Why Is There No Discussion On Trumpet Andragogy?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bamajazzlady, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Indeed, the last paragraph of Sidekick's post "hits the nail on the head with a 24 ounce hammer, but won't get hired as a carpenter today in the US unless they are competent with a nail gun". Do not misinterpret what I've stated prior. I would teach/tutor an adult, but first I've got to meet you and your instrument at which time it will be decided whether we can proceed. Indeed, there has to be an acceptable agreement with personalities as well as many other factors. It is an application / orientation and costs the applicant nothing but their time and expense of coming to Jackson NC. In advance I'll tell you, that initially you'll be required to have actual "lip time" of 1 hour in 20 minute increments interspersed with 20 minutes of discussion or my demonstration for a duration of 1 hour and 40 minutes. Yes, I require cash payment of $60.00 (U.S.) in advance for each session that will not occur more often than once a week. However, if you cannot practice on your own an additional 3 hours of actual lip time in 20 minute increments with 20 minute rests between each week ... don't bother to apply. You can make initial contact with me via PM.
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    My master's degree was in Brass Pedagogy, and I focused on the satori aspect of learning, and that works with all ages. What doesn't work for the adult is the child's ability to "hear" foreign languages, including music. I spoke with an Ivy League philologist about the perfect German he spoke. He explained that he had learned "early," around the age of 16, and that he sounded like a native German as a result. Learning German at 32, as I did, the best I could hope for was passing as a native German speaker from "somewhere else." My mother, aged 80 at the time and taking a German class, couldn't hope for anything near that proficiency. He went on to explain that babies, when vocalizing (goo-goo-ga-ga) are able to produce the sounds used by every language and slowly learn to reproduce (my kids even buzzed their lips!) those sounds needed for the languages they are exposed to, and over time forget the sounds they don't. I have a huge difficulty with the spoken German for "gay" and "high humidity" even they are only an umlaut apart. Made for some amusing conversations.

    This act of nature no teacher can change.

    Trumpet teaching is based on the "do this" style. A teacher plays the piece and the student emulates it. Works fine for young students, and that is how most of us learned to play trumpet.

    [​IMG]

    Annie, the student on the left, with two logical responses to Tom's "Do this!" challenge.

    I believe that we adults are conditioned to choose (c) automatically and without question. We grownups find (b) to be a foolish and childlike response, and I believe that adult beginners suffer as a result. Adults color inside the lines. I believe for children the joy of coloring comes in that near simultaneous transmission between what they imagine and making it happen; staying inside the lines is a minor trifle.

    I believe the (b) response, imitative and explorative, is a key element in learning trumpet, and that it is the biggest challenge to the adult student and teacher.
     
  3. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    My experience has been quite different from the OP but geography may have had something to do with that. I first started playing at 25 with no prior experience and no knowledge of theory, notation, etc. I went to a private school that was essentially a bunch of teachers of various instruments that banded together to rent a space where they could provide music lessons, with an intention of facilitating the study of improvised music, especially jazz. All of them were competent and knowledgeable and there was emphasis on theory, as the key to understanding how music is played. The trumpet teacher had a solid basis in classical playing, and had studied with Guy Touvron at the Lyon conservatory. This was in Lyon (France) where there is both a region conservatory and a National Superior conservatory. I was dedicated and my teacher responded very well to my attitude. Not only I never had the feeling of being short changed but I was given opportunities to play with others, listen to pros, etc. I went with him to the Vienne festival where I heard Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis.

    Life took me to other pursuits and places, and many years later in the States I was finally in a position to start playing again. After asking around and making phone calls, I was oriented to a very well known teacher and performer who was in semi retirement after spending a lifetime performing and teaching trumpet performance at both undergrad and graduate levels. I was surprised that someone with the reputation he has would even bother with an adult learner. Not a single of my lessons with him was ever a disappointment. I was given all the attention and care that any younger person would have received from that teacher. I know that for a fact after witnessing lessons to high school players at his studio on some occasions when I arrived early.

    My opinion is that what adult learners miss the most is the development associated with being a child. There is obviously the neuro-muscular and brain aspects. We are best at learning in a certain age range. Any time after that won't be quite as good. Besides that, an adult learning an instrument is not cute. Because we know well how it's supposed to sound like, we are also much more self-conscious, overly sensitive to our own shortcomings. People are amused and charmed by a child for being clumsy with an instrument; with an adult, they're likely just amused. It is expected that the child is going to sound like, well, a child. The expectations are different with adults. It is extremely difficult to build confidence for adults because of this different process of development. It is hard to accept for the learner himself that he/she sounds like a child, but also because the small accomplishments of the early days are not going to garner the same attention and positive feedback from those around the learner as they do when coming from a child.

    We just have to live with it. I play in a community band that is small enough, with people having all sorts of duties that can keep them from rehearsals and gigs, so everyone is happy that I'm there, even if I'm not having a great day.
     
  4. cb5270

    cb5270 Pianissimo User

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    Reading here about the ability of a child to learn and about the self conscious adult learner helps me to put my own playing into perspective. While not a total beginner, I've been playing for over 2 years after a 50 plus year layoff and it seems like I will never again play as well as I did "way back when". This despite the wealth of information available today. There is no one "here" I feel would be a teacher of an adult but I do have what I would consider a well structured practice routine. Improvement comes in tiny increments. In bands I certainly do feel embarrassed when I blow a clam or get lost trying to sight-read unfamiliar rhythm patterns or accidental combinations. This happens to others too but no one criticizes, they may offer to help. I only notice my own playing but some issues turn out to be a common problem and the director will go over a passage. Even so it really bugs me when I mess up.
    It is not in my nature to chill out and go with the flow so I guess I will never be satisfied.
     
  5. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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    what about that Mark Hendricks site with the books for comeback players?
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    This paragraph is awesome, and I wanted to piggyback onto it a bit, because I've heard it many times myself.

    I think it would probably be fairly safe to say that the people making this remark really don't understand what we've gone through in order to be able to do what we do. I think they just assume that this is an ability that we inherently have, essentially the following simplified equation:

    person with great talent + instrument = music

    What they don't really stop to realize is that it's just not that simple. Those of us putting it out there, gigging in various genres and venues, often don't have any more talent than anyone else, and maybe not even as much as the person who decries, "I wish I could play a musical instrument!" What we did have was drive, grit and determination. Sure, many of us built the foundation as kids - in my hometown you could start band in the 5th grade - but in order to get to the point where we were gig-worthy, we had to put in a lot of extra effort along the way that had nothing to do with what we were learning in band class.

    The reality is, it's no different for an adult beginner - you've got to put in the time. I will concede the point though that most beginner programs are not structured for an adult, but if the adult really wants to learn, they need to take what they can get and apply it as best as they can.

    I think that the biggest roadblock most adults face is frustration that they don't progress as quickly as they think they should, so they give up.
     
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Where's the OP?
     
  8. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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    Sounds a lot like the people who lament not being in shape or not being strong.
    Well, if you put down the game console controller, twinkies, and soda and got your butt in a gym or on a field when you were in junior high school, you could be jact and tan when you're in your thirties. Instead, you're now fighting an uphill battle at which it is very easy to acquiesce your loss.
    At that point in adulthood, you figure you've lived without it for so long, you surmise you weren't really missing anything.

    Then you have the genetics blamers. "You're really good at X, you must have really good genetics! I don't have them."
    No, what I do have is stubbornness and a willingness to learn.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Tobylou8, the last I read was she had an accident that makes trumpet playing so difficult that she's taken up the piano.
     
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Ed, recently?
     

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