[Dixielandjazz] Mostly Self Taught Musicians

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 13 15:53:57 PDT 2003

Yeah, I do agree with everything you say. I will never forget the words of a
self taught tubist here in the East. Norman Burbank, who is an excellent
player. He was regretting that he never played a Festival out West in the USA.
Said Norm: "I just want to do one so everybody who hears me says, 'wow, Who the
hell is that fat kid (50 years old) on tuba?'" (He is over 300 lbs)

He meant it without a touch of ego because is is a monster player. Also, in
talking to his son, age 21,  who had just graduated from West Chester
University School of music, studying theory, trombone and tuba, this exchange.

Son: "Hey dad, how come with all my musical education I can't come close to you
as a tuba player.?"

Norm: "Well, we're separated by about 10,000 gigs and that's where you really
learn how to play."

Nailed it as I see it. ;-)


Stan Brager wrote:

> Steve;
> Your statistics were certainly informative and while it behooves someone who
> wants to go into music to immerse themselves in lots of study, how they get
> that study done is an individual decision and depends upon the goals and
> personality of that individual.
> There are those who can get by some rudimentary beginning with someone who
> knows how to finger an instrument and take it from there to become first
> rate by immersing themselves in the business of making music. And, as you
> have stated, by asking others how such and such can be done and by taking a
> lesson here and there. Certainly a method which lends itself to those short
> on funds.
> Others can do it all by going to a succession of more and more advanced
> private teachers and schools - the expensive way.
> The rest get the training using some combination of the two extremes above.
> For most musicians whom I've know, training is an on-going business with
> constant practice of those techniques and abilities which are difficult.
> This is what reedman Benny Waters said at age 90 - he still practiced but it
> was on what was hard for him to play.
> So, really we're back to what you mean by the term "a trained musician".
> Does it pertain to the capabilities of the musician? or merely to where
> he/she learned the craft of making music? or the amount of time which was
> spent with formal teachers?
> Yet, the one thing which musicians must all have in common is the love, the
> will, and the talent to make music.

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