A Second Opinion

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Batman, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    In my view, you can thankful that you have the intellect to be analytical in your approach, because the majority of the world's population do not have that gift, and unless they are pure 'naturals' can only proceed by guesswork.

    But, yes, never lose sight of the ultimate goal - it's the sound that matters, everything else is just a means to an end.

    Good luck :-)
     
  2. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

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    I agree with Seth that analysis and intellect is a very good thing. I don't believe one can "over think" or "over analyze." Now incomplete analysis can cause paralysis, but the answer is to think more, not less. While we do need to be able to take action when we don't fully understand something, we still need to work toward a complete understanding. Usually, 70% of a solution implemented now is much better than 100% that is never implemented.
     
  3. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

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    Batman, I think that there may be some confusion by the reference to you going to University and getting a new teacher. Our US friends will take that as meaning that you are studying music and the new trumpet teacher is a colleage lecturer. I don't know whether that is the case or not, but originally you raised some questions about the new teachers' style of instruction as it is different from your previous teachers.
    I think that you said that you've only been with the new teacher for 2 months and that you find them a bit "wishy washy".

    If it were me (and its not) I would give it until the Christmas break and then appraise how far you have developed (or not) since September. you might find that despite your concerns that your progress has been pretty good.

    If on the other hand you are still unconvinced and if you feel that actually this person's style of teaching does not suit you, talk to them about it. Explain that you prefer a style where the technical details can be explored more and see what they suggest. The chances are that the teacher can quite easily provide you with all the technical examination that you seem to want but is choosing not to at the moment. Remember that the instructor is also learning how to get the best out of you and have only had a few weeks so far.

    I changed trumpet teachers in Feb this year and I know that it can be a bit tricky.

    Whenever you change something in your playing (especially teachers) you find yourself wondering if it is working and whether you might not be better off going back to the way things were, partly because you cannot know how you would be doing if things had stayed as they were. And if that new approach is different or hard to get to grips with naturally we want to go back to the old comfortable approach that we are familar with.

    Personnally I get the VB - Zen approach, (my first teacher encouraged me read Zen and the Art of Archery) but my new teacher is from a military background and is more structured, so I have the reverse situation to you. Again just my personal view but try and be a bit more open minded about the different approach for a few more weeks and then review where you have got to.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Batman

    Batman New Friend

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    ^ Hi, nice to see a fellow Brit on here.

    To clear things up: yup, I am at University studying music and, yes, I am having my trumpet lessons through the university - with the teacher they employ - as part of my course. (For the benefit of anyone reading this in the UK, it is university rather than conservatoire/ college. I did audition at Trinity, but ultimately only made it as far as the reserve list). Anyway, I digress...
     
  5. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

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    ..Not as much as many on here.

    And Yes, there are a few of us Brits hiding on here.

    Given that this is part of your Uni course then the teacher will definately be able to take you through the technical route, if that is what you need. Have a chat with them about it and see what they say. Probably best not to do it during a lesson though. It might be that this first full term is a bedding in period so that they can gauge where you are and you'll get to the technical breakdown in the months to come - I don't know but if you don't ask, you won't know either.

    I also don't think that asking is being pushy. It is your course (you are paying for it) and Uni is not about being spoon fed, but exploring things, so take a good dispassionate look at your progress and then ask.
     
  6. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

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    There is probably a difference between a USAF student pilot--who is a high performing college graduate, and a college freshman straight out of high school.

    I do think you and I have different approaches to instruction. I view the instructor as a guide who sets the standard of achievement and helps the student find his/her own way to success. When I trained instructors, we taught our instructor candidates to learn two or three different ways to teach an idea. We expected them to adapt their teaching approach to the individual student to ensure that student achieved as high as performance as possible.

    Your approach to instruction seems different to me, but if you have produced high performing graduates--especially if they started as typical freshmen who have a hard time finding their hind end with both hands, then your approach must work pretty well.
     
  7. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    Batman,

    First of all, this thread has been a great read. Thanks for starting it.

    I can say that my own teacher is a very artsy individual who can be very nebulous at times. He'll sometimes try to give me an analogy and get carried away with, "try to imagine......whatever". Occasionally it makes things lucidly clear for me, and at other times I just stare at him and say, "Dude, I have no idea what the heck you're talking about."

    But he's a good trumpet player and knows what he's talking about, and if an analogy doesn't work, he'll just skip it and move on to something else. I prefer to know specifics of how to use my tongue, lips, corners, etc., and he seems to always revert to air flow and breathing. He also encourages me to practice more and challenge myself with new material.

    We all learn things different ways, and I agree with the different other members who have mentioned that we figure things out for ourselves over time. Admittedly, I rank somewhere between Infant Beginning Novice and Very Green Amateur on the trumpet scale, but the more I practice, the more I find little things that just work for me, and sometimes little things that I've heard before from my teacher or on this forum just suddenly make sense.

    Different endeavor, but related: I play a lot of pick-up basketball, and am, well, pretty pedestrian as a shooter. Last week in a game I was off balance and shot with my elbow in a slightly different position and without squaring up. I'd never done it before but it felt weird, and somehow natural at the same time. All net, dude. So I did it again. And again. And it worked for me the rest of the game. And the game after that. And this week at the gym. I've been playing ball for 25 years, and I only discovered that because I was very active and engaged in PLAYING. I've always been coached to "SQUARE UP!!"

    Well, guess what? I just found out that I shoot better when I don't.
     
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Despite the disclaimer in my OP, I seem to have come across as arrogant and inadvertently pissed Dr Mark off - apologies.
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    Nope, not in the least. I've dealt with this behavior in students many times and will continue to do so in the future. Just remember, you can't fill a cup that's full and if your cup is full, at least pretend that it isn't if the person who is despensing the information is the one in power. Something to ponder:
    This all is based on you becoming a great player. Do you really think this trumpet instructor can stop you or make you a great player? No. Only you can make you a great player.
    Good luck
    Dr.Mark
     
  9. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

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    One of the things this thread illustrates well is not every student is a good fit for every teacher.
     
  10. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

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    I find that even the less technical musicianship parts of playing should be analyzed and dissected. My own teacher, and jazz band director and friend, has an amazing mix of expressive musicianship and analytical skills. In fact, he's hard to keep up with as he flies through fast jazz licks and then explains how each note in the lick fits into the particular chord spelling in a given style. My lessons with consist almost entirely of style and musical considerations. I.E. hold that note longer and let it ring, play that note a little sharp because that note on the chord sounds flat when it is in tune, play this note short, play these notes slightly separated, play these notes all legato.

    My natural musical feel when I started with him five years ago was that of a marching band/concert band trumpet player. He has taught me to play in the proper styles for jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Baroque, Classical, Broadway, etc. It has made a huge difference in my playing. I have been playing for 12.5 years since I started again. I cannot see ever getting to the place where I won't be thinking about the details of style as well as thinking about some air and embouchure basics. I don't think I will be around long enough to get to the place where I can ignore the details because my natural way of playing will be correct for the music being played.
     

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