"My" kids

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Manny Laureano, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Today we had one of those rehearsals...

    ... they were just spectacular, they almost made me cry, I swear. We started with Pines and I told them today was "Alternative Interpretation Day" which just means it'll be faster, slower, more rit., more accel., softer, louder... whatever I felt like doing differently in my interpretation, they have to follow and stay with me.

    What can I say? They hung in there like little pros. We then followed that with a discussion about what they thought of my different tempi, did it work better in the music, etc. They gave great reasons as why they thought what they did.

    We sightread the first two movements of Prokofiev 5th and, yeah, there were a few notes that weren't they belonged. Considering I did everything at normal tempi, they did very well and I was proud of them.

    Then it was time for the solo pieces and they shone like stars while they accompanied for Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. It didn't matter what the soloist and I did, they hung with me like I've had them as my orchestra for years. They did the same on the other solo piece, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante. I have a have violin/viola duo that play that piece like it was written for them.

    So, is it any wonder that I tend to be an optimistic person, that I like to see the good in kids? It's because every Saturday I get to see kids aching to play and smiling when they do well, smacking their foreheads when they come in one 16th note early and then smiling sheepishly at me afterward.

    You needn't tell me I'm one of the luckiest people in the world to see young people at their best. Believe me, I know. When kids play for me, I don't care if they sassed their mom they night before, I don't care if they got a D- on an assignment, I don't care if she broke up with him, I don't care if they got their first speeding ticket on the way to rehearsal. All I care about is that moment and whether they have the heart and ears to gauge a ritardando properly.

    The parents are wonderful people as well. If any of you folks ever want to see them in action and you happen to reside in the twin cities, we rehearse at Highland High School starting at 8:45 in the friggin' morning. You'll leave having a whole different attitude about our young people.

  2. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    You are fortunate to have such kids, but they are very blessed to have you!!!! I wish my grandkids lived in Minneapolis! Bless you!
    Roy Griffin
  3. 40cal

    40cal Forte User

    Dec 13, 2005
    Manny, I think one of the greatest benefits of MYS and other like organizations is more than just giving kids an opportunity to play some great music that they otherwise might not be able to play. It is teaching kids about commitment, dedication, and work ethic. I can recall crawling my tired butt out of bed on Sat. morning to go to rehersal (I won't say how many years ago that was). :-) Traits like these are not used exclusively for music and one can see the overall benefit for a person as a whole, which in turn makes for a better place for all of us.
  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Manny, what you are doing for those kids is incredible. Here are a bunch of school age kids, going to rehearse some extremely difficult repertoire with the principal trumpet of a major symphony orchestra, who obviously treats them with respect and admiration. And they do this on a weekend. You are leaving an indellible impression on these young folks; they will carry this for the rest of their lives.

    And what you do for us teachers by doing this... "inspiring" does not cover it.
  5. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    ...and YOU'RE getting as big or bigger kick out of it than the kids are.


  6. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    The good is there. In some, it gets wounded. Sometimes beyond repair. I love the latin word "educare." It means to train. When trained well, we humans do wonderful, amazing, and good things. We become "better" than we would had we been left to go to seed.

    Way to go Manny!

  7. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas
    Indeed a fantastic thing Manny, I sure wish I had the chance to do things like that when I was younger.
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I had a couple of youth ensemble teachers when I was in junior and high scool. The first important one was a gent named David Rosenthal from NJ. He's the reason you and I are sitting here talking. He, at the end of the first season with the manhattan Boro-wide youth band and orchestra program gave me a scholarship that enabled me to study with Jimmy Smith of the Philharmonic.

    About 10 or so years ago we were playing a concert in Avery Fischer and one of the guys said "Hey, Manny, there's a guy at the edge of the stage who said he gave you a scholarship when you were a kid." My eyes widened and I said "Mr. R?" Sure enough I made it to the stage edge, jumped off and met someone who I hadn't seen since my teen years. I bawled like a friggin' baby and was so happy to have him see me play after so long and have him know that I was doing okay. We played excerpts from Der Rosenkavier at that show with deWaart.

    A few years ago I played Carnegie with Oue and I think Heldenleben was on tap for that night. After the show, I went upstairs to change into normal clothes and I saw a fellow that was unmistakeably someone else very important to me. It was Jerry Goldstein, former bass clarinetist with Pittsburgh who left to teach in NYC. He was an assistant conductor with the All City High School orchestra. I went up to him and said "Mr. Goldstein?" He said in his characteristic "Yeah, hi. Whozis?" I smiled and told him I used to play trumpet for him in All City and for a couple of summers in a summer orchestra program he ran. "Manny? Hey, how ya doon?" I told him how everything was and told him about MYS. He was tickled and proud. So proud he yelled across the crowded area to a friend "Hey, Sid... hey ya see this? He's one o' mine!"

    I mention both of these gents because what I learned from them was it okay to have passion for something and to let it all hang out once in a while. I learned how to play loud with Rosenthal because he'd call me "bacalao" if I didn't put out (bacalao is a dried piece of salted cod used in Puerto Rican cooking). Goldstein would always speak with great intensity and conduct everything as though it were the greatest piece in the world.

    So, when I think of my development, when I think of the importance of working with young ones I think of the hundreds of lessons these two men taught me just by being themselves. They weren't touchy-feely types that asked me about my self esteem. They didn't coax the music out of me, they demanded it and did whatever it took to get it. They loved music and they would be damned if I didn't learn to love it, too.

    That's why I do what I do, guys. That's why I love working with kids so much. You've been very kind in your praise of me and i appreciate your acknowledgement but the thread isn't about me, seriously. It's about the rush of making kids aware of that which makes them different from other kids without having to resort to tatoos and piercings to be different. The difference that comes form deep inside is what's going to carry these boys and girls through extraordinarily difficult times we adults have provided for them.

    Self esteem is not something you get from anybody but yourself or by talking about it. It comes through achievement. Sometimes it's something simple, sometimes it's through something extraordinary. Whether it's Glenn in band every friggin' day, RichardWY in English classes of the past, Yoder teaching math and science or me here at MYS it's all about the same thing: passion for the subject and the desire to share that info because it moves you to do so.

    My wish for all of you is that whatever you do, I hope it's something you wnat to do. There's no sweeter joy other than family than to do what you love.

    Sorry for the rant. I just wanted to make sure you all understood the reason for the initial post. thanks.

  9. tromj

    tromj Piano User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Teaneck, NJ
    Thanks for the rant! It's been a frustrating few weeks of teaching, and your words really inspire. I think I might be able to face my students tomorrow.

  10. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    Congrats, Manny, you have the best possible teaching situation. Real life, hands on, side by side. I always play with my students, you lay it out there and they can latch on and go with you.
    Starting two weeks from today, my group has eight performances in a four week span, including Orchestra Hall (I still call it that eeven though technically it's Symphony Center now). Then half of them are off to college and the junior varsity steps up. The wheel continues to turn.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Resting on your laurels is as dangerous as resting when you are walking in the snow. You doze off and die in your sleep.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein

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