getting lessons easier said than done

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    I agree getting good instruction on trumpet is very important, but in most towns the teachers in the music stores are not qualified on trumpet. Their ability is limited. The trumpet to some might even be their second or third instrument. In some universities they might get one week on brass, but upon graduation they can teach all instruments. So how does a student from a small town, on a limited budget get the quality instruction he or she needs?
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Where exactly are you based? Perhaps we can find someone for you.
  3. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Get online lessons. You can use Skype or FaceTime. The advantage is that you can find a tutor far better than those available locally.
  4. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    I was just making a general comment. I'm 68, so I would say my trumpet lesson days are long gone. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy playing my Getzen every chance I get. On line lessons are new to me. Do you still get that personal contact?
  5. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    I'm 63 and still get lessons now and then. I use FaceTime, it works very well. Allows me to get advice from a top tutor, that would not be available to me for miles.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Tell me about it! With only a minor in instrumental music, I'm supposed to be accredited to tutor piano and strings in addition to brass ... but I'm not stupid and know I can't tutor piano and strings well enough and will not try or advertise that I can. Yet, this is what Public School instrumental music teachers in the U.S. do, especially in the rural NC county in the US where I live do. The county high school band director here is a very nice pianist but doesn't know squat about brass IMO. She doesn't do well with the conductor's baton either, IMO. Will, she be here in the 2015-2016 year? I doubt it, as that is when her 3 years contract with the Teachers For America program ends. Certainly, this county can't afford to hire teachers on their own budget. I'll say the same about a private music school in the next county, but their high school band instructor is GREAT, vis they've been invited to the Rose Bowl Parade and will go if they can raise the transportation / accommodation costs with their fruit sales, car washes, Christmas tree sales and contributions.
  7. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    Like Rapier, I am 63 years old, and still take lessons, although I travel about 30 miles to get to him. If you live too far or lack the transportation, then, as advised above, use SKYPE or some other online forum.
  8. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have been giving Skype lessons with great success these past few years. I used to drive over an hour for my lessons when I was younger. It was definitely worth it!

  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I'll answer this from my own experience and perspective. I grew up in Imperial, Nebraska - a town of around 2000 people in Southwest Nebraska where the next towns where anyone really knew much about trumpet playing were Ogallala and McCook - 49 and 63 miles away respectively.

    Bottom line - you don't. We improved based on self-drive and competition amongst our peers. We had regular chair placement tryouts - it wasn't one of those things where once initial auditions were over you were locked in place. You could very well be bumped up or down several chairs, which would necessitate a change in the music part you were assigned. If you didn't want to be embarrassed, you worked at it.

    Being primarily a self-taught player, I've always been a bit baffled by the idea that you "need" to have "good" instruction to improve on the trumpet. Playing trumpet ain't rocket science folks. It's a fairly basic set of techniques and principles, and any half-insightful person should be able to identify what needs to be worked on, and find a methodology to work on it. Seriously, what is trumpet playing but a combination of the following:

    Tone production

    Granted, someone with a serious embouchure issue might need some help to diagnose the problem and prescribe a solution, but for the majority of aspiring players, many issues can be self-diagnosed and corrected in the practice room. And these days with the internet, it's even easier to avoid pitfalls and bad habits because you can research to find out what some of the more common issues are.

    So to summarize, you can get quality instruction by getting quality instructional method books, and getting to work without excuses. That will be enough to get a dilligent aspiring musician to the collegiate level, and a college prof can take over from there. If it isn't enough, maybe the person in question should rethink their aspirations as a trumpet player.

    In my own experience, I suppose I might have become a better player or been more successful had I had a good instructor, but I've done ok - 32 years on the horn this year, 26 years of fairly regular gigging, 10 years in the military band program, and I've gigged everything from concert band to big band, brass quintet to Latin band, wedding service music to wedding dance music, and a little of this and that in between. I never had a private instructor in my first 8 years of playing - 5th grade through 12th - with the exception of about 3 lessons I took from a guy who had come home from college for the summer, and I didn't feel like he was giving me anything that I couldn't figure out on my own, so I stopped. Even my time at the Armed Forces School of Music was pretty "eh" in terms of what I got out of private instruction. My instructor had a pet and I wasn't it, so the truth is I learned more about functional trumpet playing in rehearsals from the likes of MSG Farquhar, and sitting in rehearsals next to players like Paul Lindsay, who had already gone to Juilliard, and had been a working pro orchestral trumpet player before coming into the Navy.

    Dunno - maybe I'm the exception, but I doubt it. (Disclaimer - even though I've been a working player for years, I'm not qualified to carry Trent's horn case - he's an exceptional musician IMO.)
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Great question!!
    First, No one can teach anyone anything. The best an instructor can do is facilitate. With that said, many good tips and advice can be found on this site such as:
    Mechanics of proper trumpet playing
    How to articulate various passages
    Topics on sound production
    How to behave when on stage
    How to sight read
    How to get noticed in the world of music
    How to develop endurance and range
    How to play in the upper register.
    You are your teacher. Develop a good daily routine of sight reading, single, double, triple tonguing, lip slurs, stylistic playing and scales. Just as important is to watch youtubes of your favorite trumpet players. Pick one that you want to sound like most and go for for it!! Do your darndest to sound like them. Also, there are play alongs which can add fun and quality learning to your routine. You can also ask questions from reputable professionals such as the Moderators and the Artists in Residence. I'm not totally against instruction but I do suggest minimum contact if you are an adult and have a work ethic.
    My advice would be to find a university trumpet instructor and see them once a season. Their job will be to "evaluate" you and make suggestions as to how to improve on what you are doing. That way you have time to delevop before you see them again. This is what I do.
    Lastly, there's a document called The Basics Sheet which can help guide you through some of this stuff. If you copy the bold words and paste them to the advanced search, you can print out a copy for free.
    Hope this helps.

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