Can a Person Effectively Teach Themselves?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, May 29, 2015.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    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.
     
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  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    The YouTube recordings of the 14 Characteristcs in Arbans have been priceless to me and I would suspect many others. Personally I would say yes a person can teach them selves. I've learnd a lot on my own
     
  3. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    The whole idea of learning via internet or computerprograms without teachers is the wet dream of every manager of every school in my country.
    Unfortunately the schools that fired their teachers and bought a lot of computers are now almost out of business, under control of the government and nobody wants their "graduated" students.
    But still I don't see your point. Are you only satisfied when we agree with you?
    Or do we have to admit that we fit in your description of mankind:

    That's a valid point - some people don't have the fortitude to do it by themselves - either they lack the self-motivation, self-discipline, or become paralyzed with fear that they either don't know how to start, or have a fear that the steps they'll take on their own will be incorrect. Actually, I've venture to say that a good 70-80% of society can't really function without getting some kind of direction from somewhere, which is why we live in a society with a lot of followers, and relatively few leaders, but that's a generalization that doesn't have anything to do with playing an instrument.
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I never said that people have to agree - the whole point of discussion is to explore varying ideas, and offer support or arguments for or against those ideas.

    In my country, there are a lot of E-Colleges THRIVING on content that is only offered through an online interface, (still has a teacher, but they don't actually meet the students other than through email or other computer media related means) and it has enabled a lot of people to complete their degrees, which then gives them the ability and qualifications to strive for further advancement in their careers.

    I don't understand what you don't see about the point I'm trying to make. People challenge the status quo all the time on just about everything - it's a good thing IMO, and it's how we advance in everything that we do. At some point someone has to be the innovator. If no one ever challenged the status quo, and only ever became what their teacher taught them, then we'd still be stuck in a very dated way of approaching the trumpet.
     
  5. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    I don't believe there's any way you can completely self-teach anything, especially music.

    First - even if you "do research" on the internet, you're being taught - by whom is a crap shoot.
    Next, when you listen to music, you're learning from a teacher - whomever the artist is on the recording.
    Third, without learning how to Play Music, you're essentially just tooting away on the horn, and not necessarily making music.

    Phrasing, musicality, dynamics, are all learned - whether taught in a traditional fashion (i.e., a teacher/coach) or by listening. And you choose the latter, you better REALLY understand how to translate what you're hearing into playing that way into your horn and really be determined and DRIVEN to improve.

    Just my 2 cents on this old-ish conversation.
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Did you even bother to read the first post of the thread? In the very first post, I stated:

    Basically yes - I'm challenging the idea of being traditionally taught, i.e., private lessons with an instructor.
     
  7. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    I don't read your posts anymore. Sorry.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    It's my thread - thanks for participating, although it would be at least somewhat helpful if you took the time to read the original post. Everything you mentioned about learning how to play - utilizing tools such as listening to recordings, recording yourself and critically listening to yourself on playback etc, - that was all covered in the first post.

    I'm sorry if my posts are so pedestrian that you no longer read them. And here I thought I added some straightforward, pragmatic thoughts about trumpet playing into the mix.
     
  9. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

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    Since you include in your self-teaching also a teacher via internet the whole topic seems to fade away.
    Your persistence make me feel like there is on your side maybe some problematic attitude against authority in general (see your view on mankind above).
    Using arguments like innovation, status quo and so on is not very nice because the other party has to defend themselves for being hopelessly conservative, in fact an argument ad hominem, which is essentially a non-argument.
    But the conclusion could be: you and some others here teach yourself to be an effective trumpetplayer. The others try to grow in musicianship by learning from others who have more technical and musical know-how than we have.
     
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I think you have misread something somewhere - seems to be an issue. I don't think I ever said anything about hiring a private tutor via online lessons. It defeats the purpose of what we're exploring in the thread. There are a lot of resources available online in the form of forums, articles, videos, etc - all of which can be done without hiring a teacher and partaking in Skype lessons.

    And you might be right - I have such an issue with authority that I spent my first 10 years outside of high school as a soldier in the US Army, did 4 years worth of Army National Guard, and after taking a 10 year hiatus, I'm back in the Army National Guard again. (All of this activity is with various Army bands) If I had such an issue with authority, I'd never subject myself to being in the military at all.

    Something else to bear in mind, as musicians, we don't exist in a vacuum - if we play in any ensembles at all, there are going to be pointers coming from the ensemble directors regarding musical expression and how a passage should be played, and you'll hear other people next to you doing things you may choose to incorporate or emulate into your own playing. While things can be learned from all around, it's still not the same thing as taking lessons with a private instructor.
     

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