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Today I want to talk a little bit about how I think about prioritization. Not only projects, but personally. Like when you get overwhelmed and you're doing a million different things, and you have a million expectations on you. What can we do to try to mitigate some of that and how can we figure out how to make the best out of a situation where we're feeling this stress and sense of being overwhelmed?
Maybe you're not even to the point where you're overwhelmed yet, but you just have so many things going on and you're not sure where to put your attention. This happens to me pretty frequently…
Something that I've been trying to do recently (that I am borrowing from a lot of other people that have talked about this) is trying to think about which of all the things/ all the projects/all the places where your energy is being put - if you focus on one of them, will allow you to knock down the rest of them? And by "knock down the rest of them," I mean, which one will affect the rest in a positive way? Which one will allow you to take the next steps the fastest?
For example, if you are an instrumentalist and you're working on your own music… you're working on music for other people….and you're trying to organize a whole bunch of different projects… the thing is, if you don't take care of your business (meaning yourself!), if you don't take care of your instrument, you don't take care of the basics, the fundamentals, getting better all the time, it's not going to matter, because if you don't take care of what the number one thing is (YOU) you’re going to fall behind. Whatever your major is, whatever your most important thing is - if it's your company, your business, your band, your ensemble, your chamber group, if you don't take care of that one thing, the thing you care about the most, all the rest of the stuff is going to fall away.
I'm not saying to abandon everything else, but to prioritize the things that matter to you. To prioritize the things that are going to allow you to get all the things done, by focusing your energy.
If I take care of what I need to take care of in a day to feel good, to feel like I crossed everything off my list, or at least to feel good about the things that I did (practice, take care of business at home, etc), it sets me up to be able to work on all of the external things that pop up. Taking care of yourself and thinking about yourself first can be a challenge, because a lot of people I know think about all the external expectations and get caught in a constant cycle of not be able to take care of themselves, but it really is so important. If you don’t, it leads to not being able to get done things for other people, which makes you feel even more stressed, and still not take care of the things that they need to take care of for themselves! It proliferates this downward spiral, if you will. And we don't want anyone to get there! We want everyone to break the pattern, and start to focus on what they want out of their situation.
Whatever your situation is, whatever you're working on, think about prioritizing the tasks that get you the furthest (i.e.80% of the way there) the fastest. Whatever the things are you need to do for yourself that are going to allow you to take care of everything (and everyone) else.
For me, those things are right now, working out; making sure to practice my instrument (that being the trombone); and writing music every day. If I don't take care of the basics on those fronts, there's no chance for me to be energetic enough to get all of the other projects I'm doing, all of the nonprofit stuff, all the Outside in Music stuff, all the teaching stuff that I do. There's no way, if I don't take care of myself, for me to do all that.
So, I encourage you, in this very hectic time of year, to start to think about how you're going to take care of yourself, and how you can balance everything, by prioritizing your projects.
Thanks for being here. Have an amazing Holiday Season!
- Nick Finzer
The newest project from my band Hear & Now!
Steps | What Was
50 years ago this month (December 2018), one of the most iconic exploratory jazz piano trio albums hit the scene. Chick Corea's album "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs" featuring his trio of Miroslov Vitous and Roy Haynes was released in December of 1968 and highlighted a plethora of interesting releases that were released in that year. Chick was just 26 years of age in this recording, and it truly is a remarkable work of art.
For me, this album is and was one of the most intriguing musical statements that seamlessly connects improvisation and composition together, blurring the lines between what is and is not, composed. It has followed me throughout my career, popping up in bits and pieces, from a fascination as an undergraduate, to playing "Matrix" on a Juilliard degree recital. During this latest encounter, earlier in 2018, I realized this year marked the albums fiftieth anniversary!
Earlier this year, my band Hear & Now recorded brand new arrangements of the tunes from Herbie Hancock's "Speak Like a Child" album, a special project for YouTube. And when I learned both "Speak Like a Child" and "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs" were released in the same year, it seemed fitting for me to delve deeper into this music and present new versions of Chick's tunes as well!
I'm very excited to share these new videos that feature:
Lucas Pino - Tenor Saxophone & Bass Clarinet
Alex Wintz - Guitar
Miki Yamanaka - Piano
Dave Baron - Bass
Jimmy Macbride - Drums
I hope these videos will serve has an inspiration for you to rediscover Chick Corea's original work, and to appreciate the fact that the sign of truly great composition is their longevity and ability to be reinterpreted again and again.
NOW HE SINGS NOW HE SOBS
The new updates are here for the 2019 Goal Setting Course (specifically, a new and updated workbook, the course CONTENT is the same)
If you want to, just grab the workbook here:
Until the end of 2018 use the code GOALS2019 to get 50% off!
Here’s some of what we have to offer…
For one day only - and only 5 bundles available!
Click through on the playlist above to see all of the new things that Hear & Now is up to!
I'm excited to move in a new direction with our domestic booking! Our current agency and management:
Outside in Music - email@example.com
December 10th - 24th, 2018
March 7 - 17th, 2019
May 20th - June 2nd, 2019
June 17th - July 8th, 2019
July 27th - August 4th, 2019
BIG THANKS to NEXTBOP.COM for featuring the new project on their site! An honor to be a part of their community! :)
watch the project....
Nick Finzer's Hear & Now plays Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child Track 4 - Toys!
0 years ago this year (2018), Herbie Hancock and his band recorded some of the most iconic jazz of the 1960's on his album "Speak Like a Child" - and as fate would have it, this music was among the first jazz I heard and performed as a high school student!
Nick Finzer's Hear & Now plays Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child Track 2 - Speak Like a Child Lucas Pino - Tenor Sax Alex Wintz - guitar Miki Yamanaka - piano Dave Baron - bass Jimmy Macbride - drums Nick Finzer - trombone and arrangements 5
50 years ago this year (2018), Herbie Hancock and his band recorded some of the most iconic jazz of the 1960's on his album "Speak Like a Child" - and as fate would have it, this music was among the first jazz I heard and performed as a high school student!
Nick Finzer's Hear & Now plays Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child - track 1 - Riot Lucas Pino - Tenor Sax Alex Wintz - guitar Miki Yamanaka - piano Dave Baron - bass Jimmy Macbride - drums Nick Finzer - trombone and arrangements
We're just TWO weeks away from the start of my "No Arrival" tour and we're getting ready to hit the road! This video will let you know exactly where and when:
Here's the rundown:
4.17 CU Boulder College of Music
4.20 North Coast Brewing Company (Sequoia Jazz Room)
4.21 The Sound Room Oakland,CA
4.22 blue whale Los Angeles
4.27 The Nash - Phoenix, Arizona
4.28 Avant Groove Salt Lake City
5.6 Twins Jazz Washington DC
5.10 B Sharps Jazz Tallahassee, FL
5.11 The Velvet Note - Alpharetta, GA
5.12 Nashville Jazz Workshop - Nashville, TN
5.13 Timucua Arts Foundation - Orlando FL
5.23 SubCulture - New York City
5.31 BOP STOP at The Music Settlement - Cleveland, OH
6.1 BLU Jazz+ - Akron, OH
6.2 Cliff Bell's - Detroit
6.3 Kalamazoo Piano Company - Kalamazoo, MI
6.4 Jazz Showcase - Chicago, IL
8.25 Northwest Jazz Festival, Lewiston, NY
8.26 Bop Shop Records Rochester, NY
Where will we SEE YOU?
Hi All! Today MARCH 13th, 2018 marks ONE MONTH until the release of my new album "No Arrival" on Posi-Tone records!
Trombonist Nick Finzer reaches for the beauty of new vistas and explores the mysteries of unexpected destinations with his new album No Arrival. Finzer's sound is solid and extraordinarily well-centered, his articulation sharp, and his command of the idiom is complete. The depth of his artistry is considerable, and while the music is definitely straight forward and rooted in the tradition with some hard swinging highlights, the session is also elegantly lyrical and evocative of a more modern jazz sensibility. Listeners will enjoy the wide emotional range of Finzer s brilliant original compositions and arrangements as they are presented with the able and captivating assistance of a solid group of musicians, including reedman extraordinaire Lucas Pino, guitarist Alex Wintz, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Dave Baron and drummer Jimmy Macbride. With an amazing combination of talents, some stunning performances, and an engaging program of musical selections, Finzer firmly establishes himself as a brilliant new star on the horizon. His latest record, No Arrival, is an endlessly entertaining experience that will certainly bring serendipitous bright moments to jazz fans everywhere.
Happy Holiday Season All!
To kick it off, I'm offering a new holiday educational bundle for 2017!
This year's bundle includes:
- A Coupon Code to Redeem 1 Lifetime Access Copy to "Get Ahead" a Practical Course for the Developing Jazz Trombonist ($133 Value)
- Physical Copy of a Practice Journal ($15 Value)
- Signed Copy of "Hear & Now" ($20 Value)
- One Skype Lesson (Giftable to the same person who registers the Get Ahead Course!) ($100 Value)
- Some other free goodies ;)
$268 of Value for just $140!
(additional domestic or international shipping rates apply)
Welcome! Glad you clicked over!
6 Reasons you should be learning Music with Online Courses
Across so many industries online learning has taken hold in a real way, and is proving to be a highly effective tool! After taking several online courses myself, I was thinking about several ways that musicians could take advantage of these online learning opportunities!
1 - Learn at your own pace
You can take your time through each lesson, making sure you get the point of each session. Repeat things at will, pause and interact with the video sessions, and have the time you need to process the information being presented. There are no time constraints!
2 - it's like having a private instructor all the time!
These sessions allow you to visit a private instructor any time you like, getting inside information directly from folks who are making their lives in music!
3 - As an aspiring professional it's important to learn from as many teachers as possible.
I think it's really important to learn from a wide variety of teachers. Everyone has their own way of thinking about things, and a unique way of explaining things as well. Sometime what you need is to hear the same information presented to you in a different way - I know that has been so helpful to me throughout my career! With an online course you can get those opinions without having to track down the teacher in person!
4 - It's a great value.
It would cost so much more to get all these lessons from a week to week teacher! If an hour lesson from a top professional is usually $100, a $99 course for five hours of video content is a STEAL! Not to mention that you can repeat those lessons time and time again, and the supplemental materials that come along with the course.
5 - Lifetime Access
You know how you always wished you had an archive of all the lessons you took with your private instructor? Here's a great way to have the ability to check back in at any point, and see if you want to revisit any of the material you worked on before. And even more amazing - if the instructor decides that they want to add more content to the course? Bam! More lessons for you! The sooner you sign up the bigger the life long value you'll be getting from the course.
6 - Location Independence
The hardest thing about getting lessons with musicians is scheduling. Do you have to travel to them? Are they on the road? It can be a real task trying to just line up a mutually workable time. Not to mention what If you live half way across the world from that teacher? With online courses you can be anywhere in the world and learn from the best in the business, whenever you want.
In the case of my course "Get Ahead" it even comes with 5 complimentary video coaching sessions to get direct feedback about your playing! This is only available during the course launch period which is open now until June 19th, so make sure that you get on board to make summer 2017 your most effective yet!
Can't wait to hear what you all are up to - 👍
Nick Finzer's vlog returns! This first episode of the new season recaps the 25 city Hear & Now CD Release tour!
HEAR & NOW cd release at blue whale 4.10.17!
We're celebrating "Hear & Now" with a performance at blue whale Los Angeles!
Monday 4.10.17 9PM!
ft. John Beasley (piano), Danny Janklow (saxophone), Alex Boneham (bass), and Dan Schnelle (drums)
Here's a quick look at what happened last time we came to the blue whale!
won't you join us?