I don't mean to....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    I think you are both missing an important point and underrating yourself here. You have an incredible range of talent, experience in many areas of music, etc. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to music and have thereby developed and acquired all of the above.

    To relegate yourself to be a jack of all trades or a blunderer [you made choices to get where you are, it was not by accident] makes no sense.

    Whatever you are, that is what you are. Why define it in terms of someone else's world.

    I think you have a great range of talent and ability.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Dr. G, I appreciate the compliment. Yes, you are right. I made a conscious choice long ago that music was going to be a major part of my life. (I was in 7th grade at the time of that choice.) But, life's circumstances being what they are, the one choice that I have yet to make is to obtain a college degree in music, so I probably downplay the abilities that I have to a certain degree (no pun intended) due to my lack of formal training.

    My "training" has always been on the fly and as-needed, but I have always maintained that in order to be successful as a musician, you need to be flexible to any number of musical situations that might arise.

    Another favorite quote of mine is:

    "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

    If you aren't well rounded as a musician, or pidgeon-hole yourself with the attitude that you are strickly an X player, (insert, legit, jazz, rock, swing, etc) then you can miss out on some golden and rewarding opportunities. I have always jumped at the chance to do something new and exciting when it comes to music because I believe that musically, we continue to evolve and improve, even if our chops don't necessarily meet that musical ability in the middle.
     
  3. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Formal training is not what "conventional wisdom" says it is. In most cases it is little more than a "ticket" to the show [probably more equivalent to "ante" in a poker game].

    I have two terminal degrees [doctoral] and am currently working on a third [all in different fields]. Unless one is personally inclined to spend the time and effort, I would not recommend it to any otherwise rational person, but for me it is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable. The demands made require reflection, consideration, analysis, and the ability to make marginally rational decisions.

    You, however, are in a field that demands high level personal performance --- this without much prior notice.

    Everything you do to broaden the base of your abilities will increase your capacity to perform. I suspect that each time you perform, you learn something, acquire an incremental improvement, face a new challenge, etc.

    If you think a piece of paper will enhance your position, get one. Somewhere in this very interesting world, there is a school that will consider your application, family, financial status, etc. and be willing to assist you in working it out.

    Good Luck
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I don't think that a piece of paper will do anything for my abilities as a performer, but I do think that it will legitimize my opinions and lend credibility to what I bring to the table.

    When I was a special Army Bandsman in the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, it was frustrating to me how many doors were closed to me simply because I didn't have a degree, yet at the same time those very same doors were opened to people with lesser abilities, simply because of the sheepskin. Time after time I have come across people with performance degrees that seemingly don't have the ability to perform - they crack under pressure, aren't flexible to sudden changes, can't quickly adapt, etc.

    I guess in a way, I do have a degree of sorts: I have a master's degree in performance from the University of Hard Knocks Acadamy of Performance. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

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    You know Dr. G,
    You bring another interesting statement to the table. I run into all these folxs who have the common trumpet player ego. To be honest, we all have it to some degree however varying. But I think it's funny how colleges are scamming (IMO) both the education majors and the performance majors. At my school, both degrees include different classes. In my veiw, I would think they both would need the same classes. To perform you are educating your audience, and when educated, you are teaching them to perform... I dunno, it's funny to me how folxs think they will get a performance degree and magically land in a paying gig somewhere. WRONG, you still have to audition for the gig and if the educator has better chops, the paper doesn't mean a thing except you paid more moey and maybe gotten some decent time on the axe in... watch out. I'm sorry, I'm terrible at tryin to say what is in my head. Thoughts?
     
  6. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Bear --

    I must agree with you to some extent, however [and this depends very much upon the field you are involved with] there needs to be some certification process that establishes minimum standards [NOT maximum standards]. This, in many areas, is a degree of some sort.

    If you are a professional, such as a medical doctor, lawyer, C.P.A., Architect, Engineer, etc. you are also required to pass some sort of exam -- again to insure that you meet minimum standards.

    The above are merely steps required before you can begin, a foundation, if you will, to allow you to "play" in the game.

    Note that the above described fields are based upon the possession of a certain amount of technical knowledge, which, if possessed is a great asset.

    I will not argue that non-professionals can perform brain surgery [or its technical equivalent in any field] as such surgery has been and is being practiced throughout the world in just such a manner. I, however, would prefer someone that was more skilled than that to do such surgery on me.

    In any case, such fields are, to a great extent a "closed" game. By that I mean that the technology is fixed and/or stable and generally understandable by anyone who wants to spend the time to figure it out. [the human body, for example, has not changed much over time]

    When you consider artistic ability, however, it is a much different thing. The field is "open" with little guidance from the past [unless you consider such things as scales, etc.] There is a sense of "feeling" and creativity with the arts [especially with music] that is very difficult to teach. Some folks just have the abililty --- what we call a "gift"

    Educators, being somewhat tied to the professional structure, are wont to believe that almost anyone can be taught [it is true to some extent] but even if the technical points can be well learned by this method, the result is somewhat less than a creative and gifted performance.

    All this means is that they are trying their very best to teach others how to perform well. This they do, and by the way, I owe much to those whose greater gift is to teach than to perform what they teach.

    If the "ticket" is required to play in the game you want to play in, get the ticket. Who knows, you may be directed into paths you would not otherwise be aware of, discover techniques that you had never before conceived of, and [perhaps, if you are very lucky] find someone who can give you the input to develop into a world class performer.

    It is always easier to learn from someone else's mistakes, that is why the education system is so important in a complex world.
     
  7. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

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    though it is very likely that a degree helps a great many, one definitely does not need such documentation to be an artist, however devotion and direction seem to be paramount, and these are perhaps the areas in which institutions with rigorous standards help
     

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