On Horn Student Success


Many horn students are graduating these few weeks. One metric used to judge the success of horn teachers is how many of their students win jobs in the field. And, sure, that is a great stat to tout but I found it refreshing this week to look at the studio website of the late Calvin Smith and see the list of former students. Some are in music still but a number he listed are actually out of music in fields including

  • Animal Science
  • Geography
  • Statistics
  • Pre-med
  • Bio-mechanical engineering
  • Optometrist
  • “Mom”
  • Episcopal priest
  • Deputy U.S. Marshall

That they are listed and were still in touch with Calvin is a very good thing, with the implication also being that they still liked music/horn and felt that their music study was still a good choice in their lives.

I have known people that certainly left a music program feeling like it had been a very wrong choice and wanted only to do something other than horn upon leaving. Where the blame lies for this is hard to access but certainly some educational situations can suck any joy of music making or love of music right out of the picture. This is not the way it should be.

Success is again a hard thing to access but if you are a Horn Matters reader I would say no matter what you are doing you are a success in terms of horn, interested to read about it and play it no matter what your profession or place in studies. Congratulations to all new graduates in horn and may you find success.

University of Horn Matters