Sacrifices for Trumpet Practice

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    At what point does school get sacrificed for playing IF trying to go for a playing career?
    ---------
    At no point should school get sacrificed. If you can't do both, you'll end up spending your Friday nights searching for an Open Mike bar and your days filled with asking the question "Do you want fries with that?" to hundreds of people.
    A degree? Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. You'll always be a trumpet player and working on getting better, right?
    Johnny Costa(possibly the most underated jazz pianist in history) got a degree in music education so he would have something to fall back on if the music thing didn't pan out.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,793
    3,558
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    That's absolute baloney Markie, and you know it.

    Let's be clear here - this kid isn't failing anything and in fact, his GPA suggests that while he might not be getting completely straight A's, he's at least getting better than average grades and making the honor roll.

    "Do you want fries with that?" Give me break. You make it sound like if this kid doesn't truck through getting stellar grades, and go through and get a degree in something that he'll be relegated to working a window at McDonalds.

    This is particularly offending to me since in my own personal experience I completely defy the picture you have painted regarding it.

    I left high school (and my grades in HS were terrible, although I did graduate) and went straight into the Army Band program, and I did that for 10 years. Prior to getting out of the Army, I took courses at a tech school (to be fair, I did graduate with high honors...but at the end of the day it's still a tech school) and I currently work in information technology, making a good professional level salary. In fact, my wife, a career educator with a Master's degree+ (and graduating with high honors with all degrees herself) can't come close to touching my salary. I didn't even fully finish an associates degree.

    I also don't wander around looking for open mic nights. I don't have to because I play well enough that I command a place in an upscale wedding band, and I'm usually called for holiday church gigs, playing alongside of some really fine musicians, many of whom are current or retired members of the area's premier military bands.

    Life is what you make it and grades are only one measurable indication that you did the dance and knew how to knuckle down and study. They certainly don't make you smart - In my line of work, I have worked alongside of some folks with prestigious pedigrees, one guy even Ivy League (went to Penn) who were absolute bozos with no common sense who couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

    My life has not been conventional and while I suppose it could be argued that I would have been a better musician had I gotten a degree in music, or I would be more successful in my career with my day job if I had some kind of degree, it certainly isn't the dismal picture you painted. I work a day job and can pay the bills, and I play a lot of music and have a ton of fun doing that.

    You'd be surprised how far some talent, brains and good dose of Moxie will take a person. Ultimately if I had to choose to do it over again, I'd still choose music over grades, although I might try to do a bit better in HS than I did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    You'd be surprised how far some talent, brains and good dose of Moxie will take a person. Ultimately if I had to choose to do it over again, I'd still choose music over grades, although I might try to do a bit better in HS than I did.
    ------
    OK, then if you think its balony then so be it. However, over my too many years of teaching, I've seen many young people with gifts such as athletic prowlness, or musical talent. Unfortunately I've seen some of them purposely give up on a backup plan (education) an expect their God given gifts to support them in the real world. I'd like to have a nickle for ever situation like this where I've had to pull a good quarterback or someone that thinks he plays hot trumpet in my office because they were giving up and starting to flunk out.
    If my advice is baloney then so is Johnny Costa's.
    And yes, I've seen some of these star performers at the windows of our local fast food eateries.
    They are ALWAY embarassed when they see me.

    You speak of brains, moxy, and talent. You might want to think about the importance of contigency planning. Learning how to accomplish both is the best, wouldn't you agree?
    How can the person go wrong by having a back-up plan?
    The Poster is going to continue to play and work on their craft regardless of what they
    do if they are really hooked on trumpet. Why not make the very best grades while doing this. In time it will equal a degree.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Education makes you a better trumpet player. The more "formal" training that we have, the better our analytical skills become. That can help us make better value judgements by using our brains rather than gut level feelings.

    If your parents are concerned, that is a great thing. There are way to many that could care less about their kids future.

    Prove to your parents how serious you are - that you are willing to go that extra study mile. You will increase your bargaining power immensely!
     
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Trickg sez:
    I left high school (and my grades in HS were terrible, although I did graduate) and went straight into the Army Band program, and I did that for 10 years.
    --
    I don't get it. You went into the biggest university on the planet (the armed forces) and your bitching about education?
    Heck yes, if the armed forces are a good fit for this individual then cool.
    --
    Trickg goes on to say:
    Do you want fries with that?" Give me break. You make it sound like if this kid doesn't truck through getting stellar grades, and go through and get a degree in something that he'll be relegated to working a window at McDonalds.
    ------
    Yep that exactly what I'm saying. My only proof is that I've seen it happen time and again.
    I don't know how many times I wanted to give a bright promising student a swift kick in the pants because I was watching them derail themselves and could do nothing about it.
    As for as jobs, and the future?
    Things are a whole different ball game today. Its not the same job market as when you started and you know it and, its unfair to compare when you started to now. Survival is significantly harder in today's world than when you were starting out.
    Ask yourself, if you had to do it again, would you chuck a chance at an education (in your case learning via the armed forces) and try to make a living at music in today's economy?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,793
    3,558
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Markie, I think you misunderstand what I was saying based on what you wrote. You made it sound like the choices were limited and that if they don't follow through with a certain level of education, then by default they would wind up in some menial job. Of course it COULD happen, and regardless of the number of times you've seen it happen, how about mentioning all of the other times where it didn't when someone didn't conform to the description you laid out there.

    My "education" in the US Army band program was the school of hard knocks - learn on the gig and make it happen musically, or no one really cared about your feelings when they were ripping you up for how you performed. It was sink or swim for the young bucks like me, straight out of HS, playing alongside of some really fine musicians who did have music degrees. It was really a mixed bag of people and there was no guarantee that said that a music degree meant a person played or performed well, or that a lack of a degree mean that they didn't. I knew a lot of people with music degrees who were terrible musicians. Regarding AIT at the Armed Forces School of Music, that was 6 months of a crash course in theory, ear training, ensemble playing and marching, and IMO it barely prepared me to survive my first few months on the job.

    And why can't a person have both? Why can't they get a decent job, AND get a decent gig playing good music with good musicians?

    I can acknowledge that it's a tougher world now, and the job market is rough - especially when it comes to music jobs. Even my former military unit, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, is ROUGH when it comes to getting in. They are turning away highly pedigreed fantastic players by the scores, and playing isn't even the primary concern! It's a one-valved bugle being played while marching, wearing wool Colonials with a tricorn hat and a wig for heaven's sake! It's much different than when I got the gig back in 1992 and I couldn't get back in now if I tried.

    But regarding the job market in general, if a person decides to go into information technology, the pace in which technology changes is far faster than a 4 year college degree - what a student learns in their first year is often irrelevant to a large degree by the time they graduate 4 years later. In many respects, a tech school is the way to go there, and mainly to get your foot in the door. From there, it's up to you and how well you pick things up on the job.

    That's all I was saying - there are no "rules" for how to navigate through life - just a set of what some would consider to be "best practices" but even those have many, many exceptions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    8,612
    2,128
    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    although I don't always agree with rowuk -- I think it is hard to argue with this advice. After all - would 4 years of college (to honor your parents and get a degree) really hurt your trumpet career? You could still practice trumpet in college -- and it wouldn't have to derail either a degree or your trumpet ---
    best wishes John -- we did listen -- and we offered lots of challenging advice (pro and con)
     
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    8,612
    2,128
    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA

    John7401 ----oh - here is one other thing to consider -- this guy (Nick Drozdoff) is both a trumpet player/musician and a physics teacher --
    so maybe you can talk with your parents --- and work out some compromise ---- and time management to achieve both

    perhaps the title of your thread -- should be "SACRIFICES IN LIFE, TO HAVE A CAREER AND PLAY TRUMPET" -- hope that helps.
    in the cyberinterview-- Nick seems to agree that an education is equally important and beneficial to playing trumpet

    http://www.nickdrozdoff.com/
    A Cyber interview with Nick Drozdoff<BR>

     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  9. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    187
    0
    Jul 3, 2009
    Alright. I've gotten the advice I needed. Thank you to all the posted.
     
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    2,156
    15
    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    One last thing. A way to save time(so maybe you can have both) is to record your lessons (preferrably in a question format) and listen to the recording while driving from place to place.
    Your job is to answer the questions before you give the answer. I usually had about a 10second gap after the question before I gave myself the answer. If you use the words located along the margins of the chapter and put them in a question format, you'll get a lot of study out of the way while you're driving. This should help get some time to play the horn.
     

Share This Page