Trumpet Discussion Discuss Discerning potential... in the General forums; Hey Manny,
I was thinking about what you said, "People don't get picked to go to Julliard because of perfection, ...
I was thinking about what you said, "People don't get picked to go to Julliard because of perfection, they get picked because of potential." Now my question is, what do they, or what would you look for in terms of potential in the student? How can you tell if the person has potential or not? Do they have to have great range and endurance, and aritculation right when they get there?
I read an article here at school in obe of my music classes about Julliard, and what the article talked about was the success stories and "failures" of the 1994 graduating class. At around 64 graduates (I might be wayyyy off but 64 sounds right) 12 are playing still, and 2 are playing professionally. Maybe 4 are flee-lancing and the rest of them are either off the radar or weren't good enough. It was shocking to read that because Julliard is one of the top notch school's in the country. Do you think, now at least, that going to a music conservatory with a reputation like Julliard is necessary for success??
Things have changed since your day, especially teaching quality. I think priorities are all mixed up but I want to hear your take....
I'm playing in your masterclass by the way
Re: Discerning potential...
Originally Posted by Tarter_trpt8
I would look for a clear sound and qualities that make a player stand out form the rest of the pack. Does the solo playing speak to me? Is the technique better than most players? Is there security in the upper register and low register? When this person responds to a question do they speak clearly and with respect? Yes, believe it or don't, that is actually important to me and would make the difference between another potential student of equal talent. Why would I admit a student who acts like a jerk when I could have one that is just as good but better-mannered? I think they picked me because I had personality in my playing, a nice sound, and a clear upper register.
Now, does one need to go to Juilliard or a conservatory to become a good candidate for future employment as a trumpeter? Absolutely not. The nice thing about most conservatories is that they are in major urban centers and the opportunity to get noticed by important people in the field is greater.
When I went to school, I got to work with (I mean got paid to workwith) Gerry Schwarz, Mark Gould, Ray Mase, Allen Dean, Louis Ranger, Ray Crisara and others. I worked for two major contractors, Herbie Harris and Arthur Aarons. I was pretty positive that had I stayed in NYC I would have been playing extra at the Metropolitan opera and eventually the Philharmonic. That's the positive thing about going to a major conservatory.
Also, Juilliard has more than one orchestra which gives you a greater opportunity to play as opposed to going to another school where you have a good teacher but you have wait until someone graduates or dies before you get to play in Orchestra. Until then, enjoy playing in wind ensemble or concert band and good luck hearing yourself play. Sorry, but it's a pet peeve of mine and the only reason I don't teach at the U of M anymore.
Somehow people do go to other schools and have dandy careers, though so there you go. I think, however, getting to freelance with professionals gives you a little more that you wind up bringing to a job later in life.
Jeremy, I wanted to respond to a couple of things from your post.
What do you mean by "not good enough"? The problem isn't so much that these people aren't good enough, but you have to keep in mind that Julliard certainly isn't the only music school in the country that turns out first rate musicians. And how many jobs are there? What you wind up with is several hundred first rate musicians vying for a handful of jobs. Only the very best make that cut.
Then comes reality. Bills have to be paid (college loans paid off?) and you have to eat, so what do you do? If playing your axe isn't paying the bills, money has to come from somewhere so you get a job that will, which sometimes has nothing to do with your musical ability. This still takes nothing away from the musicians that graduate from the top notch schools like Julliard - they are still fantastic players in their own right and if things had broken a little differently they could just as easily be sitting in those few coveted seats in the first and second tier orchestras.
Eventually things get to a point where the musical aspect becomes a distraction from their day job and families, so when something has to give....
You get the picture.
As for the potential aspect, I would tend to think that a place like Julliard would look for musicality that is more mature than the typical 17 - 18 year old kid. A robust, mature sound, a solid fundamental chops set up, and good overall technique without too many bad habits to break. Basically a total package - a raw, unrefined total package. A diamond in the rough. Someone that with some hard work, would polish up quite nicely. Someone like Manny!
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
"At my signal, unleash hell."
- Maximus Decimus Meridius
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