The role of the Teacher

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    A teacher's role is to encourage the music in their students.

    My latest Blog entry
    Let Your Students Fly

    In longhand:
    Over the course of several months I gave some trumpet lessons to Exxx, a 12 year old girl who was about to relocate to Japan with her family. She had been playing trumpet for about a year and had done some piano before that. Unfortunately for her, she wore braces on her teeth. These considerably reduced her playing stamina, and she found these hour long lessons quite a marathon.



    At our last lesson she told me that she was looking forward to participating in the school concert later that week. When I asked what she was playing, she replied that she was not playing trumpet but singing in the choir. The choir would perform “Dona Nobis Pacem”, “Amazing Grace” and “Climb Every Mountain”.



    Of course you can guess my next request……



    Her reply:

    “No - I couldn’t possibly”



    But I started her on “Dona Nobis Pacem” giving her the first note. And that is the only real help I needed to give her. Plenty of encouragement, yes, but she played this song beautifully on her trumpet!



    Then I asked her to play “Amazing Grace”. She was still a little reluctant, but with a little prodding she played this one very well, also.



    Both these songs are quite simple harmonically and the melody is diatonic, so quite straightforward to play.



    So, how about “Climb Every Mountain”? With the courage she had gained from the previous two songs she did the first “A” section of this chorus, very confidently. She had very little difficulty negotiating the chromatic alterations in the melody.



    Thank you Exxx! You have the gift of music. I hope you continue to use it in whatever situation you find yourself.



    My message to teachers is:



    Yes, your students can also do this, it is not necessary to rely on the printed sheet. Please encourage and nurture their music, and let your teaching studio be a safe haven where they can have the confidence to allow themselves to make mistakes.
     
  2. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Very cool story Ivan.
    Incidentally, what is a Franquin ascending valve? Anything to do with Merry Franquin? I do not recall ever seeing this.
     
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Yes, it is absolutely to do with Merri Franquin.

    I have made a C trumpet with an ascending valve to D. In other words when you actuate the 4th valve it makes the trumpet one whole step higher. Very useful for fingering some passages, bringing notes better in tune (esp. low D - played open on the D side).

    Despite hype which surfaces now and then, unless a trumpet has a full set of extra valve slides like a double horn, there is NO WAY that a trumpet can be made to play in tune in 2 different keys. For instance, the 1st valve crook on a C trumpet is 6.179", whereas the same crook on a D trumpet is 5.505". One can "fudge" (technical term) the 2nd crook by making it a little too short for C and long for D. And one can use my trumpet for Baroque D trumpet parts which are diatonic. But it (and Franquin's original design) is only built, as I say to improve intonation (there were no mobile 1st and 3rd slides in his day), to facilitate fingering and difficult trills, and to make some high notes more secure e.g. the fanfare in Sibelius 2, opening of Tchaikovsky 4 etc.
     
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Ivan -- sounds like your the best teacher ----- you instructed, encouraged, and did not get in the way of her natural talent ----- I think too many music instructors (at least in my past, relied on teaching "everyone" to play exactly like each other) --oh well ---- keep it up Ivan, get the best out of each student ---- when they realize that is in them, most of your work is already been done. ----- but, sometimes, perhaps most of the time, it takes a teacher to "see" and encourage each student to get out the best that they have -----
     
  5. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

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    I would like to add one other aspect to the role of a teacher from a students (me) perspective. To me this is perhaps even more important.

    The role of a teacher is to teach. This takes in itself the idea that the teacher aside from encouraging music in a student needs to have the ability to take the student to where he wants to be in an efficient manner.

    Yes, the student practicing is the largest part of achieving that goal and no teacher can compensate for lack of work on students part. However, in a lot of the cases, the teacher (inexperienced ones, or simply just bad at teaching) are the reason the student can not get to where he wants, or, why it took a lot longer to get there then it should have taken.

    The teacher needs to have the ability to listen to the student, based on what the teacher hears/sees rectify bad habits.
    The teacher should also know based on those points be able to tell why the students tone is lacking, eg: is he closing the lip up as he goes higher, is he placing the tongue in the wrong position in his mouth, why is his articulation bad, is he using the air properly or is he blowing from top half of his lungs instead of having the A frame, is the student playing with trumpet pointing down too far thus putting the mouthpiece in the wrong position on the lips, etc etc. I have seen teachers that rely on the student working it out because it is not something visible. However based on tonality, articulation etc the teacher should be that good that he can pick these issues out.

    The teacher should also be able to express his thoughts and adapt them to the student so that the student can understand what he is getting at. This is a quality that lacks with many. A person may be a professional player, that does not mean he will be a good teacher because he may not know how to translate that to the student. So not all players are teachers


    When the teacher thus fulfills his role, he doesn't just encourage music in the student but also can take him to the top. It's no good encouraging me in music if you as a teacher can not help me get there and thus i sense that you can not as that will discourage me because i feel i am wasting time or doing things in a very inefficient manner.

    On the other hand by being such a great teacher and I can see how knowledgable you are and thus I sense I am in good hands, someone that can tell what I'm doing just by hearing the sound and you are adapting this in a way i can understand then by default I will be very encouraged in music because I know you will take me to where I want to be.
     
  6. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    Very interesting, thanks. I do have a Yammie that I find to play well in both C and Bb but it does have a full set of 4 slides for each key.
     
  7. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    I have seen French Horns with an ascendent 3rd valve, 3rd valve raising one tone, never played one, on your 4 valve trumpet does playing C# 2 and 4 give better tuning than 1,2,3?

    if I understand correctly, you have an open D trumpet with a C valve block and slides and a 4th valve with a whole tone loop that is removed when the valve is operated, Sounds a fun project, I shall add it to the list to do if I live long enough.

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  8. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Yes, you are playing a B on the D side.
     
  9. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

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    This is not exactly the same thing, but last week at practice we were going over some Christmas music and the folders were pretty depleted of copies. I didn't have any music at all so I just played the entire thing by ear, not having ever seen the arrangement to that point. Granted, it was only practice and I wouldn't do such a thing in a performance for the good of all- but no one knew I was doing it except my buddy next to me and, well, myself. I enjoy that sort of thing and it is great you are encouraging that in your students, Ivan. Good stuff.
     
  10. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    how do you get your ear to handle multiple valve combinations????
     

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