Finding A Trumpet Teacher

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bamajazzlady, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

    May 16, 2011
    Anyone have any good advice on finding a trumpet teacher? I'm an adult, and I don't want someone who doesn't have time for a beginner adult who is brand new to learning trumpet, and I don't want someone who engages in "questionable" behavior as nowadays many people lie about who and what they say they are and do.
  2. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    This is a recurrent question and there is no fit-all answer. You can try local music stores, craigslist adds, nearby colleges to get some names. Getting in touch with instructors at a college music department is usually good; they likely know a lot of people, including predecessors who may be semi-retired and have lots of teaching experience. If given references, check them, the internet has given us tools that were not available before. Then, you need to "interview" the prospect and give a little of a trial period.

    I was lucky with my first teacher, who was very dedicated to each and every one of his students, whether in his high school class or elsewhere. Do not stop at credentials like career accomplishements. It's not because someone can play well that they can teach well. Previous successful experiences in teaching are as important as successful experiences playing.

    There are still some teachers out there who do not care much about "music fossils" (the name sometimes given to adult learners and comebackers) and use them as a source of income more than anything else. You should sense that your teacher is committed to your progress. Beyond the trumpet basics and technical stuff, you should expect advice on how to practice, guidance on things to listen to, that correlates with what you're working on, etc.

    As an adult learner, if your experience is anything like mine, you can expect quick progress in the initial stages, followed by a significant slow down and some long plateaus. These can be discouraging if we don't put things in perspective. A good teacher will help there too. A year with only a little progress here and there can sound like complete stagnation, but the truth is that it takes a long time to accomplish real progress beyond the basic level.

    Even the most gifted kids take a number of years to reach an interesting level, at the age when the brain is most plastic and physical abilities are constantly improving just by virtue of growing. Wynton started learning at age 7 and played his first Haydn at 14, and very few are as gifted. It's anybody's guess how he would have learned and progressed if he had started learning at age 30 or 40. So, in other words, be patient. Progress happens over months and years.

    This is a piano site with lots of interesting insights:
    Musical Fossils - Freeing the Adult Musical Student
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Here are 3 good people to contact for lessons online (Skype).
    Keith Fiala
    Trent Austin
    Nick Drozdoff
    Any of these would serve you well. I studied with Keith and he has infinite patience! And surprisingly, online lessons are very effective and more efficient than traditional lessons. The only drawback is the lack of ability to play duets.
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I would strongly suggest that you find a teacher in your area. I know that Birmingham has a symphony and going to one of those folks could be a very good idea. I have worked with many of them over the years and many times they are more than willing to work with someone and to help. Don't automatically think that they are at a level that they can't be bothered. Go and seek them out.
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
  6. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    I too am a beginner adult. Keith Fiala had me hitting high (above the staff) Eb's in 4 months. Of course, my practice routine was 3 hours a day also. The lessons were via Skype.
    I also studied in my home with Dan Foster, lead trumpet player for the UNT
    1 O'Clock Lab Band. Face to face lessons do have advantages, but do not discount the value of on-line courses. They work very well when you can't find someone locally.
    As previously stated, Keith is a super nice guy, a great trumpet player, and extremely patient with beginners!
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Yes. I agree that online lessons have their place. I've used them myself. But they also have limitiations. For someone just starting out, face-to-face is the way to go (IMHO).
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    An internet teacher is not going to take YOU along to gigs. Opportunities are a big part of the student/teacher relationship. They were probably the most important part of my career. Doing it has infinite advantages over hearing about it.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have faith in our TM contributors. Any body here from Birmingham that can give the OP advice from personal experience? I think knowledge from personal insight can lead to excellent recommendations.
  10. phittle

    phittle Pianissimo User

    May 9, 2008
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Justin Kisor is staring to give lessons via Skype. Superb player, and a nicer guy you'll not meet! Check out "Jazz Anyone" web page to hook up with him.

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