Recently, finding a little more time on my hands than I've had in a while, I decided to start working directly with my son again on his trumpet playing. Right now he's a 5th grader in his second year on the horn. The upshot is, I was dismayed and somewhat alarmed at how little he knew about some basic fundamental aspects of playing and practicing. He didn't even know a C scale, which is tragic when you consider that it only took me about 20 minutes for me to teach it to him in it's entirety to where he could play it both ascending and descending. I realize that the teacher has more than just one student in her class, and that she has a curriculum that she must follow, but still, he should know more than that by now. The day that I started playing trumpet, I was taught a C scale by my older sister, and I can't imagine that the class hasn't been taught that. Anyway, I decided to be proactive in teaching the basics to my son, since it's obvious that he's not getting it from the school band program. In just a few days worth of practice, I now have him not only playing a C scale, but he can switch back and forth between a C scale and a Bb scale. Also his sound has opened up, his range is easier, and his articulations have become more crisp, not to mention that he's actually starting to breathe correctly. AAAAAAARRRG! What are they teaching in this place!!!!! I always figured that competition is a great motivator to work harder to get better, so I asked him who the best trumpet player in the band was. According to him, he's pretty much it, which is even more troubling. If he's that far behind where I think he should be, and the rest of the section is laggging behind him, the musical future of that group looks pretty dismal. Is this a common trend these days, or is it just HIS teacher?