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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) How far can you get alone?
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davdud101
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 08, 2018, 01:43PM »

I started on Trumpet, and my third teacher found out I was playing completely wrong! I didn't vibrate the lips to make a sound, I vibrated my tongue against my upper lip..

Anyhow, I still recommend to start with a teacher, a good one!

I had a student who came to the first lesson and sang in the trumpet. I wonder how long that had gone if I had not told her to buzz her lips.

/Tom

THESE are some EYE-POPPING anecdotes!!!

Ted... That's interesting!

Tom... did she have good tone that way? Evil But in all seriousness, I'm sure you taught her how to "play"? What has she achieved as a player since then?

I guess that's a deep trap to fall into WITHOUT a teacher - not just purely learning things in a way that inefficient for playing, but straight-up learning things WRONG - in a way so wrong that one never learns anything about how to play properly. In my mind, in this day and age there's enough information online in videos, audio, photo AND text for the absolute and complete beginner to get an understanding of what the conventional ways to play instruments are, and maybe even avoid learning too many technique mistake that need to be hammered out by teachers later. I can imagine it wouldn't have been so easy 40 years ago without such readily-available resources.
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 08, 2018, 01:51PM »

THESE are some EYE-POPPING anecdotes!!!

Ted... That's interesting!

Tom... did she have good tone that way? Evil But in all seriousness, I'm sure you taught her how to "play"? What has she achieved as a player since then?

I guess that's a deep trap to fall into WITHOUT a teacher - not just purely learning things in a way that inefficient for playing, but straight-up learning things WRONG - in a way so wrong that one never learns anything about how to play properly. In my mind, in this day and age there's enough information online in videos, audio, photo AND text for the absolute and complete beginner to get an understanding of what the conventional ways to play instruments are, and maybe even avoid learning too many technique mistake that need to be hammered out by teachers later. I can imagine it wouldn't have been so easy 40 years ago without such readily-available resources.

I used to use that very same argument...

...Geezer
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 08, 2018, 02:32PM »

Tom... did she have good tone that way? Evil

No

But in all seriousness, I'm sure you taught her how to "play"? What has she achieved as a player since then?

Yes, I taught her how to play, or at least I know I managed to explain how to produce the sound. I remember we buzzed the lips but then she still did it wrong when doing it on the trumpet. We did solve that problem the first lesson, but I had to explain how to do it more than once. I don't know what become of her because this was long ago. I had my last student 18 years from now. The truth is most students in the public music school quit and that goes for all instruments. Some of the pupils quit early within a year (a few), a lot of them (most) quit in their teens when boys/girls become more interesting than trumpet or they choose sports instead, some (a few) continue all the way until they are too old for the public music school (21 years). Some of them continue on their own after this. Only one I started (that I know of) has become a professional player, and he plays trumpet (not my fault  ;-) ).

/Tom
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 09, 2018, 04:59PM »

In my mind, in this day and age there's enough information online in videos, audio, photo AND text for the absolute and complete beginner to get an understanding of what the conventional ways to play instruments are, and maybe even avoid learning too many technique mistake that need to be hammered out by teachers later. I can imagine it wouldn't have been so easy 40 years ago without such readily-available resources.
Very true, tbone forum being living proof of that...

But technical information on how to achieve at a really high level in music isn't what those young players want starting out... not trying to denigrate them, that's just how most people are when they begin a skill. We just want to figure out how to have some fun.

With a relevant source of inspiration (be it live music, instructor demos/conversations, youtube, etc) young players may then really want to read the Farkas book etc.!
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 10, 2018, 01:49AM »

All the youtube and forums in the world are no substitute for one-to-one sessions with an expert.

Every minute of every lesson should be individually focussed on the student and that will be priceless.

You get no idea of what it would be like to have lessons with me by looking at my forum posts. Teaching is complex and plastic.

A very few people can make it by themselves... most don't.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #25 on: Jan 11, 2018, 03:26PM »

All the youtube and forums in the world are no substitute for one-to-one sessions with an expert.

Every minute of every lesson should be individually focussed on the student and that will be priceless.

You get no idea of what it would be like to have lessons with me by looking at my forum posts. Teaching is complex and plastic.

A very few people can make it by themselves... most don't.

Chris Stearn
I agree a competent teacher can do so much more than any video, and they can tailor the lesson to your needs, work on your weaknesses, etc.  It's not impossible to learn to plan an instrument on your own, but you'll get there so much faster and easier with good instruction.  I was late to taking private brass instrument lessons, and I improved so much more with an instructor than I ever did without one.   
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 11, 2018, 06:14PM »

You will never understand what a FFF from Norman Bolter is like by watching a video.
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« Reply #27 on: Jan 11, 2018, 06:21PM »

You will never understand what a FFF from Norman Bolter is like by watching a video.

Fair point.


My post was mostly in relation to the newer player who just wants to play for their own enjoyment.

Hopefully someone who really puts in the time will also attend concerts and HEAR what it's like live - and eventually be spurred on to take lessons to REALLY begin to improve with focused, detailed work on things that CAN'T be learned online.

But for the amateur player just playing for friends at home, with no intention to even ever play with other live, there is certainly enough information to get THAT person skilled enough to have fun with the right practice.




But that's just me!!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #28 on: Jan 11, 2018, 07:02PM »

I tried to teach myself viola.  I managed to kvetch out a few notes, but then I took a couple of lessons.  Taught me how to hold the bow.  How to set up and hold the instrument.  And incidentally, play a few tunes (like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star).  Those three lessons took me farther than a month of aimless practicing.

At some point I probably want to get back to it, since no motter how bad a viola player you are you can still get a chair in a community orchestra.  Something to do when my chops give up.
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« Reply #29 on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:17PM »

All the youtube and forums in the world are no substitute for one-to-one sessions with an expert.

Every minute of every lesson should be individually focussed on the student and that will be priceless.

You get no idea of what it would be like to have lessons with me by looking at my forum posts. Teaching is complex and plastic.

A very few people can make it by themselves... most don't.

Chris Stearn

I still take lessons twice a month. I have been doing this for 15 plus years, 4 times a month in the early years. We don’t do a lot verbal explanations anymore. I will play something and then we usually trade phrases; he plays the phrase then I play the phrase Like he did. Or we spend the time playing my lesson material in unison. I can’t get that type of instruction from the web.
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« Reply #30 on: Jan 11, 2018, 11:12PM »

There are professionals who claim they are self taught so if they are not lying it is possible, but I think you need a fair amount of luck to succed. I had a teacher who did not know how to play which led to four years of not experiencing what a trombone sound is. At fourteen I heard another student who became a friend and that was an eye (ear) opener. My first four years could have been taught by book when it comes to technique.

What had happened if I had never met a teacher who could show ne how to do it?

First I had stayed ignorant. Second I would probably think I was doing allright (because ignorant). Somewhere along the road I had probably quit when realising...

/Tom
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« Reply #31 on: Jan 15, 2018, 05:36PM »

There are professionals who claim they are self taught so if they are not lying it is possible, but I think you need a fair amount of luck to succed.

Which professionals claim to be self taught? I have never heard of a professional trombone player who never had a trombone lesson at any point.... I suppose its possible but I am hugely skeptical.
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« Reply #32 on: Jan 15, 2018, 05:51PM »

I doubt you will find ANY classical player who is self-taught.

Some of the Jazz and Rock players are self-taught, but in many cases we don't ask the same of them.  For jazz and rock players the inventiveness is more important than the technical.

Then again, Jimmy Pankow was conservatory trained.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #33 on: Jan 15, 2018, 05:57PM »

Which professionals claim to be self taught? I have never heard of a professional trombone player who never had a trombone lesson at any point.... I suppose its possible but I am hugely skeptical.

Perhaps think of it statistically. If you have played for twenty years and only ever had one lesson, are you self taught? Having a lesson or three could be thought of as being resourceful, rather than having had instruction. Is gathering resources from this Forum considered to be "instruction"?

We can state we are whatever we want to be and then change our minds as it suits us.

I used to be self-taught.

In the end, no matter how many lessons we may have had, we self-teach. No one can make us play nicely. That is up to us. But a good instructor sure can help.

...Geezer
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davdud101
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« Reply #34 on: Jan 15, 2018, 06:32PM »

Perhaps think of it statistically. If you have played for twenty years and only ever had one lesson, are you self taught? Having a lesson or three could be thought of as being resourceful, rather than having had instruction. Is gathering resources from this Forum considered to be "instruction"?


That's what I'm getting at - regular instruction with relatively short time between each lesson. Otherwise, a really constant flow of new information from a working pro who probably did the same thing to become a pro.

That versus a guy who takes 1 lesson a year for 15 years and is a strictly by-ear player, playing with a band and some hole-in-the-wall and being paid to perform. He IS by all means a "professional player" by my definition. Maybe he doesn't play as well as someone we'd consider to play on a professional level - but he's putting food on the table as a pro musician just like a drag racer and a postman are both professional drivers even though one's driving may take a higher level of precision and skill.
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« Reply #35 on: Jan 15, 2018, 06:43PM »

Perhaps think of it statistically. If you have played for twenty years and only ever had one lesson, are you self taught? Having a lesson or three could be thought of as being resourceful, rather than having had instruction. Is gathering resources from this Forum considered to be "instruction"?

We can state we are whatever we want to be and then change our minds as it suits us.

I used to be self-taught.

In the end, no matter how many lessons we may have had, we self-teach. No one can make us play nicely. That is up to us. But a good instructor sure can help.

...Geezer


Geezer, Tom mentioned there are "professionals who claim to be self taught". I understand what you are saying, but playing trombone for 20 years and being a professional trombone player are very different things.

 Whatever you define "instruction" to be, I would be very surprised to hear of any trombone players who have trombone performance as their primary source of income, when they have never been in a room to play with/for an experienced and superior player who can advise them on how to hear their own mistakes.

I suspect Bruce's last comment here is probably correct but I dont know.... im not as familiar with jazz and rock pedagogy. I would be very interested to learn of self taught professional players in any genre though.  
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« Reply #36 on: Jan 15, 2018, 06:46PM »

That's what I'm getting at - regular instruction with relatively short time between each lesson. Otherwise, a really constant flow of new information from a working pro who probably did the same thing to become a pro.

That versus a guy who takes 1 lesson a year for 15 years and is a strictly by-ear player, playing with a band and some hole-in-the-wall and being paid to perform. He IS by all means a "professional player" by my definition. Maybe he doesn't play as well as someone we'd consider to play on a professional level - but he's putting food on the table as a pro musician just like a drag racer and a postman are both professional drivers even though one's driving may take a higher level of precision and skill.


.......maybe. I have been paid to mow lawns before. Doesnt mean I am a professional gardener.
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davdud101
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« Reply #37 on: Jan 15, 2018, 07:15PM »

.......maybe. I have been paid to mow lawns before. Doesnt mean I am a professional gardener.

BUT If you made a living mowing lawns, even at a subpar level with home lawncare equipment, what then? Are you not doing it professionally? Would that not make you a professional in the technical sense of the word?

And who's to say the the guy I mentioned in the example above DOESN'T play on a "professional level" and just happened to strike that "luck" that Tom mentioned?  Clever
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« Reply #38 on: Jan 15, 2018, 07:16PM »

I like the qualification of “good” teacher... kinda highlights issues prevalent in saying you have a teacher and are better off that way. How many have private teachers yet play at a mediocre level? Most that I have heard... including those in college.
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« Reply #39 on: Jan 15, 2018, 07:24PM »

Not all of us are going to be professionals.  Some of us will struggle to achieve mediocrity and maybe that's good.  After all, would you pay money to see someone play trombone when you can play as well as them or better?
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