How/Why did you start playing trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet blower88, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    29
    640
    3
    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I don't know if this is really the right place to put this topic, but I thought it might be kind of fun to see if anyone has any really good stories about why they started playing.

    Heres my story:

    When I was 3, I would always go over to my grandmothers house and I loved going up and playing the piano. Now, I never played any songs, cuz I was 3 and I didn't know anything, but I would bet I was better than most other 3 year ols, haha. Anyways, My mom decided to get me going with some lessons since I seemed to like the piano so much, and then my grandma gave us the piano so we moved it into my liveing room. So I could play more and get better.
    After a few years on piano, my techer noticed I was getting more creative and learning more about theory, so she told me about this composition competition that all the piano teachers in the area get some of their students to join. So I enterd that when I was 6 (most of the kids were 10 - 12) and I ended up takeing first. So I continued with piano and a litle composition for the next few years.
    I joined orchrestra playing viola in third grade. I actualy had to audition to get in because normaly orchrestra starts in 4th grade, and band starts in 5th grade. I ended up makeing the 5th grade orchrestra as a 3rd grader. As I was going into 4th grade, and the top orchrestra at the school, my teacher was killed in a car accedent. Normaly I think this would have been an end to my music life because I took the loss very hard. But what kept me going was this; the day befor the accident (our first rehersal of the year) Mr. Pendelton, my teacher, pulled me to the side at the end of class and told me that "David, you have more talent than I have ever seen in child before. What ever happens, do not give this talent up. Follow music for the rest of your life, don't give up. You are something very special to the world of music, we need someone like you." And that was the last thing he said to me, the next day he was killed by someone running a red light...
    So they cancelled orchrestra classes for the rest of the year because they couldn't find someone who wanted to teach an elementry school orchrestra. So a couple weeks later I picked up my dads old Besson Cornet from when he was in school and I auditioned for the band. I had never played a brass instrument so I was pretty bad and at first they wanted me to wait till next year, then I would start with the rest of the kids (I was only in 4th grade, band starts in 5th grade here). But the principal of the school somehow heard about my story and they got me in about a quarter of the way though the school year. After two weeks I surpassed all the other kids and made first chair, then as second semester was starting they moved me into the top band at the school. By the end of the year I was sitting first chair in that band too.
    I went on to Jr. High in 7th grade, (my district has 7th - 9th in Jr. High, and 10th - 12th at Sr. High) I had a "normal" three years there. Learning from Dough Akey was absoulutly amazeing. But compared to the other students there, nothing special happend.
    Then I came to Dobson HS. I joined marching band and full symphony orchrestra where I found all new kinds of music. At the end of my second year in highschool we just finished touring New York City and playing a concert at Carnegie Hall... What's next?

    So thats my story, sorry, I didn't realize how long that was going to end up. Anyone else have any stories about getting into music and why you decided to play trumpet?
     
  2. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Completely by accident. I was 12 years old and I'd been playing the piano for about 5 years. I had no interest in learning brass, although one of my earliest memories is lying on the living room floor listening to a recording of Denis Brain playing the Mozart Horn Concertos very loud!

    My local schools authority had just set up a small scale peripatetic brass service (i.e. a few teachers moving around the schools in rotation). They were holding the auditions for our school one lunch time and a friend of mine wanted to try out, and wanted a bit of moral support. I was bored anyway, so I went along. The audition was basically a 5 minute lesson and try to play a note (any note!) on a battered old cornet. My friend had his go, and we were all set to leave, but the teacher wouldn't let me leave until I'd at least tried to play a note, so I picked up the cornet, played a note (strictly speaking, I made an unpleasant noise), walked out, and thought nothing more of it.

    A few weeks later I got an offer of a place on the brass programme, which I accepted because I was getting fed up with the piano. My friend didn't get an offer. I don't think he liked me very much after that :oops:.

    Rich.
     
  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Being raised into a military family we were always on the move and I never got settled into a school that had a band program. Since I was always taking things apart I embarked on a technical education, Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Design. While in University, I had the obligatory guitar (hey, it was the late 60's). I only purchased music books that had those little pictures of guitar chords in the music!

    My wife got our eldest child started with piano lessons when he was about 6. The kid was a whiz, never had to practice anything technical...just seemed to "know" the right answers. Unfortunately his music was also rather mechanical and he gave up when he went from Grade 6 to Grade 7. His sister, however, had to work just a little harder but was much more successful. She changed from piano to French Horn when she went into Grade 7, got nothing less than 95% in any music subject through Grade 12, won numerous competitions including best brass instrumentalist under 15 in the province, competed in Nationals that year and has now graduated and is teaching music.

    The twins (now 16) were also showing an interest in music which got me to thinking (always a dangerous hobby for a parent of 4!). Well, I finally figured out that my kids had to have gotten their music talent from somewhere and since both my grandmothers played piano (one of them until she turned 90), my father played piano and mouth organ by ear, and I had NEVER been able to walk past any instrument without bonking, thunking, twanking, or honking on it maybe there was still hope for me. I started looking into the future and seeing that I was going to turn 65 in about 15 years and would need something to do...something fun, social, and long lasting that would give me satisfaction. So I decided to buy an instrument.

    (Another possible reason is that daughter was in the community band and they had Allen Vizzutti up for a concert and master's workshop...I got to sit outside and listen in on the workshop....WOW!)

    Now, the immediate question is..."why trumpet?" The answer is "because it happened to be the first instrument I found out of my list of 4 that was in my price range and in reasonable condition". So much for science, eh? There goes another myth blown all to heck! (the list of 4 was Sax, clarinet, trumpet, trombone).

    Anyway, I purchased this old, beat up Bundy that seemed like the best one that a guy (probably a flea market operator... you Brits would call him a "boot salesman") was selling. I hauled my prize home and immediately began torturing my wife, my kids, the dog, AND the neighbours. After a couple of rather nasty mishaps (including trying to straighten a flattened bell by banging it with the palm of my hand and ending up with something that Dizzy would have been proud of), I learned the value of a good service shop! They straightened, removed dents, made the slides parallel, and actually got the thing so it was really quite a decent horn....for about $25 US! Good techies are worth their weight in gold. Never abuse them when you find one!

    4 months of blatting away on my own had the family at a point of breakdown. My wife found out that a workmate of hers had a husband who was in a state of taking a medical leave of absence (stress)...and he was a music teacher! So the two ladies conspired to set me up with him...therapy for him and lessons for me! Come December he was telling me that I should really join a band...that I needed to play "en-semble".

    What a dose of icewater that was....4 months of lessons (from a saxophonist no less!) and tossed into a grade 2-3 level adult community band. Man, did I struggle to learn to count, follow, how to "hide" by "pretending" to play! I still laugh when I think of it. Anyway, I did manage to survive for that first 4 months of band and then went to the local conservatory and took lessons for the 4 month summer semester. That helped but, as they say, it takes X,000 hours of practice to start getting decent (substitute a digit from 2 to 4 for the X).

    Flash forward to present. I've been "on the horn" now for just on 8 years. I’ve been moved up to the senior band (grade 5) for the last three years, now playing mostly 2nd, with the occaisional 1st.

    At the present time I own 5 horns (Eclipse MR, Schilke B1, Getzen Eterna 800 LB Cornet and Jupiter 846L as well as the Besson International trumpet which my 16 year old son plays). Last year I was fortunate to win 2nd prize in the Eclipse contest which permitted me to buy any horn made by Leigh for ½ price. I sent my Getzen Eterna over to England at the same time and it was customized and refinished in 24kt gold plate over a scratch finish to match the trumpet.

    I have completely gotten out of the mouthpiece game. A couple of years back I purchased a Sparx #4 cornet piece and fell in love with it. After some discussions with a GR dealer I also purchased a GR66*** and have had both of these mouthpieces plated in gold to match the horns.

    About a year and a half back we premiered a new piece for concert band titled "McIntyre Ranch Country" which was arranged for us by Howard Cable (he of "Hockey Night in Canada" fame). The entire piece can be heard by going to http://www.lcbs.ca and clicking on link in the upper right corner. That was a huge thrill for someone who couldn’t even read music 8 years ago (let alone play trumpet!)

    Regrets....that I didn't start sooner. Greatest enjoyment....walking off stage thinking "There...take THAT!" (or walking off stage and NOT thinking "drat").

    Sincerest wish...that my health stays good so that I can keep on with trumpet for a very long time to come. After all, maybe half of my life was done before I began, but that still leaves me most of the best half to enjoy!
     
  4. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    1,217
    322
    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    I started playing in the summer after 3rd grade. (1963) The music teacher came around with some kids and demonstrated the instruments to the 3rd grade. I thought it would be a fun thing to do. I had heard jazz flute and thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. My dad said, "boys don't play flute. Play a trumpet." So I played trumpet. I've enjoyed it almost every day since then.
     
  5. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    29
    640
    3
    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Hey, I know a boy who plays flute... He just has the same "preferences" as girls...
     
  6. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    1,217
    322
    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this. Are you saying that males who play flute are all homosexuals?
     
  7. RichN

    RichN Pianissimo User

    97
    0
    Sep 25, 2004
    UK (Mids)
    Absolutely. And so are all male oboe players, people who have pink shirts and any man who drinks wine or reads poetry. As for male flute players who double on piccolo, I've yet to see one not wearing a pretty little floral dress.

    If you're going to generalise based on stereotypical nonsense, I think it's worth doing properly.

    Rich.
     
  8. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    29
    640
    3
    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    That right there, is a quality post...
    Thank you for makeing my day better.
    :D
     
  9. FlugelFlyer

    FlugelFlyer Piano User

    311
    1
    Dec 15, 2003
    Palos Park, IL
    4th grade, my brother was already playing it, so I figured it'd be a good idea to try.
     
  10. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Age:
    111
    1,061
    53
    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I was born in one of the poorest sections of New Orleans. At age 7, I bought my first horn--a cornet. When I was 11 years old, juvenile court sent me to a juvenile home for firing a pistol on New Year's Eve. While there, I had my first formal music lessons and played in the home's brass band. After about 18 months I was released. From then on, I largely supported myself as a musician, playing with pick-up bands and in small clubs.
     

Share This Page