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Thread: Starting lessons this week

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    30

    Starting lessons this week

    I mentioned in another post that it has been 54 years since I played the baritone horn (a bell-forward three valve American instrument, Conn as I recall.) I signed up for private euphonium lessons at a local university and start this week. Because I am an emeritus professor from another department I don't have to pay tuition. I only pay fees, so the lessons are relatively affordable. I am both excited and apprehensive to start the lessons.

    In an initial meeting the professor had me play and said that if I started into a BA music program at a later date (as a non-performance major) I could enter at a beginner level. I haven't decided if I want to go as far as getting a second bachelors degree or just keep it as more of a side hobby, but I am thinking about it. Maybe I will have a better idea after a semester of lessons.

    The professor was encouraging to the extent that if I applied myself I might be able to eventually get to a point of becoming part of a small performing group that could pick up an occasional paying gig. That would be a stretch, since my main goal is to become a better player in a community band. Still, if it went further than that...

    By the way, the professor's main instrument is trombone, but he does play and teach euphonium as well. His euphonium is virtually identical to mine, something he noted as soon as I uncased my instrument. He bought his euphonium from Wessex, which I think is a good recommendation for one of the sponsors of this website.

  2. #2
    Congratulations on signing up for lessons! My perspective would be as encouraging as your teacher's, BTW. I have two students who signed up after similarly-long layoffs. Within about a year they were both playing well enough for community bands (sooner, actually). One is also playing in pickup groups for money, assisted by his purchase of an oval euphonium so he would fit in better with a little German band.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    I started last March after a similar “lay-off”, and began lessons with a fine teacher at the beginning of May.
    Finding a competent no-nonsense teacher had been on my bucket lists for 2019, and my ultimate goals were to play in a community band and to do Tuba Christmas.
    I attended a community band rehearsal in May and was invited to give it a try. Since I have the advantage of a music degree, received 53 years ago, I’m able to know what to play whether my fingers are equal to actually playing the notes or not, and I’ve played regularly in that group since I joined.
    Tuba Christmas was a major event for me, but since I was able to play almost everything in the green book without too much preparation, I realized that I’d set the bar for last year too low.
    I’m still working on goals for this year, and one major one is extending my upward range. I’m doing etudes with Fs and Gs above the bass clef staff, but still struggling with A and higher.
    I would really like to do some work with tuba, but as an old woman, my ability to transport and maneuver a BBb tuba is limited. I like euphonium enough so that I’d prefer to divide my practice time between euphonium and tuba to see if I can progress faster on one or the other.
    Outside of family, music is the most important thing in my life. I’m looking for some sort of opening for Church music locally, having found how wonderfully brass music enriches the quality of religious services. I love seeing all the ways music can make life better!

  4. Quote Originally Posted by ann reid View Post
    ...as an old woman, my ability to transport and maneuver a BBb tuba is limited.
    I often joke that my particular ratio of instrument to human ought to qualify me for a special parking pass! At the very least, euphoniums and tubas should be allowed to opt in to the percussion trailer.
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

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