometimes 4). No free time, but practicing is fun!

    Anyway, I would just recommend to practice before school starts if your school has practice rooms. Otherwise, just don't sleep?  Image
    ttf_Isabel Trombone
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:53 pm

    Quote from: zarkosis on Oct 09, 2017, 08:38PMI have a very busy schedule just like you! I'm taking 6 AP classes, and have marching band practice after school (4:00) till 7:00 every day (which barely leaves time for the hours of homework, let alone practicing)! Essentially what I have been doing is getting to school an hour before it starts and practice before school for around 45-50 minutes, and practice as soon as I get home for about an hour to two hours, then the rest of the free time I have is allocated to classwork. I basically get 7 hours of sleep every day, and since my school has a A-B day schedule (4 periods per day, each 1.5 hours long (so all 8 classes are over two days)) I'll have played for a little over 3.5 hours per day (sometimes 4). No free time, but practicing is fun!

    Anyway, I would just recommend to practice before school starts if your school has practice rooms. Otherwise, just don't sleep?  Image

    Wow! Your schedule is even worse than mine. We only have about four practice rooms, and I know there's only one practice room that isn't filled with marching band junk. I'm not sure when our band room opens in the mornings, but I'm pretty sure it's around 7:40, though I've never really checked. Our school has six periods a day (except Wednesdays), and I have seven classes total. I have been trying to do homework in the morning, opposite of you, but I'm never productive in the morning because I have to get ready for school. I never practice at school, the marching band kids are always eating and being really loud in the band room.

    Thanks though, I will see what I can do! And good luck, 6 APs is wayyy too much  Image
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:56 pm

    Quote from: Ellrod on Oct 06, 2017, 09:50PMWhy do you think you can do everything you want?

    Because everyone else seems to be able to do everything. One girl at our school is class president, in several leadership positions in several clubs and committees, and is taking a ton of AP classes, has straight A's, and scores well on everything! And that's just one girl- there are countless others, and a lot of them are really successful in music too.
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    Post by ttf_Isabel Trombone » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:02 pm

    Quote from: BGuttman on Oct 06, 2017, 04:10AMWow.  Just describing your schedule makes me tired.

    I would prioritize the studies.  Also, you don't have to be the principal contributor to everything, even if you think you are the only one who can do it.  Silverbone's suggestion of doing as much buzzing as you can in free time can help.  Of course doing it in class or at a meeting can be quite distracting, so keep it to transient points.

    Also, make the best use of your practice time as you can.  Devote at least half of it to fundamentals (scales, long tones, rangebuilding, etc -- whatever you need most) and the other half to stuff you are playing that is giving you trouble.  If you are taking lessons, talk to your lesson teacher about your time issue and see if he/she can give you some suggestions as well.

    Good luck!

    If I always put school first I'm not sure if I would ever find time to practice... Then again, I have been slacking off on assignments and my late work pile is ever-growing, so maybe doing work on time would help. I am stuck in the leadership positions I committed to at the beginning of the year unfortunately  Image

    My music lessons teacher said to hide my phone in another room so I won't be distracted by it. I will heed your advice considering practicing- I don't always use my time wisely while practicing either.

    Thanks!  Image
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    Post by ttf_Bimmerman » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:49 pm

    I see a bit of myself in you.

    I did all the APs offered at my school, a number of IB classes, did really well on the ACT and pretty decent on the SAT, was in NHS, youth orchestra, jazz band, musical pit, wind ensemble and marching band (for a time), hosted a german exchange student then I went to germany, and worked 12-16 hours a week for gas money. I didn't spend any time volunteering beyond the requirements for NHS, because honestly I didn't have time to volunteer AND earn money to do activities. Looking back I would have just skipped NHS entirely but that's about the only thing I'd do differently.

    I still made time for scouts (leadership/occasional volunteering/fun activities), gaming/movies/friends, and practicing (made all-state jazz senior year). Generally speaking, I played my horn 1-3hrs per week in addition to all the other playing I was doing.

    I knew I was never going to hack it as a professional musician, even then, but I enjoyed playing as a form of release from the math and science courses I was putting serious effort into. I didn't end up majoring in music, or even playing during college. I went into engineering with both feet and still love it. I started playing again in grad school, and have continued to play off and on once I started working. That has been extremely fulfilling, and sufficient for me.

    From the sounds of things you're on the musician track much more so than I ever was, so I'd definitely focus your energy there. Remember that music for you is not only a massive time sink nor just a means for self improvement and community enrichment, but you're most importantly developing a skill with which you intend to be paid for-- in that sense it is absolutely no different than me making the time to figure out how to code, how to math, or how to machine. Trim down the other activities you're involved in accordingly. Maybe take an independent study course into music history, or arrange with your school teacher to perform a recital, any of those would be much more in keeping with a self-starter musician than adding another club and officer to the resume.

    Anyway, back semi-on-topic. I strongly believe that the number of extra curriculars is way less important than the quality of your involvement in them. The scattershot approach really isn't worth doing in my opinion, both from my biased point of view but also from seeing what that approach did to friends and classmates who pursued it--it didn't work for 99% of them.

    As a junior, I think you should start looking at what colleges provide the program you are looking for. I discovered that CU Boulder had a great engineering school and awesome extracurriculars (skiing! racecars! non-pisswater beer! racecars!!) so even though I had the academics and much of the requisite college-app-padding, I applied to the school in my hometown and got in easily. You may find the right fit for you for a trombone program isn't at a name brand school but rather a closer school to home or a school further away but that doesn't care about how much of a leader you were in picking up soup cans once a year (my bias is showing). Tied to this is the inherent student loan vs scholarships vs working triangle of paying for school. Do not overlook this: $100k+ in debt as a mid 20s is crippling no matter how much you earn out of school.

    The last thing I'll say is that I knew a number of people from my high school (in 2006) who did the college-app-padding, i.e. joined a number of clubs and became officers of them, volunteered 30+ hours a week, had perfect grades, perfect SAT or ACT scores (don't think anyone pulled off both from my school), etc etc. Many of them applied to all the Ivys and a number of the almosts, and the vast majority of them didn't get in. It's not that they didn't work hard, but by doing everything they didn't have any focus except for blatant college app padding. They didn't distinguish themselves except as members of the gotta-do-it-all herd.

    I'm not saying you are doing the same, but be realistic in what you can put full effort into, and how that comes across. It's far less impressive to do a little of everything as doing a few things extremely well (in addition to academics, not instead of). You need the academics to get in the door and to be looked at by the admissions committee; the rest of what you bring to the table should be focused on what you enjoy, not on ticking boxes for the application committee's benefit.
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    Post by ttf_Dan Hine » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:43 am

    Quote from: Isabel Trombone on Oct 09, 2017, 08:56PMBecause everyone else seems to be able to do everything.

    So?   Image

    You need to live your life.  Don't spend your life comparing it to someone else's. 
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    Post by ttf_trombonemetal » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:49 am

    Quote from: Isabel Trombone on Oct 09, 2017, 08:12PMYes, I am. I want to major in trombone performance.

    If that is the case, you need to prioritize your practicing and find a good trombone teacher. It is as simple as that. If you don't sound good at your audition no music school will want you regardless of extracurriculars.
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    Post by ttf_Matt K » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:16 am

    Also bear in mind that people put on a very different life on facebook that they actually live.  Nobody posts things that they find truly embarrassing. The grass is always greener on the other side of the road.

    Concerning putting eggs in one basket: There are obviously people here who have made careers out of trombone and I still imagine it will be possible moving forward. However, even if you plan on being a full time performer (e.g. in a major symphony or something) academics are still important.  Many players rely on academics to at least some extent for their income - for better or for worse.  The highest income earners n the field that I'm aware of (outside of say, popular entertainment) are symphony or studio players that are also on the faculty of some academic institution.  Those that don't have diversified in some other area. Lindberg and Trudel, for example, transitioning primarily, as far as I can tell, into the world of conducting.

    So do bear that in mind.  Also know that if you decide to transition later, as I did, having a good academic background helps a lot. I have a degree in music and later received a degree in business and now am doing a masters in data science.  If I had really gone all in on the trombone playing its possible I'd still be playing although I would have also had a lot of closed doors.  Doing something else and making trombone an avocation gives a lot of flexibility in life. But there's obviously many, many options so don't worry too much about it, just keep in mind that if you can keep doors open without too uch effort its probably worth it!
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    Post by ttf_Bjroosevelt » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:24 pm

    Quote from: Isabel Trombone on Oct 09, 2017, 08:32PM
    I want to go to school as a music major. I am taking test prep as one of my classes in school, and throughout the year we go over the PSAT, SAT, and ACT (as part of our grade). My mom thinks it is necessary to take all three exams, as those are the exams colleges look to see that you have taken, and most juniors take all three. With the PSAT you can qualify for scholarships, and any extra money would help pay for college.

    I like your advice about centering my extracurriculars around music- I plan on auditioning for select band and doing other performance-centered activities throughout the year. As for leadership, there are limited options available for me as far as I know. We have Tri-M (National music honor society), but the officers already are in place.

    As far as my other extracurriculars go, I like art, so I am an officer for our Art Club. I am in NHS because it is centered mostly around volunteer work and making successful leaders, etc. I am Christian, and I volunteer with AWANA, a children's ministry.

    A lot of the things I do, like take AP classes, standardized tests, and being in NHS are mostly because it is what is being done. Yet, each activity does have its advantages, especially considering college in general.

    In the end, I'm not sure what activities I could drop.

    Isabel, I don't think anyone on the forum is questioning whether you have reasons to do what you do.  What we question is why in the world would you ever be a Trombone Performance major given everything you have told us about yourself.  You are building an incredible resume to be an engineer,  a business major, a pre-med major or even a psychology major.....you have AP classes, you have lots of leadership and you have lots of volunteer work.  I suspect that most of your friends, who you may be hearing advice from, are going to be engineers, pre-med, or business majors.  Indeed this is the direction most High School counselors send kids too.....these types of jobs tend to pay the bills really, really well - even if you just have average competence......

    Your resume just doesn't read music major . Your question was:  "How do I squeeze in music in between all of that other stuff."  We all wish your question would have been "How do I squeeze in all of that other stuff between all of the music you need to play.."

    Consider joining a Community Band and volunteer to be the assistant director. That gives you leadership outside of school - which very, very few high school students have the maturity to reach for.....and you will likely be far more successful in a music related leadership role if it is your passion.    (Not sure what Select Band is:  If it is a Community Band, it sounds like a great idea - If it is a third school band, that you won't have time to practice for, I am not sure it will benefit you).

    ........the real problem is that life can sometimes totally suck.  We all deal with it.


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    Post by ttf_robcat2075 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm

    Quote from: Isabel Trombone on Oct 06, 2017, 12:03AMI am a junior in high school, and now that school is in full swing, I have found that I have gone from practice at least an hour everyday during the summer to practicing a total of about a hour or two during the school week.

    I have a very busy schedule, as I am pretty involved in extracurricular activities. I volunteer every Wednesday, I am in the National Honor Society, and I am a club officer, and was involved in making a parade float for Homecoming. I just took Driver's Ed and have been learning to drive, which has been taking up a lot of my spare time.

    Not only is my extracurricular life busy, but I am in 2 AP classes and a higher level math class. Also, since I am a junior, I will be taking the PSAT, SAT, and ACT this year.
    (I am in two music classes at school, so at least I am getting some playing time in, though it is not individual practice.)

    How can I get in much needed practice time in? Any suggestions to how I can manage my time more efficiently, or fit in practicing?
    Thanks Image

    Apologies to anyone who has already pointed these things out...

    Most of these burdens are self-inflicted, unnecessary and provide no benefit.

    -NHS officer... let someone else do this ceremonial task
    -Parade float... if you enjoy it, OK, it's a social opportunity, but the float will still happen witout you.
    -AP classes... research has shown that aside from the few people who take and pass the final AP exam, there's no academic benefit to them.
    -PSAT, SAT ... why both? Typically people do the PSAT as junior and SAT as a senior. The PSAT is mostly just a practice.
    -SAT, ACT... why both? most colleges will take either and neither is regarded as superior.



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    Post by ttf_Bimmerman » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:02 pm

    Quote from: robcat2075 on Oct 10, 2017, 04:49PMApologies to anyone who has already pointed these things out...

    Most of these burdens are self-inflicted, unnecessary and provide no benefit.

    -NHS officer... let someone else do this ceremonial task
    -Parade float... if you enjoy it, OK, it's a social opportunity, but the float will still happen witout you.
    -AP classes... research has shown that aside from the few people who take and pass the final AP exam, there's no academic benefit to them.
    -PSAT, SAT ... why both? Typically people do the PSAT as junior and SAT as a senior. The PSAT is mostly just a practice.
    -SAT, ACT... why both? most colleges will take either and neither is regarded as superior.

    I agree with you aside from the AP thing. If you do well on those exams you can eliminate most if not all of the prerequisite classes and jump right in to the interesting ones for whatever major you're aiming for. For music, this could very well mean you get more time for practicing, bands, etc rather than suffer through Pride and Prejudice again or learn about Integrals again. At the very least you can save some serious coin by not having to be in school as long. A couple good friends entered college with practically junior standing due to AP and IB class credits, and were able to immediately double major and take relevant classes.

    I took both SAT and ACT because schools I thought I wanted to go to preferred one or the other, even if I eventually only applied to one school. I don't think I took the PSAT...or really spent much time doing test prep beyond a week or two ahead of the exam date.
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    Post by ttf_MTbassbone » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:17 pm

    I think the main piece of advice is play every day, and if you only have a few minutes focus on the quality of those minutes rather than the quantity.    Our culture in many cases associates quantity with quality.  We need to get away from associating a measurement of time practicing with being a successful musician.  In the beginning stages I can agree using reasonably timed practice sessions can be of use.  Once basic mechanics and concepts have been developed by a student I think the clock can be relied on less and use of each minute focused on more.  There's no sense in pounding away on something for hours if you are not focusing on what needs to be addressed.  Know which methods of study work for you, don't leave for tomorrow what can be done today, and most pertinent to this post use the effective forms of practice for you.  In regards to your other activities I would say take advantage of each opportunity you can.  Education is not typically free after you leave high school and most of the extra curricular activities will also dry up.  Some have suggested these activities hold less value for the original poster's future.  I disagree as nearly everyone could benefit from leadership, being part of a team, being a good listener, problem solving, have a well rounded background.  Some will argue these skills can be taught in the classroom, but I have yet to find a replacement for life experiences.  So how does the OPer manage the chaos?  Certainly a planner of some sort will be important, but sticking to the schedule will be critical.  Find ways to utilize small gaps in your schedule that would have normally been wasted time.  My grandfather would say "inch by inch, it's a cinch, mile by mile, it'll be a while." If you arrive early to your next scheduled event or maybe just 2-3 min at lunch, then utilize that opportunity.  I would not carry a mouthpiece with you, and buzz between classes or similar.  To me it trivializes playing trombone.  You should play trombone when you are completely focused and dedicated to playing the trombone.  I would also remember you can't possibly do everything and carving out time to let your brain have a break is important.  Finally, get enough rest and know when you need to rest.  This is such an important part of physical and mental health.  Is it really going to be beneficial to stay up 2 hours late to study when your batteries are already drained or would it better to sleep then wake 30 minutes early to study? Additionally if you carve out sufficient time and study effeciently late night study may not be neccessary.  Regardless of what you decide to do remain curious.  Strive to learn something new everyday.  Remain open to new ideas, and be tolerant of ideas that you may find less than ideal.  Comparisons to peers, professionals, and icons should be taken with a huge grain of salt, and be given context.  Be yourself.  You will for the most part sound like you.  Take care of yourself physically and mentally.  Be prepared for the next day.  Be on time.  Be nice.  Enjoy the ride.   Image

    BTW.  If you change your mind about what you want do with your life, that's cool.  You don't have to have it all figured out right now. Everyone is a work in progress.
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    Post by ttf_Steven » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:22 pm

    It sounds not entirely unlike my daughter's life in high school.  Her full IB schedule kept her plenty busy.  Every year, guidance had to be reminded that she really did need to take those music courses. 

    While applying to music programs, she met students who had gone the home school route to maximize practice time.  So they had very different high school experiences.  Yeah, she had to focus her activities a little more.  Maybe her social life took the biggest hit, but she seems to have survived.  There were times when being a full IB student seemed like a waste of time, given that her goal was music.  In the end, she got to the school she wanted to, so I guess it's all good.

    You really do need to find a way to practice most days.  Don't undervalue the importance of getting in a good 20 to 30 minutes of practice, if that's all the time you have.
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    Post by ttf_bigbassbone1 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:03 pm

    I don't want to give you bad advice, just an alternative way of thinking. You can ignore this of course if it's not helpful.

    I did not like high school very much at all. I knew quite early on that I wanted to play trombone after high school so I never understood or took any interest in classes that I didn't think had any relevance. In my last couple of years at high school I used to wag class every so often and find a space to just practice, I also got to school hours early to practice and sometimes I stayed after school to practice. I went out of my way to not be involved in classes that didn't interest me. I had countless detentions and was suspended from school probably into the double didgets for missing class or just not turning up to school. Kind of a stupid punishment  Image

    I don't know what the entry requirements for trombone are at the schools you are looking at applying to, but when I did it, it was just an average Mark in English as well as a specific live audition for the school.
    I personally never understood why people made such a big deal out of high school.... even if you do terribly in your end of high school exams, there are ways to get into courses and institutions you want through other means. I have friends who essentially failed several end of high school exams who have ended up very successful in their chosen fields. I got very ordinary marks myself at the end for everything not trombone related. I got into various good schools for trombone throughout my studies post high school, and won scholarships based on merit or audition at basically every university I went to.

    Whilst I haven't made a mint in savings, I have managed to survive the last several years paying my own rent, food, and fees solely through trombone performance (and a tiny bit of teaching). I recently left my country to continue study at an extremely high level music school in the states.

    I guess what I am saying is that I really do not see any point in making your life overly busy with things you don't want to do while you are in high school. High school means pretty much nothing in the real world.

    The only time I have ever encounted a "problem" with poor academics in high school was after I won an audition for a bass trombone job in a military band a few years ago. After I auditioned they asked for copies of all my qualifications. I just gave them copies of my bachelor's as well as proof I was doing a master's in trombone. They asked for my high school certificate and management said that it was a problem that I had failed year 10 maths class and then dropped out of maths completely. After a while they told me that based on my audition they would "overlook my high school results". Ridiculous  Image aside from that, my high school results have never been mentioned or asked for.

    If you want to do trombone, maybe just focus on how you can get the most improvement and benefit from your time doing just that? If in a few years trombone is not for You, there are plenty of other things you can do, and there are plenty of ways of doing them.

    A lot of adults (My parents included!) Will talk about how not doing well in high school will "close so many doors" (I used to HATE having that said to me!) But if you know all the doors you want to go through are trombone shaped maybe consider just doing what it required to get through those specific doors?

    Up to you of course, you know what is best for you. Hope you can balance your schedule in a way that works!
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    Post by ttf_W/SBTRB » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:47 pm

    Most of the students I have taught since living in North Carolina have been high school students and middle school students. They all have busy schedules just like you. They are involved with marching band, after school club meetings, church activities, sports, work on weekends, and  in addition they have home work. During the school year I tell them to practice 20 minutes a day. They already have played in band so only a quick warmup is needed. Buzz a tune on the mouthpiece, a few lip slurs, rapid tonguing, and a F major scale two octaves. since these students are working towards auditioning for the all county bands that is what I focus on in the lesson and they focus on in practice at home. we actually start working on the scales for the next school year once school is out. I treat the scales like they are brand new to the student. How do they do??????? Very well. They always make all county most make all district and a few make all state. My teaching approach is basd on time management of the practice time at home by teaching them how to listen to themselves and fix their problems at home. It also helps to have supportive parents. That makes a huge difference. By the way most don't major in music when they graduate from HS. They major in engineering medical field, political science,etc. Being in music in high school has disciplined them preparation for life. DO they still play the trombones? yes...in their university bands. I am honored to have a small part of their lives.
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    Post by ttf_Bjroosevelt » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:36 am

    Quote from: bigbassbone1 on Oct 12, 2017, 05:03PMI don't want to give you bad advice, just an alternative way of thinking. You can ignore this of course if it's not helpful.

    I did not like high school very much at all. I knew quite early on that I wanted to play trombone after high school so I never understood or took any interest in classes that I didn't think had any relevance.......

    I don't know what the entry requirements for trombone are at the schools you are looking at applying to, but when I did it, it was just an average Mark in English as well as a specific live audition for the school.
    I personally never understood why people made such a big deal out of high school.... even if you do terribly in your end of high school exams, there are ways to get into courses and institutions you want through other means. I have friends who essentially failed several end of high school exams who have ended up very successful in their chosen fields. I got very ordinary marks myself at the end for everything not trombone related. I got into various good schools for trombone throughout my studies post high school, and won scholarships based on merit or audition at basically every university I went to.

    Whilst I haven't made a mint in savings, I have managed to survive the last several years paying my own rent, food, and fees solely through trombone performance (and a tiny bit of teaching). I recently left my country to continue study at an extremely high level music school in the states.

    I guess what I am saying is that I really do not see any point in making your life overly busy with things you don't want to do while you are in high school. High school means pretty much nothing in the real world.......

    A lot of adults (My parents included!) Will talk about how not doing well in high school will "close so many doors" (I used to HATE having that said to me!) But if you know all the doors you want to go through are trombone shaped maybe consider just doing what it required to get through those specific doors?

    Up to you of course, you know what is best for you. Hope you can balance your schedule in a way that works!

    ......what it looks like to be a real Performance Major and musician.......willing to do what others won't risk.....All in on Trobone, and betting his life on it.......the only way to be truly successful and happy in this world.
    ttf_Bjroosevelt
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    Post by ttf_Bjroosevelt » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:36 am

    Quote from: bigbassbone1 on Oct 12, 2017, 05:03PMI don't want to give you bad advice, just an alternative way of thinking. You can ignore this of course if it's not helpful.

    I did not like high school very much at all. I knew quite early on that I wanted to play trombone after high school so I never understood or took any interest in classes that I didn't think had any relevance.......

    I don't know what the entry requirements for trombone are at the schools you are looking at applying to, but when I did it, it was just an average Mark in English as well as a specific live audition for the school.
    I personally never understood why people made such a big deal out of high school.... even if you do terribly in your end of high school exams, there are ways to get into courses and institutions you want through other means. I have friends who essentially failed several end of high school exams who have ended up very successful in their chosen fields. I got very ordinary marks myself at the end for everything not trombone related. I got into various good schools for trombone throughout my studies post high school, and won scholarships based on merit or audition at basically every university I went to.

    Whilst I haven't made a mint in savings, I have managed to survive the last several years paying my own rent, food, and fees solely through trombone performance (and a tiny bit of teaching). I recently left my country to continue study at an extremely high level music school in the states.

    I guess what I am saying is that I really do not see any point in making your life overly busy with things you don't want to do while you are in high school. High school means pretty much nothing in the real world.......

    A lot of adults (My parents included!) Will talk about how not doing well in high school will "close so many doors" (I used to HATE having that said to me!) But if you know all the doors you want to go through are trombone shaped maybe consider just doing what it required to get through those specific doors?

    Up to you of course, you know what is best for you. Hope you can balance your schedule in a way that works!

    ......what it looks like to be a real Performance Major and musician.......willing to do what others won't risk.....All in on Trobone, and betting his life on it.......the only way to be truly successful and happy in this world.
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