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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Just need a little advice in the General forums; Hello everyone I have been thinking on some things for quite some time and have been rather kinda stuck on ...
  1. #1
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    Sep 2012

    Just need a little advice

    Hello everyone I have been thinking on some things for quite some time and have been rather kinda stuck on the fence so to speak let me try to explain. I'm a young man that has a dream but am not sure if it's even plausible at this stage in the game. Currently I am 31 years old and am currently coming back from a two year lay off due to certain circumstances. Anyways I've been thinking about some things and would really like to get back into playing in a real big way. You see when I graduated high school 13 years ago I had these dreams of going to school for music education and becoming this great trumpet player but as youth would have it I kinda messed that up and well it was thrown away to the wayside.

    I left college after two years due to the ridiculous increase in tuition and lets face it I wasn't really mature enough to even be considering a career in music. I did join an active army band that lasted for 6 years or so but to me that just wasn't enough. What I really want to do is go back to college but at my age is that really feasible? I mean going back to school and playing with kids half my age, well, close enough anyways. Could I really be able to hang with those young guys. I know that to make it in the music business you have to practice and practice hard and of course age does come into play. My dream was to become a "REAL" professional player in a band or orchestra somewhere but to also teach. I have always thought that the best thing a person could do was send the elevator back down once you have reached the top but of course I never actually reached that plateau.

    Anyways I've been thinking of going back to school but before that can take place other things must take place that I'd rather not get into, it's, after all, kinda personal. I have I would say about two years to prepare something for school but I don't even know just what piece to even prepare for college. I do know the standards such as Carnival of Venice, but I would like to do something different. Anyhow is there anyone out there that has actually started back after a certain amount of time and actually made it in the business? If so could you please give me some advice and maybe even suggest a piece or two that I could prepare in lieu of me going back to school? Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Piano User Branson's Avatar
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    Jan 2011

    Re: Just need a little advice

  3. #3
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    I picked up the trumpet again back in summer of 2009 but didn't stick with it for one reason or another. I didn't start playing it religiously until last July and now I really wish I had been playing this whole time... I mean really wish, like it's a pretty big regret in my life. The important thing, though, is that I'm following through on it now and finally making good on the promises I made to myself.

    My point is, for whatever reason I didn't practice pretty much at all for those three years and now all I got to show for it is being three years older. If I had been practicing this whole time I'd probably be pretty good by now. Three years from now you can be in college following your dream, or you can be three years older wishing you would have followed your dream. The choice is yours alone.

    I'm a young man that has a dream but am not sure if it's even plausible at this stage in the game.
    I don't think we follow dreams because they're plausible. I think we follow dreams because our heart really gives us no choice but to do so, plausibility be damned!

    Don't worry about the age thing. I have friends just starting college in their 30s. There's a lot more... mature folks our age (I'm also 30 something. Can't remember specifically though ) in school these days.

    At any rate I think it's much better to try and fail then never to try in the first place. likes this.

  4. #4
    Mezzo Forte User tjcombo's Avatar
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    Sounds like you're still working out what your dream is?? It could take a while? Time is on your side and two years is not a big lay-off. I just started a part-time college course at 56y.o. after starting to play again last year after 20+ years ("comeback" feels a little pretentious).
    My group for this year's performance tasks includes a couple of Gen Y metal guitar shredders and a double bass jazzer of my vintage. The result, apart from way too much fun, is a whole stack more dreams and ambitions.

    I have a sense of urgency because of my age, you have heaps of time... just do it.
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    If your goal is to become a great trumpet player, you must be willing to "pay the price" (endless hours of drilling, practice, study). Many people have lofty goals, few willing to do what it takes. Good luck. and tjcombo like this.

  6. #6
    Fortissimo User SteveRicks's Avatar
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    Actually, your maturity may be a real advantage. Realize that college isn't about outplaying all of the others. You are paying to be there to learn. Who cares if you sit 1st chair or 8th? Grade wise, older students tend to do better than the younger.

    Making a living on trumpet is very very difficult. I have several friends that play like horses, but gave it up after a number of years because finding daily work is tough. It is also hard on a family.

    For that reason I believe many individuals go into band directing at the middle and HS level. It offers a life around music, you get to inspire many, and it is really nice to have a steady pay check and benefits. Plus, there are ample opportunities to play- if you like (however many do not keep up their playing). I've been in education for 30 years. You don't get rich, but there are benefits- not the least being you see you really make a difference with kids.

    Only you can decide. Just don't let concern over "the young kids" keep you from pursuing it.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    Last time I went back to college (not for music) I was about 36. I'm considering going back again for more, although not for music. I'm a pure adult learner so I do not expect that I will ever have the proficiency in reading, transposition, theory and ear training that music college courses would require but if I did I would go, provided I could keep my day job. If you in a situation where you can do it, go for it. Prepare yourself well: take private lessons from specialists in types of music you haven't played much, brush up on the basics, identify the small flaws that you could get away with in your army band and eradicate them, get into solo playing situation to get used to be exposed and get your nerves under control, get all the audition tips you can gather, etc.

    In school, while doing your work, remember to also manage your cursus in ways that will give you other options than just performing as a trumpet player. Quincy Jones went a lot further as a director/arranger than trumpet player even though he was very good. Bite into anything useful your school offers: electronics, acoustics, software etc. A good sound engineer can make a decent living, whereas a good trumpet player often can't because he is competing against excellent or tremendous players who are disgustingly gifted. Keep your options and your mind open, work hard, be dependable when a gig relies on you for any function (even just plugging chords in an outlet that actually works), make a lot of friends and always be on the look out for good opportunities. From what pros say, a big part of it is to be in the right place at the right time, another is to show up on time and be ready. Good luck to you.

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  8. #8
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    When I was in first year college for Jazz Performance, there was a guy in one of my ensembles who was graduating. He was 71.
    You are never too old.
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  9. #9
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    My most recent return to do a Post Graduate degree was at age 49 - with a young family, full time shift work, 4 months of the year away, and learning trumpet again. Go for it you can't go backwards - at least this time you'll know what your desired outcome will be, and you will be mature enough to deal with the pitfalls and take charge of your learning. Self-directed mature aged learning is the best kind. DO IT.

    .... oh, and my degree was in a Distance Learning mode - no face to face lectures or tutorials. I HAD to do the readings.

    When you're ready, there are very real and effective strategies that you can employ to make things easier - don't forget to ask.
    Last edited by tedh1951; 03-10-2013 at 09:53 PM.

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  10. #10
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    Re: Just need a little advice

    I think you should set goals that you can control. You can't make yourself famous, but you can commit to practicing every day and getting a teacher, and playing every chance you get. There is more than one way to be successful. Most people making money at music still have a day job, and having both means that they don't get burnt out. I say that you should spend your energy on the stuff you can control, and the end result will be way more cool than you can even imagine right now.
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