Teaching Philosophy 

        Part of the joy in teaching trumpet / music, is that one can often see a transformation and development in students that perhaps, is not observed or doesn’t exist in every discipline. Music contains an intensely personal and humanistic quality that goes beyond cerebral learning. It is my desire to provide both technical and artistic information to students.

There are two basic goals at the core of my teaching philosophy:

1.      To help the student develop the requisite skills on the trumpet, through technical and physical development, with the long-range goal of developing a student’s ability to successfully pursue a career of teaching and/or performing if that is their choice.

2.      To help the student become the best musician that he or she can be, in order to be able to bring his or her soul into each performance on the trumpet, and to help the student learn to tell a story, paint a picture, and create a mood – in essence, to use his or her musicianship skills to communicate the language of the music they are performing.

           When accepting a new trumpeter into my studio I look for several factors. I look for physical and technical ability, musicianship, and the sense of desire or motivation to learn. I take an inventory of the prospective student’s strengths and weaknesses as an essential measuring factor in making a decision to accept the student.

            I take an individualized approach to each student.  Every student is different, and I believe in tailoring a curriculum to fit the pedagogical needs of the specific player. All students should work on the basics within the curriculum, but the specific technical and musical emphasis changes from student to student. Some students need an artistic approach with a significant amount of musical demonstration, and these students seem to learn best by visual and aural observation. Other students take a more scientific or analytical approach to learning, and benefit from verbal explanation and the use of their problem solving skills.

            Learning and practicing the various technical exercises on a daily basis is certainly fundamental to progress as a player, but musical considerations cannot be made secondary. Lyricism, phrasing, beauty of tone and communication through the musical line is too often neglected for the sake of “higher, faster and louder.” Frequently, the young player is deficient in the softer and more introspective areas of brass playing; the entire spectrum of dynamics and range should be developed with equal care, which will then equip the player with the ability to effectively communicate any musical idea, whether it be a fortissimo declamatory fanfare or a pianissimo sustained legato line. 

             Music can be thought of as a language, which must be learned much in the same manner as early speech patterns are developed. It is imperative that we never forget the “song” when playing the instrument. Keeping matters simple by focusing on singing through the trumpet, even during the most complex passage work, just as one does when playing a simple tune in daily practice, will help the player to communicate ideas through the instrument. If you can hear it, you can play it.

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