[Dixielandjazz] Mostly self-taught musicians

Nancy Giffin nancyink at ulink.net
Sat Sep 13 12:03:15 PDT 2003

David Palmquist <davidpalmquist at dccnet.com> wrote:
>    You're reaching a bit, Steve, when you write that, "Today a 'trained'
>    musician usually means a stint at Julliard, Berklee, or a degree in
>    music from a University, or years of lessons from a big name."

Stan Brager <sbrager at socal.rr.com> wrote:
>    We seem to be splitting some fine hairs indeed... I believe that [
>    Goodman] was truly a trained musician.

Splitting hairs? Or just speaking literally vs. figuratively? I hear Steve's
statement about being "trained" the same way I hear my sister, who is a
job-placement specialist, saying,  "Nowadays, you're not 'educated' unless
you have a master's degree."

Stan also wrote (and it's so true):
>    Furthermore, having a music degree or studying music at Berklee,
>    Juilliard, etc. indicates a trained musician. But when it comes to
>    playing in the philharmonic or being a studio musician, success is
>    predicated on musical ability and not a piece of paper.

Who could disagree? With fundamental guidance, those of natural talent can
surpass those highly-trained individuals of average talent. This is the
nature of art (and the performing arts). Splitting hairs? Or stoking fires
in the belly? (Going along with the body-parts analogies.)

When Oscar Peterson was asked in an interview, "When did you first realize
that you were special?" he answered, "I think when my piano teacher said to
me one day, 'You know, I'm just giving you some little things I think you're
going to need, but you won't need that much help because I think you know
where you want to go.' And I think then it started to dawn on me that,
maybe, I had something to say."

Talk about fire-in-the-belly: Oscar endured two years of intense physical
therapy to overcome his left-hand paralysis and begin touring again. Still
drawing a crowd. Wow.

Love and hugs,

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