Frank, I live in reality every day - I've got almost 30 years of upper level gigging as my reality. I'm also not a hopeless romantic - I'm pragmatic almost to a fault. I don't waste time with a lot of the nonsense and hooey so many players get wrapped up in - instead, I try to find the root of an issue and tackle it in a straightforward way. There's a quote that I've posted a few times, and it's something I try to keep in mind with my own playing: Talking about Bix, given that he died in 1931, I'm not sure how relevant some anecdote about him is going to be regarding this subject, mainly due to the fact that the whole nature of this thread is talking about learning trumpet with the use of teaching aids that have only become available to the player in the last 10-15 years - readily available information through the internet via forums, videos, YouTube recordings, easy to access published articles, (often written by collegiate level teachers) as well as the ability to easily record ourselves as a means to critically listen and mark our own progress objectively. That's not being romantic or having romantic notions - that's using tools available in a logical, structured way as a means to learn. Consider also that I never mentioned the words "master the trumpet" in my original post - to the contrary, I've specifically talked about being an "effective trumpet player," i.e., the average person on this board. While there are a few folks on this board who have reached the upper echelons of trumpet performance, most of us are hobbyists - part time players who at the most gig on the side while making our livings doing something else. Some of us never make it out of the practice room and actually do any kind of gig beyond pro-bono/just-for-fun stuff like a community band. Many of those people take lessons. Do they need to? That's really the question that I've posed, and I believe that it's a good discussion that is worth having.