Private lessons

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by miles71, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    After about a two year break fro teaching privatley I decided to try it again. I am a HS Band Director and my free time is rare and valuable.

    One of the reasons I stopped private lessons was some of the lazy student I encountered. They seem to want you to just teach them the notes to the one solo they are working on and thats it. Well, I am not an animal trainer, I require my students to learn basics and fundamentals. I know, crazy Idea!!

    I had a young man show up last night for his first lesson. He wants to be a jazz player, but has not idea of scales or practice routines. We had a usual first lesson, but when he left I told my wife I would have a lot of work to do with this student.

    Well, I get an email today from the mother saying they have decided not to do lessons. Hmmmm. I should have known when I had spoken to the mother a week agao and she said "he wont have to do that scales and that stuff all the time will he?"

    Why do parents enable their children to so lazy!!!! Sorry for the rant, but I dont want to give up my time for students if they are not willing to improve. As I said, I am not an animal trainer.
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Yep, parents are not helping matters.

    I have a friend who is a great bone player, a clinician for Yamaha.

    He had a very good student. After the student got a 1 in the solo fest in Michigan, my friend gave him new music. The kid's mother called and was livid!

    She wanted the student to play the same piece in the next level of solo fest.

    My friend said "What do you want? Do you want your son to become a good musician or do you just want the 1's in the solo fests?"

    The mom repeated that she wanted him to play the same piece!

    My friend dumped the kid.

    Write the kid off miles, you don't need him or his mother.

  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Something I have found to be an incredible influence upon my students is to have them chat with the very best about how the best got to be the best.
    Rex Richardson has been over a few times and they have been lucky enough to work with him in masterclass situations and joining him in concert. He had an incredible influence upon one young lad in particular - knowing that the student (who was 9 at the time) wanted to get some jazz stuff done they worked on some simple improvising and afterwards the young student in question was chatting to Rex and asked the simple question "what do I need to do to play jazz?"
    The answer was "learn your scales."
    Well, sure enough, by the time this kid reached 10 he knew ALL his scales - major, minor, wholetone, chromatic and had started getting to grips with modes, blues and pentatonic scales.
    He had also started transcribing solos:-o

    Not every student had quite this reaction to Rex's visit, but every one of them started putting more emphasis on learning their scales and fundamentals - because Rex had told them to do so.
    The fact that I had told them the same every lesson didn't have the same impact - they saw me too often to listen to me. Sometimes we must admit that an external source saying the same thing to our students as we do every week can be very beneficial.

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