For my STEP project, I purchased a trumpet and took private lessons through the Ohio State School of Music. One of my main goals was to master the art of brass playing, something that will help will help me immensely in my professional goals to pursue music therapy and perform professionally with a big band.
Throughout my STEP project, I found that I transformed so much not only as a musician, but also as a person. In order to learn a new instrument at this age and with such a busy college schedule, I had to be extremely committed to practicing and putting time into mastering the fundamentals of brass playing. This journey has taught me so much about myself and made me realize that I’m capable of achieving any dream I really work hard to accomplish. I found within me a deep passion for performing, mainly jazz, and a strong love of this instrument. My project helped me fall in love with music in a totally new and unique way. I found that my understanding of myself has strengthened so much because I’m much more in tune with my abilities and I have a greater understanding of what it takes for me to accomplish my goals.
During my step project, I met countless different musicians as I dove into the world of jazz and the art of trumpet playing. Meeting so many new people helped me gain lots of great perspectives on music and life. It was interesting to learn a little bit from each interaction and to allow myself to integrate the skills and lessons others taught me into my own playing and mentality about living and performing. By developing so many close relationships with the musicians around me, (my section, fellow band members, private lesson instructor, professors in the School of Music, etc.), I was able to gain a better understanding of myself and what I valued in my musical journey.
One event in particular that helped lead to my personal and musical transformation was my goal to be a member of the OSU Marching Band. This gave me something concrete to work toward and motivation to continue practicing even when I felt I wasn’t capable of learning this new instrument. By having this in the back of my mind as a dream I really wanted to fulfill, it gave me strength and courage to keep pursuing brass and to improve something small each day. I ended up making the marching band this year, which is something I’ve been dreaming of since my freshman year of college. The opportunities my STEP project gave me helped me accomplish this and taught me a lot about hard work and perseverance. I spent so much time working toward this goal, and I used jazz and a way to practice and learn the trumpet. This also led me to fall in love with jazz, and helped me realize that it’s something I want to be part of my life forever. I’ve discovered a lot about myself and what makes me happy during this project, and one of the main discoveries was learning I have a deep desire to master the language of jazz. I’m so grateful that my project led me to this because my life has been forever changed since this realization.
One of the key aspects of my project was my private lessons with the jazz trumpet professor at OSU. This relationship helped me in so much, both musically and personally. I found that I was constantly inspired by the way my teacher spoke about jazz, music, trumpet, and life. He gave me a lot to think about and a lot to take in all at once. He helped instill in me the love and passion I developed for this style of music over the course of my project. Another person who helped me transform over the course of my step project is my friend Ben. I met him during this new musical journey, and he has been there to support and inspire me since day one. He approaches his practicing with such passion and diligence, and he encourages me to do the same and has taught me a lot about myself both musically and personally. I’ve also met many faculty members who are jazz musicians who serve as role models for me both on and off stage. The amount of self-growth and discovery I’ve experienced since starting my STEP project has just been phenomenal, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I know it’s something I’m going to remember forever and something that has greatly impacted the direction of my life.
This change and transformation has been very significant and valuable to my life because I feel so empowered to accomplish any of my goals, and I’ve come to learn that with enough drive and dedication, truly anything is possible. I’ve also realized that it’s not about being THE best, it’s about being YOUR best. If you put in all that you have and approach every situation with that mentality, you will be happy with the results and content knowing that you performed to the very best of your ability. All these changes and discoveries are so valuable to my current and future life because I understand myself so much more and I feel like I have a much better mindset going into my future professional musical goals. I have a clearer idea of what my goals are, what makes me happiest, and how I can go about achieving those goals and continuing to grow and evolve and a person and a musician each day.