Greetings to all interested: And to PhatmonB6 and pwillini specifically. Well, I met last night with my new Trumpet teacher. What an interesting expirence that was. Dr. Williams is a very humble and easy going man whom I have great respect for. So here's how it went, I sat around all day trying to keep in mind the advice that I was given. When I arrived at the Schwob School of Music where Dr. Williams instructs I was early so he had me go to a practice room and warm up. I found it funny as I entered the room there was a full length mirror on the wall, I'd never played in front of a mirror before. It was interesting to be able to see myself play, which is why I assume the mirror is there in the first place. I spent about 10 minutes just slurring scales and tooting around when Dr. Williams came and got me. We went to his office and got set up. We shared some idle chit chat during the interium and I gave him my background which can be found here on TM in Manny's fourm "Who are you" Then those dreaded words,"Ok play a bit for me" I was suddenly reduced to a quivering pile of dog doo. I had brought some intermediate material with me to play, nothing super hard "Phantom of the Opera" and some of my Community band pieces. Some fanfares theme from Battlestar Galactica, Rocky etc. He had told me we'd do some sight reading with some material he had but that he'd just like to hear what it is I normally play so as to be able to gauge many things about how I play. He used the anology that it's like your walking into your Doctors office and saying it hurts, but being no more specific then that. Man I was all over the place! I was squeeking notes like a 1st timer and I had a natural vibrato that was irratating. I was blowing key signatures and yuck! After about 5 minutes of this he stopped me, realizing I'm sure that I was intimidated to be playing in his presence. He said to me, "John, nothing that is going to take place in this room today will decide life or death." He was trying to get me to relax, I admitted to him that after reading his bio on the university website I was very intimidated. He then surprised me and said, "You know your not the first student to walk in here and react that way, I'm very flattered that you feel the way you do." Wow, what a thing to say. After a few minutes of some more idle chit chat, wives, kids, etc... He had me get back after it. I played a few songs out of my material much better this time, and then he had me sight read from Arban's which was a total disaster, but fun! Once I relaxed I made fewer mistakes and I think that my true playing started to show. So the results! After we went through those pieces this was what he said to me. "John based on what you told me, and what I've witnessed here today you probably were an excellant trumpet player in high school" He then said, "You have a lot of potential, you do a lot of things well, but mostly wrong." Oh boy, here we go! The first thing he wanted to change was my mouthpiece. He noted that my Embouchure looked just fine but he was concerned that my choice of mouthpiece was degrading my Embouchure in the upper register. He noted that it also seemed to be making me very sharp! The mouthpiece I was playing on was a Jet Tone MF. Dr. Williams laughed when he realized this and said, "That mouthpiece is great for Maynard, but not for John Sheets I think." He told me that when his high school band students come in with such a mouth piece he usually takes them. So he recommended that I stay away from it and get back on my Bach 3C at least for now. He noted that speciality mouthpieces should be fitted to the player if your really going to do it right. But for where I'm at now, Back 3c should be home. Sure enough I went back to the Bach 3C with him and my tone was closer to center pitch and in general he thought I sounded much better. I did loose a little in my upper register, couldn't seem to get above a "A" above the staff but he felt that with practice and time my chops would get me back to my high "C" in no time. I was having trouble getting above that high "C" anyway so what did I really loose? Next was the real surprise for me, Breathing. I see Manny and so many others talk about this and I thought I was doing it Ok. I'm a big guy, 6'3' 305Lbs, he told me that I should be shattering glass! He noted that as I was playing, I would take in a good amount of air but not put it into the horn. It's like even at FFF I was playing Piano. This is an area that he said we would work on. He noted that it was like I was preparing for the trip, IE seeing the music, noting it's requriments, and filling up the tank with the proper air to get me there, and then not using it. So I'd run out of gas on my way up the scale. He then told me that I have some basic fundementals that I need to address; counting being the big one. He noted that when I was playing my music from the Phantom I was not playing what was on the sheet. I was playing what I heard on my CD or at the movies, or the show when I saw it. I'd see a passage that was maybe a dotted quarter followed by a sixteenth and then two eights into a half but instead I'd play it as all something entirely different. I had not even realized that I had been doing this. What a rookie mistake! He noted that more then likely my blowing the key signatures and "natural vibrato" were more then likely just nerves and seemed to improve the more we got into our session. Over all It was a very humbling expirence and I feel that I got a lot out of it. Now I have some choices to make. I like this guy, he is a straight shooter, and in my current place in life I have no time for B.S. so this appeals to me. He told me that as I knew he was a bit pricey, he felt that his grad student, a fine trumpet player and less expensive instructor, would be able to teach me just fine as I need work with the fundlementals and there is nothing that he would instruct me on right now that could not be handled by his grad student. Or I could stay with him and he'd do his best to make time for me in his crazy schedule. He told me that I have good potential, and a degree of natural talent which have served me well. He said, " I think that we'd have a lot of fun." Wow, I was humbled and honored at the same time! I'm thinking that I'd really like to stay with him, I like him and personality means a lot to me. I'm sure his grad student is a great guy to be fair, but I really like this guy. The difference is that I can afford to see his grad student once a week and him twice a month. So I guess I need to weigh that into the equation as well. Anyway, that's my story. Thanks so much to those of you who gave me advice, and to Alex (Trompetvrouw) for hooking me up with Dr. Williams. I'm sure as I come along I'll post more about it. For now, I have a concert tomorrow. My first one since 1981 and I'm going to nail it! Best wishes to all.