when is it tine to find a new trumpet teacher ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    If I were teaching you, don't lay your money in my hand and go out the door the way you came in, if you don't like the way I teach. Otherwise, I expect you to follow my instructions and be ready to perform solo in a public recital or other appearance within one year. Too, I expect 5 other days of a minimum one hour practice at home or somewhere other than the weekly lesson venue. If you leave, I look at such prospect this way, there is always someone else that wants me to teach them. I now know of three that want me to ... simply because there is no one else nearby who will. However, I am taking the summer to recover my capability to demonstrate. Am I to ready them for high school band ? Presently, that is an issue that irks my craw as I do not now believe that is a worthy goal, but what alternative is there in this rural area? All I can say is that a student must have the passion to play. One boy asked me to teach him salsa music and he didn't have any instrument. All I could tell him was that I teach about all the rhythms, but he'd need an instrument before I could commit. I've not seen him since, but I'm told he lives approx 9 miles away and bicycles into Jackson once a week to buy 2 1/2 gallons of heating / cooking kerosene.
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    One of the best teachers I've ever known (Suzuki violin, mostly for kids) demanded full participation from the parents, as well as giving a complete Suzuki program for the students. As far as I could tell, she had it all: the kids loved to show up and worked hard for her, the parents were completely involved (as they should be under Suzuki guidelines), AND she always got paid on time. Amazing.

    A great teacher should not only make it FUN and challenging, but know exactly where you are at for each lesson, no matter how many other students they have. A great teacher sets goals but is also very flexible as to what goals a student really has or can develop. Older students don't have the same goals as younger ones.

    Really great teachers are rare. Consider yourself lucky if you have one.

    Turtle
     
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    +1

    Your current teacher doesn't realize that you are a member of the majority and he is in the minority. Recreational Trumpet Playing requires a different approach from the teacher than that required to turn a promising student into a possibly out of work professional.
     
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    I find good teachers motivate me ... I've had soem great players.. even teachers who I really didn't feel the connection
     
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    +1 to this. The Suzuki violin program is reknown ... and is adaptable for teaching any instrument. To a point, lessons should be fun for children, but while lessons may be enjoyed by adults, there isn't much room for merriment, at least the way I'd teach an adult and by far I don't consider myself in the category of being a great teacher and/or player ... but I do have a passion to enjoy these moments ... every millisecond of them. For the most part, what I find is lacking and obstructs lesson progress is the lack of the ability to read music. This said, the training for development of an ear for tone is extremely important. But the most damaging effect upon lessons that I've encountered is student failure to maintain an adequate practice regimen even though I recognize that such isn't always optimum with varying lifestyles and external commitments.
     
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    I've only had two comeback players for students over my 35 years of teaching.The first thing I asked each one was, what they wanted to get out of taking lessons. Then I would tell them what I wanted to achieve with them. Each had different goals,so I used two different approaches. A good teacher should be able to connect with a student on many different levels,not just playing the same instrument.
     
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I am now an accredited teacher and licensed private tutor, but of the latter I've only mentored one young student, tutored 2 young students a short while, and tutored one adult. My personal problem with all of these is that I found myself getting intertwined in their personal lives ... and the outcome of all of these made me sad and morose ... succinctly depressed. Although the adult died, perhaps is was the young student I only mentored that I was so impressed by that I found had the saddest life that so affected me. He moved away and I've received correspondence that he is again resuming is playing as enlightens me. The 2 young students I tutored were in a sponsored program that depended on both continuing. One moved away that ended their lessons, but I've been approached to resume with the other in the fall on a singular basis ... and I'm hoping by that time I'll then be able to demonstrate since receiving my full upper denture. Still, he has personal family sadness as his father was killed in Iraq, and I can't escape my own thoughts about such. The best part is that when I again begin tutoring him, it will be in his own home with his mother present, thus family support.

    Now I've got to get away from this computer, have lunch and get to my own practice regimen before my daughter and granddaughter arrive to visit.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    We have one side of the story here. Before we start pointing fingers at the virtual waste of time, maybe a mirror is more suitable?

    How often in life do we get told things that we don't like to hear? How often can we admit to being at least part of the problem?

    A couple of questions first:
    1) were goals part of your initial conversation or did you negotiate a more flexible "when we get to it" approach?
    2) are the teachers expectation clear? I get heat here at TM all the time for my "attitude" but have never lost a real life student (in spite of being equally "tough"). My kids can cancel a lesson up to 5 minutes before it starts. If they show up, then they are prepared. If not, they get sent home. Prepared is a flexible term but they know EXACTLY what to do.
    3) have you talked to your teacher about those comments? Communication is a two way street and often we need more than one opportunity to get a feel for getting the message across.
    4) I think pulling the plug early often just leads to the next quitting (even earlier)

    That being said, there are a lot of jock "pro" trumpeters that couldn't teach their way out of a wet paper bag. There is no need to support an idiot. Does this teacher have any successful students?
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Much of what you said I either agree with or I'll give it some consideration.

    What I've left uncut, I don't believe is criteria. If someone came to me and said they'd want to become a successful trumpet player, I'd be blunt and tell them to find someone else to teach them because I wouldn't. First, nothing can be taught as assures success. All I can hope for is that they want to improve their ability. Sure, if a beginner wants to eventually play in the high school band, I'll try to prepare them for that. If an advanced student wants to audition for a college band I'll try to prepare them for that. If a student just wants to enjoy playing, I'll give them exposure to a wide variety of music and let them have a go with what they like. Mostly, I take the stance that I'm not playing their instrument for them, thereby they must make the effort and if I find they are not doing so, its do or go. I know I may take heat from parents if I terminate their child, but I'm not going to waste my time or theirs. I'm paid session by session and there is no charge for the session that I would send them home from.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Ed,
    we are in total agreement. One thing that is very important to me is this crap about chemistry. You don't need chemistry between teacher and student to play get better, you need an attitude and determination. My lessons are not club robinson.

    That being said, when real EFFORT is made, then it is the job of the teacher to recognize that and turn it into a multiplicator.

    A comeback player often has a life that is in competition with the horn. That is why it is critical to find the common goals and check if they are even compatible.

    I can imagine such a player being frustrated with their progress. The truth may just be that it is tougher to teach an old dog new tricks, that much more time is necessary to develop the fine motor activity of the face. The "truth" can be presented as "hey, you are not 12, it is going to take some time", or "well, donĀ“t worry like its not like your getting paid for your playing your doing it for fun". Sure, we perhaps can find other "motivational" phrases, but what is the bottom line when giving lessons to a grown man?

    I am not getting on Anthonys case here, I just think that it is WAY too early to be getting on someones case.
     

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