Music teachers last forever

Don Brewer, my junior high school band teacher, died recently at the age of 87. In eighth grade, I had never played jazz on the trumpet before, but he asked for volunteers to take a solo and I stepped forward. My knowledge of jazz at the time was limited to seeing Dizzy Gillespie on TV, so I figured all you had to do was get up there and wiggle your fingers. I was atrocious. But Don was nothing but encouraging. Now I am a professional musician and teach improvisation at the college level. I doubt I am as supportive as Mr. Brewer was, but I hope that I can come close.

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