Does the teacher make the performer?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpettrax, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. trumpettrax

    trumpettrax Piano User

    Mar 18, 2006
    Does the teacher make the performer or does the student make him/herself a performer? How much influence does a teacher really have on how well a student will do? If one desires to be a soloist for example and the teacher does have that much influence on how well a student will do then getting "the right teacher" is very important in a musical career, but if the teacher is not the deciding factor then it really doesn't matter right?

    This question is coming up because of some info I was reading about a student at Julliard who started thier career WHILE "finishing thier degree".

  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I would suggest that there is a fair amount of both involved in the final outcome.

    Some students basically teach themselves - their teacher gives them ideas and they take everything on board - they go away, practise all day and end up as fantastic players.
    Others require a teacher to guide them more directly - they could still end up as great players.
    A potentially great student can be ruined be a poor teacher.
    A not-so-great student can be inspired to great things by a superb teacher.
  3. Albert Castillo

    Albert Castillo Pianissimo User

    Aug 11, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    just some thoughts.............
    Do you know the adage 10% inspiration 90% perspiration? Who perspires? Where does the inspiration come from?
    A great teacher doesn't even have to know anything about trumpet.
    It is important to get the mechanics right, but becoming a great performer is a synthesis of MANY influences. Most important, the great performer had great opportunities that were taken advantage of!
    A great teacher needs to know when the student needs to move on.
    You couldn't get away with starting Violin or Piano "while finishing your degree" The trumpet is probably more forgiving for people that get serious later in life.....................
    A great teacher will not be great for every student - there is a certain amount of "chemistry" involved.
    We can't blame our teachers if we don't succeed (we can, but it doesn't matter. If we can't perform, the teacher doesn't necessarily suffer).
    The key to success? Try and get as much contact to many people actually doing what you would like to do. They know what is necessary to get through the night. The more contacts you have, the broader and more objective perspective you will have-reducing the chance to be ruined by one supposedly misguided individual.
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I would not be doing what I'm doing without fur years of William Vacchiano. Maybe I'd have become a different yet successful trumpeter but Vacchiano gave me my focus.

  6. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I can say the same of Leon Rapier, James Thompson and Barbara Butler. All of them gave me skills, that to this day define me as a player and musician. I am forever tapping into the knowledge (power) I gleaned from my time with these fabulous players.
  7. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Great teachers can be a big influence on a player, but the player must have "it". I have had many students. Only a few have had the level of talent that it takes to make it professionally. I don't have that level of talent. I have had some of the best teachers in the world: Don Jacoby, Bob Ceccarini, Richard Steffen, Rich Matteson, Jack Peterson, ... I have worked REALLY hard at playing. I have managed to make myself into a decent player. I would never be able to make a full time living as a player in spite of the level of teaching and practice that I've had.
  8. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    In a very simple sense, the teacher provides the opportunity; the student chooses wheather or not to pursue it.

    All the preparations, excercises, sage advice, what have you, mean nothing without the student to act on them.

    I can stand in front of my band all day and tell thim this or that, show them the same things, play various recordings for them that model those things, but if they do not want to come to the material and interact with it, nothing happens.

    A truly great teacher can cause a student to want to interact with the material at hand. That's called extrinsic motivation. But to truly be successful, motivation must come from within; or be intrinsic. All students have some degree of intrinsic motivation. Some are more willing to show it than others, some have more than others. It is a very complex issue. I think a teacher can influence to some degree the intrinsic motivation of a student, but there are many, many other factors that come into play with respect to how much.

    Why did Chris Martin prepare so well that he won the Chicago gig? Why did Bud spend so many hours transcribing BY HAND orchestral parts for his audition for Chicago? Because they needed to. Those people are at the top of their game not because of the teachers they had, necessarily, but because of the fire in their belly. Certainly they would not have known how to prepare or what to expect if they had not had the teachers they had, but it was their need that compelled them to interact at that level with it.

    Long story short, it is MOSTLY up to the student. Very intersting topic.
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I think it has to be a little of both student and teacher. Manny said that he might not be there without what Mr. Vacchiano taught him. Mr. Vacchhiano had other students that didn't make it to Manny's level.

    I think the teacher has to do more then just teach how to play the trumpet. The teacher has to teach you to want it or inspire you. When I was younger I studied with a great player and he did a great job of teaching me to play but I quit. He didn't inspire me and my life took a different path.

    A chain is only as good as the weakest link.
  10. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    After being a teacher for 30 years I'll put it this way -- a bad teacher can ruin a good student, and a great teacher can't make a bad student great.

    It is up to a teacher to know his limitations and ask for help when the time comes that help is necessary. I'm a very good band director, but if you play oboe or bassoon in my band your parents better be willing to get you lessons because I'm far from being what I consider to be a good double reed teacher. The kid will learn the instrument, but will not excell in the same manner as my brass or basic woodwinds (flute, clarinet or sax). A percussionist in my band will do well, but by 8th grade they really need the help of a good percussion specialist if they want "super chops).

    I know my limitations as a teacher, and I'm not afraid to ask for help when the time comes. When is it time to ask for help? When my teaching skills and /or knowledge base are holding the student back. If the student chooses to not get help, then I've done my part in suggesting that the parents move to the next level for the good of thier child.

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