Choosing a Teacher

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AcrylicAce, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. AcrylicAce

    AcrylicAce New Friend

    Jun 23, 2009
    Hey guys, hoping I can get some advice...

    I am looking for a trumpet teacher in my area and because I live in a smallish town I have limited options. So far I have found four trumpet teachers in my area. Three of them are Classical trumpet players and one is a Jazz player.

    There is one out of the three classical trumpet players that is the executive director of a symphony in town and seems to have a lot of trumpet background (masters in music and professional trumpet player for many years). All I could find on the Jazz player is that he was taking Jazz II at the university in 2007.... so he doesn't appear to have as much experience.

    Now, my question is: Even though I am more interested in eventually learning Jazz and not too interested in Classical should I go with the more experienced teacher or should I go for a person with the same interests as me?

    I could see arguements for both sides. They might go somethings like this:

    When you are just starting out you don't need someone that is REALLY good because you are just learning the basics so you mine as well go with someone that is decent but has the same interests as you so you don't get board with the lessons.


    When you are just starting out you aren't going to be able to play in any particular style anyways so you should go with the best qualified instructor.

    What do you guys think? What is my best bet?

  2. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    hey kadin, i would suggest going with a more experienced director as appose to the less experienced... however... that's what i would say... all these teachers should know something of jazz... enough to answer you questions... as for getting bored... you shouldnt get bored... you do share a huge interest... playing trumpet... the two styles go hand in hand... learning one will definitly make you better at the other... so go with the person who is most experience in his or her style... dont sweat it to much... i would also try to find other clients and see what they think of the teachers.
  3. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    In my opinion, your decision might depend on you current level of proficiency at the trumpet. If you're a pretty solid player and are looking to learn more about jazz, go with the teacher that has the most jazz playing and teaching experience (which may be someone who seems to do more classical playing, you never know unless you ask them). If you're a beginner, or struggle with the basics of trumpet playing (breathing, sound, tongue, etc...), then I'd recommend the teacher with the most teaching experience, even if they aren't much of a jazz player, at least for awhile.

    Basic trumpet skills are easy to translate to any style, but if you're having trouble with trumpet skills, you'll struggle with jazz playing regardless of how good your jazz teacher might me.
  4. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bordeaux, France.
    Found in an interview, probably not related with your problem of choice, but one never knows :
    When Max Roach was already a very known jazz drummer, a master of percussion for all the young generation, he wanted to go and have some lessons with a great classical teacher. The first remark this one said was "You don't know how to hold your sticks".
    This first lesson was the last one.
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Get references. The guy that has the experience might be a terrible teacher and then again he might be great. Of the music teachers in your community, who puts the most students in All State or has the most students going for music degrees?
    Ask around and get an idea of who will fit you best.
  6. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    What everyone has told you if true. However, understand that the best jazz players have a solid background in classical trumpet. Think about Wynton and some others and they were trained classically and then went to jazz. This fact itself should tell you something.
  7. AcrylicAce

    AcrylicAce New Friend

    Jun 23, 2009
    Thanks guys. I think i will probably just go with the classical instructor. I'm not really sure how to go about getting references.... I went to the one main music store in my area and the guy working there didn't know any of the trumpet instructors. I'm not really sure how to get in contact with their students (other than asking the instructor himself but then the references are skewed).

    Sounds like I can't really go too wrong getting instruction from the more experienced classical instructor.

    Thanks for your advice.
  8. equivariant

    equivariant New Friend

    May 25, 2009
    I am only a beginner at the trumpet (< 1year). However I have been playing music for 20 years (mostly guitar) and lately (last 3 years) jazz guitar so I thought I might venture an opinion about music teachers.

    I think that something that is very important to find in a teacher is a passion for teaching. Of course musical competence is important, but I believe that it is equally important that your teacher actually cares about your progress (as opposed to just just doing a bit of teaching to pay the bills). I have taken lessons for the past few months on both trumpet and guitar and the difference between my two teachers could not be greater. The guitar teacher is a very accomplished jazz musician and is into a lot of the same music as I am. However I have never felt that he actually cares whether or not I progress on the instrument. On the other hand the trumpet teacher is less accomplished as a musician (still a good player mind) and probably listens to very different music, but it was clear from day one that he has a plan in mind for improving my playing. He wants me to be able to play well and is already setting achievable and worthwhile targets for me.

    Sometimes when I go the guitar guy I just feel like I pay 30euro to him to so that I can play rhythm guitar while he shows off his technique and his hot licks - not at all inspiring.

    Anyway, my point is that the best musicians are sometimes not that passionate about teaching and that you should avoid teachers like that (especially as a beginner).
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2009
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Just try them out. If your gut level feeling says "cool" then stay put!

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