This post is the continuation of a previous post. The 1st part can be found by clicking here. If you’re ready to jump in with the 2nd half, keep on reading. I hope you enjoy!
I stepped onto campus and felt intimidated. Brigham Young University (BYU) had around 35,000 students at that time, and it was pretty easy to get lost (especially when trying to find a specific building). I eventually found the professor’s office where I was to audition.
How Did the Audition Go?
Poorly! I’m not being hard on myself either. I was so nervous that I didn’t play very well at all. I hadn’t convinced the faculty that I should be at the school either. At one point they were about to tell me that I hadn’t made it, but they held back for some reason. In fact one professor said that I wasn’t at the level necessary to be in the program. I walked back to my car knowing that I wasn’t going to be attending this university via the school of music.
So, did I make it in? Yes, I did. How? Let me explain. Sometimes we have impressions in life that we need to do something very specific. Have you ever felt that? I had this impression about being educated at BYU. To make a long story short, I was accepted into the music program with a scholarship, but it was not because of my skill level, but things worked out…they were supposed to work out, and they did.
A Rough Start
As one professor correctly mentioned in my audition, my skill level did not match the level of the other students at the university. During my first semester I auditioned for multiple performing groups and successfully auditioned into one of them. In addition, there was one group I was required to be in…I didn’t make that one either. Ouch! Why am I sharing all this information (it’s actually pretty humbling to go over these experiences in detail)? Because I want you to see where I came from, that I was an average player- nothing special. But then, all that began to change.
It Was All Because of 1 Teacher
During my first semester of studies I was talking to my saxophone professor Dr. Ray Smith (hear him play here). I told him I would never play jazz because I didn’t have the instinct, gift, or ability to do so. He kindly corrected me and said, “The difference between those who can play jazz and those who can’t is this: those who can play never give up and keep on working. Anyone who wants to play, can.” I have this statement in quotes, but I’m remembering it to the best of my ability from memory. Nevertheless, the point is the same. If I had the motivation, he could give me the direction. I took advantage of this offer and got to work.
I didn’t anticipate this being a 3 part blog, but I guess it will be. I’m excited for the next segment, because I’ll share how my weaknesses made me a better teacher. These experiences provide huge benefits for my students.
Have you ever had an experience where you were continually knocked down, and you were not only able to get up again, but become successful? These experiences can really define our lives. I would love to hear from you!
As always, the Free Lessons and Premiere Lessons are available to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. By the way, whether you are taking the Free or Premiere Lessons you can send me a recording of yourself and I will give you feedback. This is a free service. It will really help accelerate how quickly you learn the saxophone. Click here for feedback!