How many of you have changed your mind about something? Or had something change your life?
In 1989 I had UPP (upper airway, nose, throat, soft palette, tongue) done and could not even play a C scale.
1990,91,92... I still could not play.
In fact Dec 23 of 1990 I took my trumpets to the Goodwill store and handed them out as presents. I kept the Calicchio to give to one of my kids.
Some of my friends and past students (I had stopped teaching) spent years trying to get me to finish writing A-Z. And as a form of therapy I finished in Sept of 95.
My wife had cancer and we had done a great deal of research and we put up a PSA on Webfeats .com/btc and after a few months I did a side page for A-Z. That was Oct of 96.
Some of them sold (which surprised me). And I started getting email. (A lot). I started trying to play again to help me find an answer to some questions that people emailed me.
I learned some alternative ways that allowed me to play 2 octaves and I joined a Big Band. ( I mean alternative too. I had played Farkas in college, also Maggio and Stevens. Even 4 months with the buzzing the lip against the tongue.)
I got on the trumpet ng in Nov of 97 and joined TPIN in 98. By this time I had recovered all of my past range with a setup vastly different than I played while under Jacoby.
In College I used the Stevens embouchure. 75% of the people who asked me for lessons got the Stevens. 20% the Farkas and 5% the Maggio.
TPIN and the NG generated hundreds of REAL playing questions. Some of those forced me to do experiments. (The nice thing about being able to play several different embouchures is I can mimic the student and physically find their problem.)
You may have noticed that lip buzzing replaced Stevens as #1. Right now I teach a buzzing embouchure 70% of the time, the Stevens 25% and the Maggio 5%. Also in the mix I lost interest in tongue levels (arch). That is the main reason why I couldn't play after my UPPP. Even playing a middle C I lost half of the sound through my nose. By G on the staff the nose leak was as loud as the sound at the bell. Now there were other factors also. The Dr. did several things I would NEVER have approved of if I had known. The deal with detaching and changing the attachment point of my tongue was one. I talked funny for at least 6 months.
AS I was trying to find a way for me to play I was bombarded by people asking if they could come to Arkansas and take lessons from me. They wrote and called and begged and I finally started letting some come. The nearest airport was 40 miles away and some of those people had flights that had to land in OK and then drive rental cars to AR.
Meanwhile I wrote FAQ's and it was received better than A-Z was. Again I was surprised.
You see in college I read and studied every book and article I could find. I read the Stevens book the year it was published. I read the Encyclopedia of the pivot system the year it was published. (This was before the net made it so easy to find things.)
After writing FAQ's I went to several college libraries to see what books they had and when they were checked out last. (BTW it is a real kick to see your books on the shelf at a big music school.) The pivot book had not been checked out in 12 years. The Stevens had not been checked out in 8 years. And the Mendez book hadn't been checked out in almost 20 years.
That is when I finally started to realize why so many people were interested in my books and me. There was a wealth of info out there that they had not yet seen.
Meanwhile I keep doing my little experiments and research. BTW my playing is 1000% better than I ever thought possible. It is still improving.
I've been teaching on a regular basis since Aug of 99. Not really long enough to send someone to the pros yet. Although Rex Merriweather is going to LA this month. (As a pro) I think he will make some people take notice.
There are lots of people like Mr. Espie who is 52 and wanted to play some hymns in church. He was struggling with g on the staff and could not play a high C. He has now played a recital with a community group. He played the Haydn (Big in tune high Eb), and 2 pieces from Wyntons Carnival songbook. He has played in his church, at the State Fair of Texas with a dance group and in 2 months he will do the Hummel on public CAT TV. Not too bad for 7 months.
In fact several TPIN members posted last month telling about their progress with me.
I've learned 1 very important thing and that is there is more than 1 correct way to play the trumpet. And a good teacher helps the student find the way that takes advantage of their physical makeup; instead of letting them bang their head against the same wall (problem) week after week.
Well that may well be more than you wanted to know, but since John and Rob asked so very nicely...
Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin