north bay trumpet
- The number one parental concern is something
like: "If my child takes private lessons they may want to become a
- The thought that usually follows that is
something like: "They will have a difficult time making a living and
enough money to survive."
- This concern is genuine and well founded.
- I want to be clear that I neither
encourage nor discourage students pursuing a career in music.
- I try to speak honestly and thoughtfully when
asked questions about my involvement in professional music.
- Hearing about the realities of being a
professional musician and/or a music teacher are often enough to
discourage anyone but the bravest and most determined students.
- If a student chooses to ignore those realities
with thoughts like: "I won't encounter these difficulties," they are
usually demonstrating their independence.
- My usual response to those statements is to
encourage the student to be thoughtful about their conclusions and to
try not to make any hasty judgements without sufficient evidence or
- Asking more than one person about these
concerns, I feel, helps one gather knowledge that may be useful.
- I also try to encourage (1) developing
versatility (in playing styles and in musical skills other than simply
playing the trumpet) and (2) thinking about how broad the music world
is (that it includes a lot more than simply playing in an orchestra or
teaching high school: the two situations most students are aware of
when they ask the question).
- Most of all, I want to be clear: I am
not necessarily trying to produce professional musicians. I am doing my
best to help raise the musical skills of each student to the next level
of excellence (whatever that is for each individual). What they choose
to do with that is their choice.