How To Find A Good/Great Teacher

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jwmrks, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. jwmrks

    jwmrks New Friend

    Aug 14, 2015
    Hi all! I'm thinking it's time to enlist the help of a professional come the first of the year. I've been teachnig myself trumpet for the last 6 months or so, and so far it's been going fine. I used to play trombone (started around 1980 and stopped about 2000) so am not new to brass and know enough of the basics that I'm confident I haven't picked up any bad habits (until now?). I recently picked up a bass trumpet to add to my collection (my low-brass roots calling me) and I forgot how much air it can take. While I've built up my air capacaity and am doing great on the bass, I now find on my 'normal' horns I have an excess of air. By the time I get to the end of the passage, I need to expell bad air more than needing to bring in good air. I've seen mention of this issue with others when they move to the piccolo trumpet, so think this may be more common than I expected. I've never had 'air' issues before, so haven't been able to figure out how to get past this on my own would would like maybe 3 or 4 sessions with a good teacher to get me on the right track. Of couse any suggestions from you fine folks would be appreciated. ;-)

    There are lots of great players out there teaching, but a great player doesn't always make a great teacher. My past experience is that it's taken me 3 or 4 sessions to find a decent teacher (at least for what I was looking for), but since I'm really just looking for a few sessions and nothing long-term, don't waste time with the good old trial/error method. Any suggestions/tips on how to go about finding the right teacher more efficiently?

    I'm in the US in the Pueblo/Colorado Springs area in Colorado if anyone has any reccomendations.
  2. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    My best advice would be to reach out to a local orchestra, and see if you can contact the trumpet players in it.
  3. rettepnoj

    rettepnoj Fortissimo User

    Feb 22, 2009
    Skype lesson with Adam Rapa!
  4. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

    Jul 25, 2014
    I'm in the same boat. Currently I do not take trumpet lessons, but I do take amazing jazz lessons from a local pro (unfortunately a sax player). If I were you I would look for a local pro. I did take lessons from a music major at the local university, it was fantastic until he graduated, so I wouldn't try that.
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    My suggestion is to contact the instrumental music director at nearby colleges for a referral or referrals. IMO a true really good pro doesn't have the time to teach whereas they have demands elsewhere to perform.
  6. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    I'm not so sure. Most great players also teach, whether it be at colleges or in private studios. I will say however that a great player DOES NOT always make a great teacher. They are truly two different skills, and you can be good at playing but not a good teacher.
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Ed has a smart idea. Check the university.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    When we learn to breathe "big", we do not necessarily learn how to use that air. That feeling of suffocation that you mention is a great sign that your breathing is "forced" and not relaxed. It is also a sign that your body is not used to that state.

    I would suggest that you start adding long tones to your breathing exercizes. Learn to hold tones out for 30 seconds and more. At first you do feel like your air isn't flowing enough. After a while, long phrases become natural.

    As far as teachers go, simply view your first choice as "not" necessarily the last. Make a decision on availability and credentials, but only book 2 or 3 lessons. If you feel that there is hope after the first couple of lessons, then you continue.

    Really fine teachers cannot simply be chosen intellectually. Each of us brings different talents to the plate and need differents types of motivation. Especially the "casual" player that is not getting two and more hours per day needs a teacher with patience and foresight. We start by simply taking a guesstimate and periodically reviewing the results. It makes little sense to expect the teacher to solve things if we discover that life is to busy for us to invest the required time.
  9. jwmrks

    jwmrks New Friend

    Aug 14, 2015
    Thanks all. I would have responded sooner, but it's been a busy week. After some of the comments I've really though more about my breathing. I've tried some of my old exercises, and boy am I out of shape. I remember that in my heyday being able to take about one breath per minute (30 seconds in, 30 seconds outs) without blinking an eye and I and could hold my breath underwater for several minutes. 4 as I remember it, but that seems an eternity now ;-). Now I can barely make 20 seconds in/out. Getting old stinks. :-? I just turned 45, so I'm currently using that as an excuse. Yes I know that it's not my really age but my lack of personal upkeep, but I'm sticking with my delusions. I am getting along in years and have been told by the youngsters I work with that the mind is the first thing to go . Or maybe it was memory. I'm having trouble recalling what they said. :-P.

    At any rate, I think I'll probably start by going off of the recommendations of the local music shop. I don't really know anyone at the local university to try that route.

    Of course I could always use a good excuse to get a new horn, so maybe I can blame it on the fact that my bass trumpet came with white gloves and look for a new horn to solve my problem. ROFL
  10. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Come on jw 45 is not old, you should be in the prime of life, I will be 78 in march next year, play in a big band where the current trumpet section is all over70. Our principal is getting a bit forgetful and I have to show him sometimes where we are at, he is a good improviser which I am not so we change parts when a solo is called for. In my 30 years since I took up trumpet I have had several teachers, only 2 have addressed playing the instrument, the others have taught me music.

    Follow what rowuk says, his information is good and has helped me immensely, also look at the youtube videos of Greg Spence, I have had a couple of lessons with Greg, he knows his stuff.

    Regards, Stuart.

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