Keith Fiala

Pops; My daughter in Las Vegas sent me this email, titled as “Inspirational”. It was in an internet magazine. When I saw your name, I had to send it to you. Thought you might want to know that you are a positive influence in the world.

Never Give Up!
Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve known in my heart that I wanted to be a professional trumpet player. Pretty much everyone discouraged the idea because “the music business is tough to break into” I was told.

Even after receiving a full-ride scholarship to UT, Austin to study with Raymond Crissara, I was told “you won’t last”. After my second semester at UT, I received a letter from the University stating that my “full-ride” scholarship funding had been pulled by the Texas Legislature……to keep instate kids instate, and undergrad out of staters paying some or full tuition.

Being young, and hearing all my life that music was a bad choice, I too believed that music was too hard to break in to. So – I set out into the world, and found a steady “day job”.
Finding myself locked into a career with a LD telephone provider and NOT playing at all, I was miserable! I gave up my “BIG” dream to become just another worker bee in a huge hive we call society.
2 years of this “worker bee syndrome” went by before I even looked at my trumpet again. Feeling lost, miserable, and out of sorts, I began to incorporate practice into my daily routine again.
A year later, I was auditioned to join a band just starting out that would play R&B, Funk, and Soul………called Memphis Train. I was hired!

9 years later, this band would become the mainstay of my income, and help me realize my life long dream! I AM a full time professional trumpet player and private instructor!


I was given an article about a man in Grand Prairie, TX by the name of Clint “Pops” McLaughlin. He was a private teacher able to help trumpet players fix “high note” problems. My first session with Pops was a 4 hour long butt kicker! But come to fi nd out, the biggest hurdle I had to overcome, was my state of mind. I believed that I was no good, and that I couldn’t do what I really wanted to do………..but refused to give up. Since changing my outlook, I have more than exceeded my playing goals, and have set new standards for myself!

  1. NEVER give up – failure comes when you stop trying!
  2. Be nice, but not a pushover – no one likes to work with an ego-maniac or a whiny child!
  3. Think Positive – reach for solutions, don’t dwell on problems!
  4. Humor & Laughter = a smile. I have fixed more problems with a smile than I could shake a stick at!
  5. Eat your vegetables!!!!
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