Now if middle aged Ted heard youthful Ted in any of these settings, I'm not sure he'd be all that impressed with what he would hear. I doubt the time was that strong, my taste was questionable at best, and I doubt I had any sort of concept of sound.
Perhaps what the people that were gracious enough to hire me did hear was a certain enthusiasm and love for the music that helped them ignore many of my rough edges and immaturity. When we're just starting, that initial spark is sort of all most of us have.
I guess what I'm attempting to remind myself of is that any fire we hear in young players should be encouraged and nurtured. Very few people play brilliantly when they first start, but if they have the drive and nerve to play in public, we need to help them along as much as I can. This is one of the great benefits of teaching, doing clinics, and adjudicating. (The last of which I will discuss further in a later post).
I would like to conclude with a big THANK YOU to the people I mentioned, as well as a bunch I've inadvertently forgotten briefly, and I will do my best to pay back the debt I owe you by helping young talent whenever possible!