Music education and what works for me

One of the best experiences that I’ve had in my music education journey was being thrown into a big band situation with some of the finest studio cats of the Los Angeles music scene. I was simply handed a chart and the count in began. OMG… talk about baptism by fire! I still can’t believe that I survived that day to talk about it.

Years before that, I was studying off of one (well, three but… there’s one that rose to the top) of the finest music educators in the area. I was always blown away by his ability to start with a blank sheet of staff paper and craft an amazingly advanced plan that elevated my skills at a very rapid pace.

Formal education from a “players school” is simply fantastic (IMHO). When you go too deep at a slow pace, you have tendency to lose who you are as a player (focusing my time on arranging for horn ensembles has never helped me become a better player… no matter how many arrangements that I’ve done). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally knocking traditional methods… you just walk away with different skills that could be better… for you.

I think Vic (Victor Wooten) sums it up best:

I was on my way to studying with the famous music educator Charlie Banacos (RIP) when life got in the way (long story… maybe next time).  His approach was ingenious.  Ask guys like Jeff Berlin or Joe Hubbard. Speaking about Joe, If you want to get some “serious skills” (from a long time Charlie Banacos student)… check out Here is Joe tearin’ it up… enjoy!