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The simple genius of Roy Stevens


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Shaft
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys ever go and get lessons
from real high note players who are alive today?

Only asking because it seems practical.

Wayne Bergeron has lessons advertised on his webpage.
Jim Manley as well. Both of whom have spent time with Maynard.

You might be surprised what you can learn from one conversation with them which may actually apply to your exact situation and supplement what you have read in the SC method in some way.

Personally speaking I took a lesson from Jim Manley once and he had first hand stories about Maynard, shared with me his approach to playing and if I would have learned what he taught me in my early days my playing life would have been very different.

I incorporated what he taught me into what I was already doing rather easily. Only it was something I had never paid much attention too prior. The difference has been rather mind blowing with ease of function, resonance, and seeing how Maynard, Cat, and others are actually able to play how they do.

It seems that if one is serious about trying to play like a lead player
that they would supplement their learning with a person who has shown
ability to play “high”, who can hear and see something that may be worth adjusting.

Something that simply reading a manual cannot do.
Some are scared to email or phone a renowned trumpeter.

If you are serious about the instrument and high notes
i recommend that you contact real players and learn about it.
They are people too! They offer the service of instruction.

I say all of this having read and done the SC method 15 years ago.
I’m not knocking going through it but it took some other things to
flesh out my playing, so to speak in addition to it.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
... I again refer to The Balance Embouchure, which uses a rolled in system graduating to a "normal" embouchure in the middle and low registers.

-----------------------------------
Do you view the Balanced Embouchure method as a specific 'embouchure technique' that is used while playing?

Or more of a 'training method' or 'learning method' for the player to develop various embouchure skills, and to discover how to use those various skills in a way that works for their situation.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:


2) The C-S method of 'starting high' (but perhaps not with annoying squeals & squeaks) does give a beginning player some idea of what is possible and necessary for a playable upper register.

Beginners I've seen are doing good to get any sound out of the instrument. Their lips and embouchure muscles are totally unfamiliar with the placement or what needs to happen to make *any* sound. The lower notes are what are easiest to achieve, generally they're what's *possible* to achieve.

Any notion of trying to bypass this reality by "starting high" seems like an Alice In Wonderland absurdity on the order of "if you're having trouble clearing 5 feet in high jump, start out at 6 feet".

I look forward to anyone presenting evidence of this consistently working with beginner students such that it should obviously and rationally replace how beginners are typically taught.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jay, I will try to answer but I am not an apologist for this approach and there is a full Forum area devoted to it. Jeff posts from time to time and these are better sources than I.

As to your questions, I'm not sure I know the difference. It is a series of developmental exercises, isolating particular techniques which are then combined to be used to smoothly balance out the embouchure.

Jeff also includes supplemental work such as tonguing etc. to avoid the one-trick-ponyism of some other styles.

Best to look at the book and see the exercises in it.
*addendum. It's not enough to just look at the book but to read it thoroughly. There are very important guidelines there.

"
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steve0930
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
Robert P wrote

Quote:
Any notion of trying to bypass this reality by "starting high" seems like an Alice In Wonderland absurdity on the order of "if you're having trouble clearing 5 feet in high jump, start out at 6 feet".


Who was it who said:
Quote:
In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.


Personally I am a big fan of the absurd approach - if I had said to my Grandfather "One day you will use the phone to pay for your beer and video your grandchildren" "Don't be absurd" would have been his quick fire response. When I first saw Jerome Callet demonstrating his elephant roll outs "absurd" was an adjective that sprung to mind.

cheers Steve
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve0930 wrote:

Who was it who said:
Quote:
In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.


Personally I am a big fan of the absurd approach - if I had said to my Grandfather "One day you will use the phone to pay for your beer and video your grandchildren" "Don't be absurd" would have been his quick fire response. When I first saw Jerome Callet demonstrating his elephant roll outs "absurd" was an adjective that sprung to mind.

cheers Steve

Great - let us know when you can point to beginners who benefit from this particular absurdity. So far what we've got is someone who despite constructing mammoth walls of words can't point to any such success stories, who won't even demonstrate what the method has done for him but nonetheless insists it's the right path not because of any direct evidence he's seen or experienced but presumably because someone else told him it is.

Jerome Callet didn't start out on S-C as a beginner and as far as I'm aware didn't actually make much music - my awareness is that he made and sold trumpets and mouthpieces which are supposed to be pretty good, sold method books and gave lessons on his "system" and banged out high notes at trumpet gatherings. If that's not accurate by all means set me straight.

With all these loud high notes he's renowned for what bands did he actually play the lead book with? I've never found a single recording he made or even a reference to one. I've found video of him playing pedal tones and making faces and buzzing during lessons. Is there any documentation that he ever played a melody from beginning to end in *any* register?
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peanuts56
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned Roy Roman and they didn't seem too impressed. As far as Roy goes I haven't seen too much on YT of him playing but I'd have to agree. However, one player who was a long time student of Roy's was Don Ellis. He wasn't labeled a high note guy but Don had pretty good high chops. On the intro of Open Wide he nails a nice double B and it looks pretty easy. I noticed in this clip he uses a stance similar to Maynard when getting ready for the high register. Maybe because Don died so long ago many don't know he was a Stevens-Costello guy. I read an article somewhere by one of the guys in Don's band who was a student of Roy. May have been the lead player and Don's book wasn't easy. I met Roy a few times after Don passed and he talked about Don quite a bit. I gather they were very close and he was devastated by Don's untimely death.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peanuts56 wrote:
Someone mentioned Roy Roman and they didn't seem too impressed. As far as Roy goes I haven't seen too much on YT of him playing but I'd have to agree. However, one player who was a long time student of Roy's was Don Ellis. He wasn't labeled a high note guy but Don had pretty good high chops. On the intro of Open Wide he nails a nice double B and it looks pretty easy. I noticed in this clip he uses a stance similar to Maynard when getting ready for the high register. Maybe because Don died so long ago many don't know he was a Stevens-Costello guy. I read an article somewhere by one of the guys in Don's band who was a student of Roy. May have been the lead player and Don's book wasn't easy. I met Roy a few times after Don passed and he talked about Don quite a bit. I gather they were very close and he was devastated by Don's untimely death.


Yours seems to be one of the more rational posts recently Peanuts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've stopped responding to the negative types. Fer Crissakes some people act like I'm the 'germ of the universe'. Some people hated Roy Stevens too. Him and Al Cass. The later being one of the best mouthpiece makers for trumpet. Both hated.
A few points,
Roy Roman has retired from playing trumpet. Lots of professional musicians retire. Stan Mark claims to have stopped gigging so? It happens. Stan didn't study with Stevens but that upward angle on his horn is a sure sign that he blew that way naturally.

Got the sad news about Roman from Dr William Moriarty himself. He possibly the last living direct connection to Roy Stevens himself. Moriarty taught for Roy a number of his students. He also was President of the NYC AFM for a considerable spell. A most impressive resume. Dr Moriarty wasn't just the editor of the Stevens-Costello book, but actually wrote the whole text himself. These words came from the collected words and recordings of Stevens himself. Other thoughts,

Roy Stevens has been dead since Oct, 1988 that's thirty-three years ago. You can find a number of trumpet players who instruct his system in various places. I won't say who because perhaps half of the ones I've looked into were people I wasn't all that impressed with.

My general analysis of the Stevens-Costello system is that it claims that physical laws are present in tone production on the trumpet. No one ought to have a problem with that concept. As we're all governed by physical laws in everything that we do. Stevens & Costello further maintained that these physical laws could be understood by anyone. That by understanding and implementing these laws with patience & persistence that the complete register of the trumpet could eventually be available to anyone.

I have absolutely no problem with any of the above concepts but let me not get ahead of myself. This is definitely not an overnight success system. One of the unfortunate but common inferences trumpet players make is that by observing that high notes are the first part of the Stevens system's playing regimen? They automatically assume that they can turn themselves into Cat Anderson overnight. And this is just not so. As a matter of fact, I have noticed the most improvement in my own playing the more that I play in the middle register.
Also,
I am almost 24 months into this system. I'm not at the level where I once was before my dental Injury which necessitated the radical embouchure change I made/making. Essentially I'm kind of a beginner once again. Although if you stick me on most any concert band part you might not notice. As my ear is as good as ever and of course I sightread fine and know the fingerings lol. That said? Some elements of my new embouchure fo resemble a beginner. I'm not bothered by this as i.am in this for the long haul.

However my practice room range is astonishing. Have added a clear octave to the range I once had on downstream, or receded jaw playing. On a good day? Am often able to punch out a solid G natural above Double C. Not bad for a beginner.

Also, I'm very pleased with my tone. Something has made my chops feel much more relaxed. Heck even Reinhardt said this about the similar embouchure of his he called the "Type IVA Upstream". A setting that according to people who should know including Reinhardt himself, makes the energy necessary to play the Double C about as hard as that which most trumpet players use on a mere G top of the staff. I can testify to this. That said?

If you're a dedicated trumpet player you might want to pay attention to the following above anything else. Ready? Here goes,

Depending upon how significantly different that the Stevens embouchure is when compared to your former way of blowing the horn while setting your chops? Your path ahead may be either bumpy or smooth. Roy Roman had a smooth transition. When Roman first came to Stevens studio his chops were almost destroyed. And yet Roy fixed him up so quickly that within just one year Roman was playing professionally for the US President at the White House.

Others have taken longer. I think that Stevens prediction of three years to learn it was based upon an average. Now for a serious caution!

You will have good days and bad days while learning this system. While this is true of all other methods? It is particularly so with Stevens-Costello. However this is not due to the method so much as because of the mindset many trumpet players bring with them. The Stevens system will attract people who've already learned to play trumpet through some other method first. As such they'll probably set their expectations very high. In turn they may set unreasonable goals for themselves and push themselves way too hard. Indeed however some of those tiny muscles that govern both sound production and resonance will fatigue quickly. That and often swell.

It can takes days and sometimes a week to transition out of these stages of overtraining. But when one does pass on through?

Each time you'll feel elated to have arrived on to another new plateau. However this elation can be brief. We soon forget where we came from. Then we push ourselves way too hard once again and wind up in yet another state of overtrained chops. Watch out for The Blues my friend.

Actually the best cure for The Blues is when a solid Double C rings out from your own horn. While you're behind it!!
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lionel wrote:

Yours seems to be one of the more rational posts recently Peanuts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've stopped responding to the negative types.

So you've settled the issue of whether you can actually back up any of the assertions you've made....and you resent that anyone would have the audacity to ask you to.

Gotcha.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
So, you've settled the issue of whether you can actually back up any of the assertions you've made....and you resent that anyone would have the audacity to ask you to.


But . . but . . I noticed you play a bright, commercial horn, Robert. I would think you would want to learn how to play really, really high screech notes.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Robert P wrote:
So, you've settled the issue of whether you can actually back up any of the assertions you've made....and you resent that anyone would have the audacity to ask you to.


But . . but . . I noticed you play a bright, commercial horn, Robert. I would think you would want to learn how to play really, really high screech notes.

One of the problems I have with what I've read about S-C is talk about "unlimited range". There's someone who in the past promoted their own high-note method in here and used that same phrase. While they themselves have what would typically be considered a strong high range, they don't have unlimited range. That kind of terminology just reeks of hucksterism.

There's always the question of "how high is high". I have no aspiration to play "screech" notes - I'd be happy to have as much range as I can have with good sound and control.

Probably the main barrier between me and a double C that I can rely on being there is more consistent practice. However I'd be even happier to have really killer improv chops.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do know I was kidding, right?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lionel wrote:
« My general analysis of the Stevens-Costello system is that it claims that physical laws are present in tone production on the trumpet. « 
Brilliant!
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
You do know I was kidding, right?

I actually wasn't 100% sure of your intent - thanks for clarifying. Tongue in cheek can get lost over the internet.
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Trumpjerele
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may comment on the Stevens Costello method.

I will say that the main problem you have is that you need too long a learning period and also need to be guided by a teacher. I know one person who has used it successfully, suffered a facial paralysis and had to relearn how to play again. A case similar to Lionel's.

But few people are able to start from 0 if it is not absolutely necessary and I doubt that an absolute beginner has the patience to wait two years to play the first tunes. Also, success for many people does not mean hitting G above DHC.

That said, I also think that the stevens costello approach deserves a special sub-forum.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert
It's because of people like you I am a fan of this Forum. You are clearly highly proficient - and ready to commit time and energy to helping others here. You have posted photos of your own embouchure and are ready to offer personal feedback, just on this thread alone I know you have given some tips to Steve D on his recordings. I also like the way you challenge people - that's the way we learn and examine and revise our own assumptions.

When I raised the idea "can there be value in the absurd approach" you did then appear to "Rubbish" Jerome Callet - maybe this wasn't you intention but it does read like that (as you say here it is easy for meaning not to come across the right way) I guess your treatment has been - certainly towards the end of this thread - in the same vain - towards Lionel. Of course Lionel can give as good as he gets, unlike the late Mr Callet.

And whatever weaknesses you perceive in Mr Callet he does have a dedicated forum with just shy of 14000 posts to his name so there does appear to be something to learn from him. Of course Lionel is not everyone's cup of tea (who is?!) but in terms of motivation and commitment through setbacks I am sure his story inspires many more than just me.

I wasn't sure whether to write this - unlike you I am just a beginner and an easy subject of ridicule when you read some of my naive posts but I came to the conclusion that keeping quiet would be the Coward's way out.

So my question for you Robert is without losing your challenging and "En Pointe" style is it possible to lend more common courtesy and politeness to the delivery of message? Given that for many I am sure you are some sort of role model - failure to do so can lead to others taking their cue from you and then sarcasm and bad grace start to take root in the Forum to the detriment of all - because I am sure this also is not what you want - your commitment to help others here is manifest.

All the best and stay safe - Steve in Helsinki.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve0930 wrote:
Hi Robert
It's because of people like you I am a fan of this Forum. You are clearly highly proficient - and ready to commit time and energy to helping others here. You have posted photos of your own embouchure and are ready to offer personal feedback, just on this thread alone I know you have given some tips to Steve D on his recordings. I also like the way you challenge people - that's the way we learn and examine and revise our own assumptions.

When I raised the idea "can there be value in the absurd approach" you did then appear to "Rubbish" Jerome Callet - maybe this wasn't you intention but it does read like that (as you say here it is easy for meaning not to come across the right way) I guess your treatment has been - certainly towards the end of this thread - in the same vain - towards Lionel. Of course Lionel can give as good as he gets, unlike the late Mr Callet.

And whatever weaknesses you perceive in Mr Callet he does have a dedicated forum with just shy of 14000 posts to his name so there does appear to be something to learn from him. Of course Lionel is not everyone's cup of tea (who is?!) but in terms of motivation and commitment through setbacks I am sure his story inspires many more than just me.

I wasn't sure whether to write this - unlike you I am just a beginner and an easy subject of ridicule when you read some of my naive posts but I came to the conclusion that keeping quiet would be the Coward's way out.

So my question for you Robert is without losing your challenging and "En Pointe" style is it possible to lend more common courtesy and politeness to the delivery of message? Given that for many I am sure you are some sort of role model - failure to do so can lead to others taking their cue from you and then sarcasm and bad grace start to take root in the Forum to the detriment of all - because I am sure this also is not what you want - your commitment to help others here is manifest.

All the best and stay safe - Steve in Helsinki.

If someone makes what I consider to be unfounded, nonsense assertions, you think I should be "nicer" in challenging them to substantiate their assertions.

The obvious course for someone to take when they're challenged and they *have* substantiation for it is to share that substantiation. I feel I do far more of a service to anyone looking for guidance in here to be straightforward with my skepticism when my bs detector goes off. I'm *being* measured in my responses compared to what they'd be if I really turned the filters off.

"The traditional way of starting beginners on low notes is all wrong - they should be started off in a higher register" strikes me as absolute nonsense. I've stated as clearly as I can why. I've specifically asked *what* they base this on - what track record of success in starting beginners off any other way is there? If such evidence exists by all means share it and make a believer out of me.

Quote:
Of course Lionel can give as good as he gets


I haven't seen him "give" anything in answer to my specific challenges. Lionel says he finds my skepticism "curious"...but does absolutely nothing to demonstrate that my skepticism is misplaced. We get *crickets*.

And I'll ask you the same thing - you say you're a fan of "the absurd approach" - based on what? When it comes to a specific skill someone might try to acquire I don't think anyone is served by tossing out glib nuggets that aren't based on anything useful. You brought up Callet - my understanding is he did demonstrate that he'd found a way to play high and loud on a trumpet. Whether it was in the context of demonstrating how to be a good trumpet player is another matter.

As I said - let me know when you can point to beginners who had great success "starting high".

What I see as the worst possible scenario would be for someone to actually attempt to inflict this nonsense on a beginner who wants to play trumpet who's going to subsequently have an unsuccessful experience and be put off what potentially could have been a positive pursuit.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding which register to start in, I always took as a starting tone, whichever one the student was most comfortable with. And, wherever subsequent exercises went, I would always return where the player (read his/her playing characteristics) took him/her.

In other words, if a player kept honking out Low Cs as their starting point, we'd start from there and go up. If their natural starting note was Middle G, we'd go up and down from there, always returning to their most comfortable note as a point of reference.

For those Low C students, when they were comfortable playing a Middle G, then the reference moved up to G and it went from there.

I should add that I was never a public-school teacher and the bulk of my students were private, except for my being a Certified Yamah School of Music Instructor, who taught a small, extra-curricular wind group. I did start out the first two years of academic life in Music Education but can say it didn't hurt me none.

Just another observation, I suspect that, for the average music educator, it's not a matter of what register to start them in, what teaching "school" to use, but a matter of just keeping them disciplined, interested and motivated in the first place.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So earlier I asked if you guys take lessons from other trumpeters who have a legitimate track record to supplement what you are doing from the “manual”.

No one responded and that’s ok.

So why would I ask that?

An embouchure change does not need to take 2-3 years.

Clint Mclaughlin had many students. There are videos of him working with Keith Fiala (who played with Maynard), Keith Wood, Rex merriweather, Mark Curry saw him, Herb Alpert too, Andrea Tofanelli hung out with him and the networking and sharing information is a great aid for teaching effecively. Pops “demonstrated in video 5 different embouchures” he taught them to people, knew the difference, and had realistic goals with his students modifying their setup as needed and not being dogmatic about a set way to play.
His work can be found at Bbtrumpet.com


Whats the point?
He stated many times in lessons and possibly even printed it in one of his trumpet books that he and others could start an embouchure change in the summer and play high c’s consistently by the time school started.
Him and I started working with a SC setup adding a lip buzz to flesh out the sound in December and I was solid by April.

Videos of that lesson in ‘05 or ‘06 are on his site
There is a well understood value to documenting claims.

At the same time sitting first chair in a wind ensemble and playing lead in a jazz band. I wasnt starting from scratch or with a dental overhaul however. So yes the method can work and it can be quick but it takes soem smart instruction or it could take years to never.

Yeah you can come on Trumpet Herald and type up essays about your status and keep everyone informed of your progress and thats cool.

However, to advocate that every band director in the nation should start kids out on this and run with the SC method seems somewhat ridiculous to many.

Has anyone ever heard a renowned trumpet player say anything similar?

Its not negative, and it most certainly is not irrational for you to catch some questioning on the desire to implement the SC method book on every band program in the nation. Believe me I’m not being negative but trying to shed a light on some perspective you are encountering here.
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kehaulani
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
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Location: Hawai`i - Texas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaft wrote:

Yeah, you can come on Trumpet Herald and type up essays about your status and keep everyone informed of your progress and that's cool.

However, to advocate that every band director in the nation should start kids out on this and run with the SC method seems somewhat ridiculous to many. Has anyone ever heard a renowned trumpet player say anything similar?

Word.

At the same time, I'm not sure what this means:
"So earlier I asked if you guys take lessons from other trumpeters who have a legitimate track record to supplement what you are doing from the “manual”."
Are you asking for an educational pedigree or something referring to "the manual"? If "Manual" to what do you refer?
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