Having musical role models is important for every musician. They got us interested in music in the first place and can be a constant source of inspiration and motivation when we lose our way or get frustrated. We learn about tone, phrasing, melody and emotion by listening to our heroes.  Listen not only for enjoyment, but to learn how and why an artist makes you feel what you feel.

Listen to as much music as you can in as many styles as possible. Vocalists can learn from instrumentalists and instrumentalists can learn from vocalists. Violinists can learn from tuba players and accordion players can learn from mandolin players.

There are a staggering number of places to hear music online and most of us carry with us a vast library of music on our phones and music players. Additionally, be sure to seek out live music whenever possible. Nothing can replace the intimacy and sense of connection that comes from hearing music you love by live musicians while surrounded by others who love it as much as you.

Check out coffee house concerts, buy a concert subscription, challenge yourself to hear live music one a week (S.M.A.R.T. goal?). Check out artists you know you like and artists you’ve never heard.  Ask the musicians at those gigs where THEY go to hear music. Look for online concert listings or in the local paper or on local television events channels. If you can’t find a good listing, START YOUR OWN!

from “Music Practice Coach,” lanceladuke.com

About the Author

LANCE LADUKE is internationally known as an educator, performer and creator. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Euphonium, Freshman Advisor and Coordinator of Special and Creative Projects. Lance teaches business, marketing and communications as part of the CMU Music Entrepreneurship Program, coaches and mentors a variety of chamber ensembles and is also Adjunct Professor of Euphonium at Duquesne University. Lance was a member of Boston Brass and the US Air Force Band in Washington DC, has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and currently plays with the River City Brass. He has taught and/or given master classes at some of the world’s finest conservatories, including Juilliard, the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Lance co-wrote and produced “Band Blast Off,” a highly successful band recruiting DVD and maintains an active speaking career, sharing his thoughts on practice, leadership, and self-development. His wildly successful book, “Music Practice Coach, Five Workouts to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Time!” is available as a free PDF at lanceladuke.com. Lance is an Educational Ambassador for Jupiter Band Instruments.

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