Posted by a tuba dad on January 28, 2001 at 10:38:10:
In Reply to: Re: Teachers posted by Eric on January 27, 2001 at 23:49:38:
My son is a senior in high school who just recently concluded his "search" for a college tuba teacher / program. With my assistance and encouragement, he started this process the summer following the 9th grade, which I know sounds "early" but I think was one of the keys to a successful search: Start early!
It is fairly easy to come up with a consensus list of the top tuba teachers and college programs; that has been a frequent topic on this forum. Anyone who is fairly current on "Who's Who" on the college scene can rattle off the "Top 10" or 15 teachers and programs.
The hard part of the process is knowing what to look for, knowing what questions to ask, and forming your own opinions. That can only be done by meeting the teachers, having a lesson, maybe attending a master class, and meeting and talking to current students in the studio. It is an expensive and time consuming process, so the earlier you start the process, the better the outcome.
Some of the things we learned from this experience: While all of the top teachers share many of the same traits, there can also be huge differences in philosophy in their approach to music education. Also, some of the top teachers, in my opinion, seem to be a better choice for the younger (freshman) student who needs a mentor, whereas other teachers would be a preferred choice for the graduate level student seeking to fine tune his playing style.
And there is a "famous" teacher who gets mentioned frequently on these threads whom we found to be the darkest, if not downright most negative, personality who I would NEVER imagine sending an impressionable young person to study with.
Of course there is the age-old question of conservatory versus the college/university setting. While we formed a definite opinion on this matter, I think that the important thing is to find the teacher first, wherever he teaches, and to not reject out of hand either environment.