As the mother of a child who will start this fall at Penn State, music education, I've found this discussion interesting. She loves all things musical--from playing classical french horn (By the way Hesperis, when she insisted on being allowed to play in the jazz ensemble ,the director tried to make her play mellophone instead!)to the penny whistle and dulcimer and singing. (She dreams of having an alphorn as well.) She's formally trained on the horn and self taught on the others. The formal training has made learning other instruments easier. By the way, she refused to audition for any conservatory based program. She felt the competition would take all the fun out of music and says she's just not THAT obsessed with her horn. I think whatever one's training, the love of music is what makes a true musician.