Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

23rd Trumpet Student—Back to the Basics in Order to Jump Ahead

Posted by glennled on April 14, 2015

Shorewood Thunderbirds

Shorewood Thunderbirds

Grandma knows best—that’s why she sent me an email on 10 November 2014, about starting trumpet lessons with her grandson, a freshman in the band at Shorewood High School in Shoreline, WA, just north of Seattle. “He seems to enjoy the school band,” she wrote, “but I would like him to be successful, and wonder if you would have time to schedule him for some lessons.” And so we began.

What I found during our first session at his home was that some of his fundamentals were weak. His embouchure formation was fine and his tone decent, but his note recognition was not yet automatic and his upper range was too low. Developing embouchure strength and increasing range is pretty straightforward. However, developing automatic note recognition, reflexive fingering, and embouchure slotting can be very problematic for some students. I selected two instruction books for him: I Recommend by James D. Ployhar and Exercises for Ensemble Drill by Raymond C. Fussell. Other books will follow if he wants to develop further.

What does it mean to him to play trumpet well? He will have more confidence, enjoy playing music more, develop closer friendships, and have more fun in band. He’s on his way to becoming Grandma’s success story!

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