I Practice Music for Weddings and Parties

by Robbie Schlosser · 20 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

I practice music, like some people practice law or medicine.  It’s my career.

I also practice music, in the sense of rehearsing to polish my skills.  I began at the age of 9, and probably earlier — who knows?  Kids sing, don’t they?

Recently I blogged about gaining professional experience from practicing, and my friend Stacie Tamaki posted a wonderful comment on my blog.

What Stacie says is true for me, too.  In her opinion, acquiring professional experience is a continuing process.  Always striving to learn more, she never feels she knows all she needs to know.

When I think about my life – the big picture – I see my interests evolving, too. The hand of a deity may be intervening here, but I’ll never know.  All I know is that I am on an endless quest for opportunities to grow.

Both refining and expanding at the same time.  In other words, one reason to practice music is to invest in myself.

Perhaps this is your strategy, too.  If so, let me offer a tip:  Consider your career — or whatever you like to do — a “practice”.  That is, the business of a professional.

In other words, become a pro pursuing your calling.  Get serious and commit to your long-term success.  Get training.  Learn to trust your intuition.  Adopt an optimistic, do-whatever-it-takes attitude, and your efforts will pay great dividends.

Works for me.  In my own practice I entertain people with my music, and my job really is to create opportunities for that to happen.  I need to be curious, resolute, empathetic, inventive, and skillful at creating whatever kind of music the situation calls for.

For example, take my whole musical career. Beginning in the third grade, I played in school bands and orchestras for the next 18 years. After college, for a hobby while I lived in upstate New York, I also enjoyed jazzing it up with several Dixieland bands and a jug band.  Practicing music.

I just found this 1970 photo of clarinet wizard Brian Bauer (Buffalo, NY’s “Dr. Jazz”), me (Oh, how I miss all that hair!), and trombonist Harry H. O. Brunn (author of “The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band”)

Robbie Schlosser's early dixieland years

Shortly after moving to California, I organized the original Magnolia Jazz Band, which evolved into a popular New Orleans-style dance band.  At the time, I believed this band would be my all-time favorite, and I still love remembering it.

Magnolia Jazz Band in San Juan Capistrano, CA 1979

Magnolia Jazz Band in Central City, CO  1981

But the times changed, and I continued to practice music.  Focusing on more elegant styles of traditional American music, the Magnolia Jazz Band became a trio and built a solid reputation for entertaining throughout the San Francisco Bay area.

Magnolia Jazz Band,  1983

Magnolia Jazz Band, 1993
Magnolia Jazz Band, 1993

Following my passion for the old style popular music, I played regularly with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra for several years in the late 1980s [watch this VIDEO, especially at 104 seconds].  And I toured occasionally with the wonderful pianist Butch Thompson in the early 1990s.  Practicing music.

Robbie with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra,  1986

  Robbie with the Butch Thompson Trio, 1992
Robbie with the Butch Thompson Trio, 1992

Nowadays, the trio expands up to a sextet and plays a broader variety of music. Waltzes, fox trots, cha-chas, tangos, rumbas, and bossa novas for ballroom dancers. Traditional ceremony songs and romantic ballads at wedding receptions. Light popular music for cocktail parties and grand openings.  Still plenty of swing standards and jazz classics.  Practicing music.

Magnolia Jazz Band,  2007

  Magnolia Jazz Band,  2007
Magnolia Jazz Band, 2007

Bottom line:  We often hear that the goal of a successful life is the journey, not the destination. Because I practice music, I think like a pro, focus on long-term directions, and take special care of every detail along the way.

“Keep the best, change the rest” — this attitude seems to work well for me.

How about you? What do you practice?  Are your interests and careers always evolving? Seriously, how do you guide your life?

CLICK here to tweet this post, and join our Magnolia Jazz Band fans on Facebook.  You’ll receive daily tips for planning wedding and party music, and you’ll get reminders for our public events.

Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

And if you find my blog useful, please LIKE it, TWEET it, and SUBSCRIBE for more ideas. Use those cute little icons below.

Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Robbie@MagnoliaJazz.com. Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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Brenda Jones

“The journey is the reward.”  I’m not sure where my business will ultimately lead, but I’m loving the journey and a HUGE part of it is the learning, the personal development that is a must in my industry.  I like the idea of “practicing” a profession as we should never be done learning in life.  So fun to see the photos as your career progressed.

Cheryl McDonald

Love this Robbie! As an evolving artist I too am always practicing. There is always a new technique, idea or way of looking at things that I want to share. Calling my business a practice makes sense to me. Loved all the pictures of your evolution as well!


Part of what I teach in my workshops is how to develop a reflective practice in one’s professional (and personal) life. I completely relate to the word practice. I also studied music growing up and have a traditional concept of what it means to practice (not that I was very good at it as a child!!) Developing a practice that is meaningful and fulfilling seems to me to be a key to a wonderful life.

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Harry Tinoco-Giraldo

I like your passion and dedication for the music I wish to have this gift… I have started to learn to play violoncello and I quited… Probably u can be part of my energy magnet to rich this dream thanks

Vicki Dello Joio

I think this my fave of your blogs so far, Robbie! I think both my work and my work About my work are practices. Showing up daily and with an openness to learn about the biz end has been a development of my practice of qigong, qi-based arts and theater skills. I love seeing how as artists we know how to have the discipline to show up for the craft as well as to enjoy the inspiration and muse.

Julieanne Case

I believe one should always strive to learn new things, to grow, to evolve.  It’s called life. You can change interests too or find ones that suit you better at various stages of your life. I don’t believe it needs to be the same for everyone.

Julieanne Case
Always from the heart!

Reconnecting you to your Original Blueprint, Your Essence, Your Joy| Healing you from the Inside Out |Reconnective Healing | The Reconnection| Reconnective Art


Kathy Alice

This resonates with me, in my view of course your profession is a practice.  I’m a technology professional and I currently have a SEO consulting practice.   Although I’ve changed my area of focus over time, the fact I’ve been in the field for a while makes what I bring to a project valuable.  Just like it is it is easy for you to pick up a new musical style, it’s easy for me to grasp large complex software projects and figure out where the management challenges will be – whether I’m looking for technical SEO problems or in as a project manager. It’s a combination of knowledge, experience and yes, talent.  I’ve tried other disciplines, trading stocks, real estate investing, even selling wellness products – but came to the conclusion that I should stick with technology – at least for how I make my money 🙂

Christie Halmick

Robbie – this is an amazing post! Love your attitude. I’m coming back to writing fiction after stopping for a long time and the same applies. It is through practice that I’ll get better. It is essential to my growth as a writer that I practice and to watch for opportunities to show my practices to the world.

Ann Evanston

Love the pics Robbie! I just yesterday talked about practice at the end of a seminar I taught. Too often people go to a class and “think they’ve got it”, go do it and it doesn’t work. Well, it takes practice, upwards of 10,000 hours (the Tipping Point)  to get really good at something!


Well, as far as ‘Practice’ goes, I have an art Degree from the UCB in the ‘Practice’ of Art!  I didn’t realize until your posting here that I took the word ‘Practice’ in the wrong way.  At the time, it didn’t seem ‘serious’ enough.  Hmmm… this will step up my efforts to get back at it and incorporate it in my work…  Thanks JazzMan.

Susan Berland

My “practice” is always evolving. I do agree with you that it is a journey and there is so much opportunity for growth and learning. I’m grateful there are so many “teachers” out there willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Susan Berland



Another great post Robbie! We are definitely on the same page when it comes to the value of practice. The fact that you have committed yourself to the ever evolving medium of social media with, what appears to be, the same dedication as your music, I guess it should come as no surprise that you’ve accomplished so much so quickly when it comes to your blog, Facebook and Twitter. And because it is ever evolving I know we’ll both continue seeking social media knowledge and practicing what we learn! Looking forward to it 🙂

Sabine Konrath

I love this post! And I do practice everyday – on one hand meditation and Taoist exercises, on the other – as an artist – my writing and poetry skills. The daily practice builds a solid basis, as the journey gets more adventurous. Being on my way is it for me – and of course practising. I love music, so you reminded me of training my singing voice more. Thank you, Robbie!
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Robbie Schlosser

Hi Sabine,
Thanks for your note this morning. Glad practicing is working so well for you. Stick with it, and you’ll get wherever you want to go. At least, it’s working that way over here…
Robbie Schlosser recently posted..Selecting Garden Party MusicMy Profile


Leaders need to practice what they preach and teach. I teach people to send greeting cards as a means to grow their business. If I am not sending my own greeting cards out, how can I expect my clients to?
Kandas recently posted..Why You Need a Chemo Port | Battling Bertha 15 | #BlogBoostMy Profile

Lily Leung

Love the photos and video, Ross! Practice huh? Okay. I will with the metronome. Maybe one day I can get the steady count. 🙂

Lily Leung recently posted..LIFE IN ALL DIRECTIONSMy Profile


Thanks Lily,
Glad you like the old photos and video.

I’m sure you’re already practicing what you love — including enjoying Chai tea, observing life, and writing beautifully. Just my opinion here, but I think we get good at whatever we practice. So if you practice long hours with a metronome, you’ll get good at keeping tempo with a metronome. Would you be happy with that?
Robbie recently posted..Does Planning Party Music Depend on Good Luck?My Profile

Lily Leung

Ooops! Sorry Robbie. My fingers slipped. 🙂

Lily Leung recently posted..LIFE IN ALL DIRECTIONSMy Profile


Loving your page…. Love to have you on my preferred vendors list!

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks Cindy,
Glad you’re enjoying my page! I’ll go visit yours right now. In the meantime thanks for including me in your preferred vendors list. Where can I see it? Curious to learn what company I’m keeping.
– Robbie
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