Why I decided to become a trumpeter

The other day, I was thinking about why I decided to major in music when I went to college. You are “supposed” to go into the field that is strongest, but in my case I think I had other interests that were arguably stronger. In high school, I was on the math team. I was in Advance Placement courses in Math, Latin and English. My grades were very good. Interestingly, I was not the best trumpeter in Alabama All State band (more like 10th, I believe). I had even cut back on taking trumpet and piano lessons my senior year, so that I could focus on my academics.

A couple of things occurred to me, however. I felt like trumpet, as a discipline, was more challenging to me than academics. I felt like I could grow more, as a human being, by pursuing music. In addition, I felt like my identity was wrapped up in trumpet playing, and I think that was the most important factor. I “saw” myself as a trumpeter in my future.

My experience may be different from someone else. But I feel that if you see yourself as a musician–as a trumpeter, and if you value the kind of growth the trumpet playing offers, then you should listen to that inner voice.

The question of whether to pursue the trumpet as a career is really a different topic. Being a trumpeter is a creative pursuit, and I don’t think you should force your creative goals with the burden to support you, until you are already well on your way to earning enough to live on. In my opinion, life is about learning how to grow, how to create a sense of identity and how to be creative. For me, that was the way of the trumpet.

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