Is there a standard to evaluate a Private Lesson Teacher?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetchuck12, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. trumpetchuck12

    trumpetchuck12 New Friend

    Mar 11, 2007

    Obviously you have had some great private lesson teachers. I have had some okay to very good teachers in the past, but the currently one I have now is very questionable despite his reputation as a jazz composer/arranger and jazz trumpetter. He attempts to play classical music and teach the trumpet studio at the local university here.

    I don't want to say any names for political reasons since he's the only guy I can currently get trumpet instruction credits from towards my BM degree. I work full time in a professional job, and I work on my BM degree in trumpet performance with elective emphasis in conducting as a hobbie.

    The teacher is very poor on time management, and he misses many of my lessons...reschedules them, and misses the reschedule time or ends up doubling with another student making it a duel or trio lesson. He also teaches the jazz band and is the assistant band director at the university. He knows alot about the trumpet and fundementals only in the way he plays and does not offer any inspiration, nor encouragement nor direction.

    ...but how do you evaluate a trumpet teacher, and is there a standard to do such?

    I want to be a versitle player in jazz and classical to hopefully win a chair in the local town symphony. I also perform in the Reserve Army Band and want to lead my own small group combo.

    I've asked him to focus on my jazz (since that is his forte), but his only comment was "Oh, you want to play jazz now?!", but his only teaching was...just play with no ground building.

    Do you currently teach private lessons? I go to Atlanta a min. of once a month and would be interested in taking some lessons from you.

    I need a set standard to go by so I can have my facts straight when speaking to the dean about possibly contracting an adjunct classical(legit) or studio trumpet teacher, and what to evalute that person on.

    Trpt mpc: Monette B1-5, B1-5M
    Cornet mpc: Sparx 2
    Flugel mpc: Giardinelli-New York 3FL
    Bb Trpt1: B&S Challenger II 3125/2 w/heavy caps
    Bb Trpt2: Yamaha Xeno 8345G (Army Band Issued)
    Bb Cornet: Getzen (DEG) Signature 2000
    A/Bb Pic: Yamaha 6810S
    Bb Flugel: Blessing Artist B154 (Army Band Issued)
  2. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    If he is so slack at keeping commitments, he is hardly likely to be planning between lessons to best meet your needs. It sounds like he is the type of guy who just turns up and wings it. A good teacher does ot for the joy of seeing improvement in his/her students. Sounds like your guy has more of an ear for the cash register. Many players see teaching as un unavoidable necessity to pay the bills. If you think that is the game plan for your guy, you are being dudded.
  3. trumpetchuck12

    trumpetchuck12 New Friend

    Mar 11, 2007
    Thanks OzBoy! Your right, I am being dubbed. I've decided not to take from that guy even if that means not getting the applied instruction credit I need, and since I'm the only trumpet performance major at the university, they will have to consider my request for a legit trumpet teacher. Probably will major in Music Theory and Composition for the time being until that's straightened out. I checked with some of the other students, and they all feel the same way about the guy so its not just me dealing with this, but no one else really cares enough to complain.
  4. ozboy

    ozboy Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 17, 2007
    Hope it works out. Teaching is something that people should do for the right reasons. I'm sure you will find someone with the right motivation. Good luck.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    there is no "standard". The student/teacher relationship is based on much more than attendance and repertory.

    Poor attendance is a sign of someone not doing their job. If this teacher cannot get their act together, the university needs to notified and make functional arrangements.

    As far as inspiration, encouragement and direction goes, my experience shows that this is ALWAYS a two way street. There are some people that just cannot find a common denominator. This does not make one or the other good or bad, it is just a fact of life. A true professional will make arrangements for a plan B, which may also fail, as there are some that have to be spoon fed..................

    If your desire to learn is truly on fire, you will find a way to solve that problem. The first step is getting in contact with the university to make arrangements for credit.
  6. Hags888

    Hags888 Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Have you considered transferring to a different school? There are literally hundreds of music schools all across the country. If you're not happy at one, I'm sure there's another one nearby. Everyone's situation is different, but if you're truly not happy where you are, there's no reason to "stick it out" in a bad situation...
  7. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2005
    Hi Hag,

    I'm sorry that I have not responded sooner. Its unfortunate that it seems you are in a situation that does not foster or inspire a passion for trumpet performance. I believe you should inform your school administration of what the situation is like. Your question about a "standard" is simply a question of professionalism.
    Showing up for lessons is the least a teacher can do.

    I do teach privately.

    Good luck!!!

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2007
  8. trumpetchuck12

    trumpetchuck12 New Friend

    Mar 11, 2007
    Thank you all for replying, and here's the long awaited response from me.


    The fire does come from within, and I am recovering from orthodonic brace treatment. The instructor offered no encouragement in the lessons other than saying "I should be able to play this by now..." and pop out high C's and above. He would have me sight read pieces such as Concert Etude at tempo, and then dog me out about messing certain licks up. He would then play the piece and mess it up, take it slower and still mess it up over and over until the majority of the lesson is me listening to him mess up. I asked if he had a good recommendation for a legit trumpet player'ss recording of the piece. He got angry with me and said that I need to play the music my style first before listening to others play it. (This and many other reasons is why I can not continue to take lessons from the him for credit and not learn anything except what not to do as a teacher and waste the Army's educational money.)

    I have spoken with the Dean of Music, but nothing in my favor has come from it. He said he would find another suitable teacher for me, but he also stated the difficulty in finding qualified trumpet instructors in the local area. I did some search, and gave the dean a few recommendations with one being the trumpet professor at a nearby private college. The dean flat out told me that if I am to earn a BM concentration in trumpet performance, then I must take the applied lessons at the university...(meaning from the crap teacher.) He also stated that I needed to be honest with the instructor with what I am not getting from the lessons. I responded to the dean, "I do not believe it is my place to tell a collegit instructor how to be professional." The dean was upset at me after that comment. I then stated that my new concentration is BM in composition, then restated who else can I take applied trumpet instruction from, but there has yet been a response.


    I have considered other universities, but under my current work load, I can not spare the extra time in commute. I work full-time in a high paying professional corporate career. I am working flex-time in order to balance work & classes and also married life and church commitments as well as part-time commitment to the National Guard as a military trumpet player. My passion and joy has always been in music performing, composing, conducting etc.,. Once I finish the undergraduate level, then I will consider other schools for Masters study part-time. The university I am at is small scale, but it does have really great professors...but just not in the perferred instrument of study (trumpet). I do agree with you.
    I do agree with you on your point, and if I were a full-time music student trying to make a career in music, I would NO WAY AT ALL be at this university.


    I think your reply was for me instead of Hag, but anyhows, I have informed the administration as you have read above. Their delima is they can't pay enough and its hard to get anyone good to replace him even though he's a horrible teacher.

    I would like to discuss taking lessons and pointers from you. Its been eight weeks since I completed my orthodonic brace treatment. It was very strange at first, and I almost quit the trumpet. I was introduced to "The Daily Routine" by Bill Adams w/notes by Dr. Karl Seivers, and it has worked wonders on practicing the right fundementals in redeveloping the face correctly.

    I would love to take lessons and get pointers from you.

    Thanks to all!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
  9. model65bachstrad

    model65bachstrad New Friend

    Apr 4, 2007

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