Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Free Lessons

Why pay for that which you can get for free? Avoid writing that pricey lesson check and the hassles of traveling to the big city. There is also no need to obsess about playing well for the big lesson which only lasts an hour anyway. Your window of receiving valuable information should last longer than sixty minutes, don't you think? Consider seeing your progress skyrocket right in the comfort of your own home, and without taking a big financial hit?

First assignment for those serious about sounding professional - get a library card! Take out as many CD's as possible of excellent recordings of works you need to learn. It doesn't cost you anything to listen to them. They're teaching you for free.

Next - start some serious listening. Note tempos, volume, projection, style, etc. Listen many times to each piece, and remember what you hear. Follow along with the music in front of you. Record your playing efforts and compare. Begin to narrow the gap between student and pro, unless you intend to forever sound like a work in progress.

Again, your responsibility is to come prepared with tempos, fingerings, transpositions, etc. well before that big lesson. Everything on the page is your job to prepare. Don't waste time and money having the teacher tell you what you could have learned on your own. Do your homework before you see the coach. Who knows? Maybe the coach will be so impressed that you'll get a free lesson!

1 comment:

The Wildcard said...

Mr. Collins, I think this is some of the best advise for a musician. I'm a unique example, but I went a LONG way just off of listening to better and eventually great players. TV/movies were a big source of trumpet prior to the craziness the internet has brought us--particularly being from small-town Tennessee. Your playing on the Pops' "Copland: The Music of America" was a huge part of my early sound and general music development. Still, one of my favorite Copland albums.
I think listening and loving is the biggest thing to grasp if wanting to be a great musician. I know this is one reason Bud was as great as he was.
Thanks for being one of my first trumpet listening teachers--it REALLY did a lot for me!