Music Institute Of Hard Knocks

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bachstul, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Have you had many valuable private instructions from various teachers? Or; Are you from the self taught school of hard knocks?????? (pre-high school instruction doesn't count in this evaluation)

    How strongly do you recommend a private instructor?

    Fair hourly Rate?

    How shall you express to the reader how much one can learn on their own with all the audio accompaniment tutorials available today?

    Do you wish to express much practice can be learned on ones' own?
  2. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    I had 2 great private teachers for 10 years, one when I was a high school student and one when I was a university student. Both gave me great fundamentals and enough knowledge that 20 years later, I still draw on it to improve my playing. I couldn't justify the expense of lessons from a teacher these days. I get useful prods and reminders, though, from information on forums such as these and elsewhere on the internet. Also from other musicians who politely point things out about my playing from time to time, like the way I still tend to articulate jazz lines with a classical tonguing style.:oops:
    Bachstul likes this.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The successful player needs both!

    A structured method of building habits with good ears and eyes monitoring the progress and eliminating bad practices before they become habits as well as an intense curiosity that carries the player far beyond the scope of another individual or teacher. One day a week does not turn a player into a monster. One day a week can turn the monster into an artist.

    If you don't know what you are looking for, will you know when you find it? That is my take on audio/video instead of real lessons. Just like on-line chatting is not the same as a real face to face conversation or a speeding ticket directly from the sheriff instead of getting mailed a camera picture, REAL lessons reflect much more than what we practiced. They paint black and white how serious we are and how much respect we have for the teachers as well as our own time.

    The teachers anticipation is real fuel for the interested student.

    The fair hour rate depends on so many things. Most incredible teachers that I know work for free when the circumstances line up. There are other students that deserve to pay $200/hr for the sonic and psychological anguish that they cause. I charge EUR 30/hr but send the student immediately home when they haven't practiced. I refuse to be a baby sitting service or to "rescue" the week when laziness is the real issue. Very rarely does this happen.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    That's a tough question since I have a different approach on teaching.
    I firmly believe that a person can not "teach" anybody anything. Only the person can teach themselves. I'd like to have a dollar for everytime I've looked at a class and wished I could magically open their heads and pour in the information.
    With that said, I do recommend a person to seek out a "qualified" instructor AND, that instructor needs to charge a fair price. Why? because a great teacher is a facillitator and if the student approaches the sessions with their brains engaged, everyone wins. The importance of charging a fair amount establishes an equilibrium so the student doesn't feel like the owe something or the instructor doesn't feel like they are being taken advantage of.
  5. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I've always found it interesting that in almost very field of endavor one usually seeks out someone who has had success in that field and can show you how it's done. But when it comes to learning to play a musical instrument so many people don't think a mentor/teacher/coach is good. When I was very young, the first thing I thought of was to find someone who could teach me how to excell on the trumpet. It never occured to me not to find the best teacher I could find.:dontknow:

    I've had 3 very fine teachers in my life. One of the best things I learned from them was how to teach myself.
  6. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    'm absolutely with you on this, Bob. In fact, it just boggles my mind how many "musicians' consider theory to be unnecessary and stifling or a crutch. Lessons are unnecessary. Mastering one;s instrument is so 1980's. Now with Roock Band, Synths, etc, they're beginningb to think that a few hours in from of a game console makes them virtuosi.

    Add to that players who can only play in a subset of keys arguing that the fact that they cannot play all 12 scales does not make them less of a musician than those who have mastered their instrument. And shredders who think that the faster you can play meaningless notes from a pentatonic scale makes you the hottest thing evar.

  7. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Bump.... I like this thread.
    Right now is a good time to bump your favorite threads.
  8. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    With respect to the "Institute of Hard Knocks," I once posted that Drum Corps - "without a doubt" made me a better trumpet player. This is absolutely true - mostly because I'd not had private lessons, and horn line instructors took at least some time to provide slurring exercises, articulation exercises, etc, and talk about musicality/flow of pieces as opposed to the band classes I'd been in. This also gave me an appreciation for the horn which previously I'd only played because that's the instrument they told me to play in fifth grade (I'd asked for drums with trumpet as my second choice).

    That said, there are a lot of things that drum corps instructors did not teach:
    1. Reading music - oh, we had to learn the music, and I can "read" music, but it's not a skill that I had developed really. This plagues me to this day. I can read the notes, subdivide each measure, I even know some things about music theory - still not a strength - but usually enough to understand . . . But reading at any kind of pace - on anything with complex rhythms or more than a few flats or sharps can sometimes be challenging (bi-focals don't help that either, but that's another thing).
    2. Related to the above, counting while playing was not developed, I/we learned cue's either from what was going on around us, or from marching, that would keep us in time rather than keeping time on our own. Even today - I think I might do better if I "marked time" to the music.
    3. Development was lopsided. While I was somehow able to play lead soprano, there was a kind of divide - you could tell which of the lead sopranos had received private instruction and those that hadn't. I learned to do lip trills by watching my best friend practicing them . . . double-tonguing while used was not really developed - other than the suggestion that we try K tonging the exercises sometimes - but there was no individual critique. Fingering was only worked on as needed to play whatever needed to be played - and in those days - there were only two valves. I developed range and flexibility - pretty much on my own - because they were "cool," and that's likely how I ended up playing lead.

    I recently commented on my current playing ability to someone who I played with in the corps back then and how I am unhappy with it, and said something like "please tell me I didn't [stink] back then," because I "thought" I was pretty fair back then - I knew of my shortcomings, but "still" thought I was pretty good. He reassured me that I didn't [stink].

    I don't really know how good/bad I was back then, but what's above summarizes what I think of how far the "Institute of Hard Knocks" got me. If I'd kept at it, I probably would have been "ok" with the qualifier "for someone who hasn't had a proper teacher."

    I try not to look back too much at the moment because other than fond memories of those days, it won't do me any good today. It won't even encourage me because I can't really be sure how good/bad I was. And, although there are some things I have not recovered from the old days (range for example is still below what it was, and I still have some challenges with intervals), some things are already better: My lip trills - though not as high as they used to be, do not require any mechanical crutches (like moving the horn), and they extend more or less for a full octave - tonguing, also is probably better.

    To summarize, if someone is looking at this thread as justification that they can do without a teacher, I'd have to say that if my experience is representative - you can probably get away with it to a point, but in the long run you'll probably wish that you'd gotten some "professional help." My guess is that it's the rare individual indeed who can excel without lessons. There are probably a lot who can get to a point to where they can play in a community band, but if you want to play the cool parts, the solos, etc (I don't necessarily mean high), you'll need some assistance in following the right routine to get you there.
    Bachstul likes this.

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