It’s Trumpet Or Nothing

I always said that when it came time for my kids to choose school band instruments, I would steer them towards the ones where there is a shortage of players, less competition, and scholarship dollars if they were to continue on to study music at the university level (trombone, double reeds, string bass, etc.).  I didn’t take into account that my kids would have opinions of their own, not to mention incredibly strong wills.

The local middle school hosted an instrument demonstration evening at which my son declared “It’s trumpet or NOTHING, Dad.” I pulled him aside and explained how trumpet is a daily commitment. He said, “How much time are we talking, here?” to which I replied, “15-20 minutes at first…every day.” He responded, “15 minutes is nothing!!”So trumpet it is.
I talked to my trumpet-playing buddies about what brand of horns they would recommend, as well as what brands to avoid.  Uniformly they all said to stay clear of Jupiters.  But wouldn’t you know it, that’s the only brand the local music store had in stock.  The salesman did a good job trying to convince me that the new Jupiter trumpets were superior to anything else on the market… but as I was having an inner debate with myself, my 9-year-old son made one of his typically astute comments:  “Dad, who are you going to believe — a guy who’s trying to sell you his product, or professional trumpet players who actually know what they’re talking about?!”  YOWZA!  This kid is wise beyond his years (in some ways)!  He also doesn’t hold back.
A friend ended up finding me a nice “gently used” student model Yamaha trumpet on Craig’s List.  Here I am giving it a bath:
Cleaning a trumpet in the bathtub.
And here’s my little man blowing some notes after his first band class:
A beginning trumpet student, playing some notes on his trumpet.
Now… to track down the photo of Maynard Ferguson holding him as a baby, backstage at Manchester High School.  Maybe I’ll print off a copy and put it inside his case.

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