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My Trumpet Student—First to Perform with Piano Accompanist at Spring Recital, Lessons in Your Home, Seattle

Posted by glennled on May 10, 2019

 

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Trumpet Solo with accompaniment, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” LIYH Spring Recital, Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Seattle, 4 May 2019

 

My trumpet student from Mercer Island has now played in three recitals in Seattle featuring students who are enrolled in Lessons in Your Home (LIYH – please see http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net/). But this time, on 4 May, he did something I’ve never seen done by any other student at this semi-annual recital. But before I reveal it, let me tell how it happened.IMG_0316

The mother of this student found me in the fall of 2017 by searching the internet for a private trumpet tutor in the Seattle area. She found me through LIYH (please see http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net). After months of lessons, he played “The Serpent Charmer” in his first LIYH recital in spring, 2018. In the fall recital, he played “La Bamba.” As this spring’s recital approached, I had a bright idea (it happens occasionally). I knew his best friend studies piano. They are classmates at St. Monica Catholic School (pre-K through 8). Why not ask his friend to accompany him on his solo at this spring’s recital?

The friend, his parents, his piano teacher, and the LIYH Seattle Director all said “Yes,” and I furnished the boys with Beginning Trumpet Solos by The Canadian Brass, Fred Mills and Ron Romm, editors (1992). Of the 17 pieces in this collection, they selected “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer in 1908, which has become the unofficial anthem of American baseball. Then began the individual rehearsals, each with his own tutor. Next, on 3 April, we all met for the first joint, coached rehearsal at the piano teacher’s studio on Mercer Island, Jeanne Ellis (please see http://www.trymusiclessons.com/). The rough spots were exposed, and the boys agreed to practice together weekly. When we all met again, five days before the recital, they were much improved. They had even practiced what to do in case they had to re-start during the actual performance. Finally, they rehearsed together twice more before the main event.

Spring Recital, LIYH, Saturday, 4 May, 2:00 p.m. Session, at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Seattle, hosted by Scott D’Angelo, Seattle LIYH Director

IMG_0396They were ready. The program listed 27 student soloists, the pieces they would play, and the composer of each piece. Our pair was #10 to perform. Twenty-five (93%) of the soloists were piano students. The other two were a violinist and my trumpet student. Sure enough, my student and his friend were the only performers featuring a student soloist accompanied by another student! Oh, there were a few duets, where the teacher played with the student and in one case, where two brothers played together. But our pair was the standout. In fact, in the three LIYH recitals I’ve attended, they were the first ever to do this. Bully, bully!

It was a very important step in their development as musicians. They attend a private school where there is no band or orchestra. They had to listen and adjust to each other. They had to become a team. Each one had to do his part and carry his load. They had to organize themselves so that they could stay together at their optimal tempo and had to learn how to handle mistakes and recover if they fell apart. They had to be patient and persistent, get along, and help each other. And they got to experience the improvement that hard work and regular practice produce. They experienced the pride of success together. They found that music is richer when there is harmony between different instruments making different sounds. They grew more confident. It’s wonderful to listen to and appreciate beautiful music. It’s a whole different thing to play it.

My student’s mother says this was a big hit with the boys and thanked me “100 times.” The pianist’s mother also is very grateful. (The two mothers are friends.) The boys are planning to play it again at the accompanist’s piano recital on 2 June. Their friendship is now even closer. Music does that—brings people together, doesn’t it? Do you listen and dance and march, or do you play and sing? Do you compose, arrange, improvise, and teach? Lots of people can do three of these, even four, but fewer and fewer can do five to nine of them. Either way, it’s real joy, and it’s really fun.

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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