Holiday Shopping with Jen

HOLIDAY SHOPPING WITH JEN!

Happy Holidays to everyone. If you have a brass player in your life, here are some last minute gifts to consider to complete your holiday shopping. But always remember, the best gift is the gift of your attention. Spend time with the people you love this holiday season, gifts or not!

BUT FIRST….

Can y’all do me a solid and consider signing up for my newsletter? Beginning in 2019, I’ll send out an email just once a month with gigs and other fun stuff.

And I’ll let you know how you can preorder my album, BONEGASM. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

 

Robinson’s Remedies

This stuff is made with unicorn tears and rainbows. Just kidding. But it does have arnica in it which is basically magic sauce for weary brass player chops. You can put it on and immediately play. I personally use Robinson’s Lip Renew every single day when I have a lot of playing to do.

CLICK HERE to buy Robinson’s Remedies
Disclaimer: I am an endorser of Robinson’s but prior to that I was just a HUGE FAN.

Continue reading Holiday Shopping with Jen

Nicole Abissi – This is Only the Beginning

Nicole Abissi 
The world-class trombonist talks about her experience navigating motherhood while freelancing in New York City.


Nicole
Abissi has some serious trombone “street cred”. She’s performed and held positions in several big orchestras like Alabama and Colorado Symphony as well as being a member of two touring brass groups. And like me, her husband is pretty good at the trombone. Nikki is married to Colin Williams, associate principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic. They reside in Inwood, what we call “Upstate Manhattan” with their sons, toddler Christopher and newborn Alexander.  Continue reading Nicole Abissi – This is Only the Beginning

Issue of Donating Your Time

THIS IS A FRIENDLY PSA…

Musicians get asked to perform at benefits for free a lot. Many times, we are promised a very official sounding piece of paper that says we donated our time and told we use said paper for a tax deduction.

That is wrong.

You cannot deduct these donated services. I’ve checked with musician accountant extraordinaire, Dave Roth of Roth Finance, and I’ve consulted the tax code. No matter what anyone tells you, YOU CANNOT DEDUCT YOUR TIME. Continue reading Issue of Donating Your Time

Destructive Tendencies in Playing and Practicing

I am guilty. I confess. Most days, I hate how I play. It’s been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. I have realized that it isn’t a healthy attitude and though it does occasionally rear it’s ugly head, I thought I might share how I learned to deal with it. 

 

SURVIVING

We can all recognize that negative self talk is detrimental to progress. The first step to surviving and moving past these thoughts is compartmentalizing them. Take the negative thought when it occurs and put it away – you are going to revisit it later. Continue through your practice/rehearsal/gig as normal. You don’t want to be that person on a live gig who screws up and then draws attention to yourself further with a look on your face or a gesture of frustration. 
 
When you are done, examine these thoughts. Your initial reaction might have been negative but what can you learn from your mistake(s)?  I can now make mistakes and move on pretty unscathed on live gigs but I’m still working on this while practicing. 

Continue reading Destructive Tendencies in Playing and Practicing

A Product I Love!

In November, I was lucky enough to have a busy couple months in front of me. I had been perusing Facebook when Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Kenny Rampton popped up. His post was praising a product I’d never seen before. 

Robinson’s Lip Renew

 

 

Let me begin by saying that I am not being paid to endorse this. These opinions are my own. 

Robinson’s Remedies was founded by Ken Robinson, a trumpet player that had a cold sore problem. He set about to create a product that would help folks with cold sores but ended up with a product that all wind instrumentalists can use. It decreases swelling and absorbs quickly – so quickly that you can play immediately after applying it. No wax, no mess and it smells and tastes pretty good!

I used Robinson’s while playing  multiple Radio City Christmas shows a day on consecutive days a few times a week and my lips weren’t nearly as swollen as they should have been. Honestly, for as much as I was playing, I should have been in much worse shape. To give you a better idea…

My triathlon coach has a saying that describes this gig:

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

The holidays are usually very physically demanding for brass players. Many players have ways of dealing: good hydration (alcohol or water), aspirin, arnica, rest….the list goes on. 

I feel comfortable recommending Robinson’s Lip Remedy as the newest addition to your arsenal. Go forth and blow!

 

PSA – Scam Alert

I have heard of this scam a couple times so I thought I would do my part and put the word out there. 

Youll get an email from a parent like this:

From: Paul Oxley <pauloxley85@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Tutor

Hello,

I’m Paul, During my search for a lesson teacher that would help in taking my son (Kenneth) During is stay in your location. I found your advert and it is very okay to me since you specialize in the area I’m seeking for him, My son would be coming to your city before the end of this month for a period of time with his friend, I’ll like to know if you can help in taking him for the lesson? just to keep him busy and refresh. Kenneth is 11 years old, So kindly let me know your charges per hour/lesson in order for me to arrange for his payment before he travels down to for the lessons to commence.

He will be staying there for 2 weeks and Please Reply back on:

(1). Your charges per 2 hours (3 times a week for 2 Weeks):starting from 17th November until 30th November 2017

(2) Total Cost For 6 class/12 hours lessons in 2 Weeks

(3). The Day you will be available to teach him During the week:

Well am very happy that i see you as my son tutor and about your years of Experience there is no problem about the lessons, My son will be coming with his caregiver. So there is no problem for the lesson to commence by next week, my son caregiver will be bringing him to your location for the lessons and you can teach him anywhere around you including the Library or your home if that is okay by you so i will like you to teach my son the best of you when he get to the city for the lessons. I will like you to email me with your schedule for the lessons,I will like you to email me with the name on the check and Full mailing address where
the check will be mailed to and including your Home and Cell phone number for my attorney to issue out a check to your before leaving the the state, by this week, I will be awaiting to read from you soon with your name and address.

What happens after is that they mail you a fraudulent check and when you try to cash it, your bank dings you. 

The email above was sent to my husband and when my husband responded he doesn’t teach beginners, the scam artist first said John could teach his 18 year old daughter. Then he asked for the names of other teachers, which I can only assume he’d try to scam. 

How do you know it’s a scam?

1. Their command of the English language doesn’t sit right with you. Misspelled words and random capitalizations are a clue.

2. Lacking specifics. Do they call you by name? Do they mention your instrument? Do they know what city you live in? People truly searching for a teacher will know and mention these things. 

3. The lessons are only for a week or two and multiple times a week. A real student will want a lesson or two. 

4. Payment is sent ahead of time and will almost certainly be for more money than you requested. They will then ask for you to send them back the overage. Not only are these checks fraudulent but your bank will penalize you for depositing a fraudulent check. .

Have you discovered any ways to combat scammers? Let me know in the comments!

Stress Ball!

When I was young, Christmas was a big deal in my house. And when it was all over, my Dad would get really down. You know, you had this huge event with an enormous build up and then it’s just….over.

I never really  understood what was going on until I experienced it firsthand. Whenever I have done a big event in music or Triathlon, I get pretty down afterwards. The stress of getting ready for an important performance (or an Ironman!) has to go somewhere after the gig. For me, it turns into aches and pains and the blues. Continue reading Stress Ball!

Try To Fail

I am a stubborn person but I’m never as stubborn as when people tell me I can’t do something. That’s how I became a professional trombonist – my whole family told me I couldn’t and I did it just to prove them wrong. I did an Ironman triathlon (140.6 miles) a year after having hip surgery just because someone said I might want to consider not running anymore. That’s how freaking stubborn I am. 

Continue reading Try To Fail