Why Should I Start NOW?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tootsall, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Why should (or would) anyone want to learn to play any instrument (particularly trumpet) when they are an adult and might have never played ANY instrument before in their lives?

    A cat named Abraham Maslow came up with a theory of human beings and their needs. He postulated that humans have needs which are based on a relatively broad and basic foundation and get narrower and more precise as you "climb the pyramid".

    Maslow's theory counters the rather depressing theories of Freud and Skinner in that he (Maslow) felt that people are basically trustworthy, self-protecting, and self-governing. Humans tend toward growth and love.

    At the base of the hierarchy is the need for Physiological Needs. Read this as meaning SURVIVAL. The most basic human instinct is to LIVE.

    The next tier is "Safety". We want our "world" to be stable and consistent. We want the security of home and family.

    Next up from the bottom is "Love". We want to belong to clubs, social organisations, religious groups, even gangs.

    The second from top need is for Esteem. As we get older, our careers are established. We most likely are relatively safe and have stable lives involving family, a home, etc. But something is missing. We need to feel good about ourselves and this can come from both self-esteem and from the praise of others.

    The final and highest need is that of "Self-Actualization". We want to "be all that we can be". Generally this is acquired through artistic endeavour. Once again, the lower needs have been satisfied but we are still restlessly seeking something more. We feel something burning inside that wants OUT. If you've been the kind of person who could never walk past a musical instrument without feeling a "tug", or the urge to just "reach out and try it"...then music IS for you.

    Your career is established, you have family (or peers) who support you. By learning an instrument you put yourself in a position to join a band (remember the "Love" and "Esteem" things?). You are giving yourself something that you can carry into retirement that is socially acceptable, low risk (safety-wise), doesn't have to cost a lot of money, and that can truly make you feel GOOD about yourself. Those "restless demons" are quieted!

    You have time to practice. You can afford a decent instrument. You are mature enough to realize that the magic won't happen overnight but that it will probably arrive in tiny increments. You might even be wise enough to realize that you can learn things from someone who might be younger than yourself! But after a couple of years, with diligent work, the magic WILL happen.

    I'll be posting a couple of specifics that have happened to me since I picked up my first trumpet at age 50. Magic things that make me feel GOOD about myself! You can do the same with your life. You can bring a smile to someone else's face at the same time...make them forget for that one brief moment, whatever might have been bothering them.

    And that's what it's all about. Why not start now? After all, you still have at least half of your life left...and probably the most productive half at that!
  2. tiny tim

    tiny tim New Friend

    Dec 16, 2003
    Oxford & Lausanne, Switz

    Great post. I am going through the same motions as I played many years as a very young student through university, and laid it down when I started my chosen profession, one I chose out of need at age 14. Am age 44 now.

    I have heard it asked by some great musician if its something a person 'wants' to do or 'needs' to do. I have also read some Ingmar Bergman and he states the "ugly truth" is that we all live by our needs.

    So if its a real need then I see that as a great reason to start at any age what you desire.

  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Tim, I think that I agree with you that you go into music "because you HAVE to". At least, that's why you stay in it even though you aren't necessarily earning your income from it. To be seriously involved and committed is different from "buying a guitar" because it's cool to have one hanging on the wall or pretending to be a folkie! (OK...so I just dated myself!).

    Having said that, I know people who can't carry a tune in a bucket and who have absolutely no concept of "beat" but who insist that they can play 1st chair. Obviously they have NO musical talent (that has been discovered yet) but are doing it for "some" reason. They must get something out of it or they wouldn't be doing it. Because they "WANT" to? Or are they being driven by something deeper? Is their drive perhaps the need for "peer group"?
  4. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    I am a comebacker at age 44 after 24 years off. Why?

    My needs:

    To feel good about myself. Plain and simple.

    I don't really care if I ever make a penny playing trumpet (although there is a goal I have for later in life!). But when I can nail a piece and move the audience like I did the other night for my family (small family type band playing Christmas carols. I played an arrangement of Silent Night.) then it makes it all worth while.

    Another thing. I don't care how bad the day has been, or how many things are screwed up at the office. I walk into the practice room in the evening and it's all up to me. Not the secretary. Not the draftsman. Not the surveyor. Not the accountant. Just ME! I can be as good (or as bad) as I want to be. If I screw something up, then I can only blame myself!There are NO limits on my playing that I don't impose on myself.

    I hope that makes some sense.
  5. Spawn

    Spawn Pianissimo User

    Dec 21, 2003
    I am a comebacker at age 43 after 25 years off. Why? I wanted to play again. My wife got back into playing piano a year ago. I'm doing it for personal enjoyment. When my chops are in good enough shape, I'll volunteer to play taps at military funerals in the local area.
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Welcome to TM!

    Good for you! I played a few times a year from age 23-39, then about a year ago I got serious and started playing regularly in a big band and filling for musicals, brass bands, taps... It's been a blast and I'm sure you'll be glad you came back.

    Correcting old habits and getting a new horn really sped up my improvement.


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