Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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New Student (#51) in Lynnwood Is in the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band

Posted by glennled on December 18, 2019

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Classes for the Homeschool Connections Intermediate Jazz Band are held at Woodinville Alliance Church

 

My 51st trumpet student is my first homeschooled student. He now lives in Lynnwood, but until this year, he had been attending Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, where he was a band member. When he and his parents decided to leave the public school system, he asked them, “What about playing trumpet in band?” They found the solution at Homeschool Connections (please see http://www.connectionsnw.org).

He participates in the Intermediate Jazz Band class on Wednesdays at Woodinville Alliance Church (http://www.wachurch.us/). There was an evening band concert on 2 December at Northlake Christian Church in Bothell (see http://www.northlakecc.org). It was called the Connections Christmas Concert, featuring the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Bands; Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Bands; and Jazz Combo.

My first private, half-hour lesson with him was on 20 November. I always listen to my students play before I choose an instruction book for them. From his middle school band days, he still has the Essential Elements, Trumpet, Book 1, so we decided to keep working out of that. In addition, I had him buy 101 Jazz Songs, Trumpet, published by Hal Leonard, so that he can have fun becoming familiar with some well-known pieces.

I found that his range topped out at D on the staff. So, on the first day, I taught him to play “G” above the staff, and before I left, he had played a note above high C above the staff. Also, he was making an “H” sound into the mouthpiece. Students who do that will not be able to play at fast tempos or learn double- and triple-tonguing. So, I taught him to make a “T” sound into the mouthpiece. He now has to work to make these techniques natural and habitual.

At this stage, my first job is to help him learn the fingering and embouchure positions for each note in the chromatic scale. We want him to develop instant recognition of the names and settings for each note within a two-octave range, low to high G. It is not enough to memorize things intellectually. We must learn by doing. That means “practice, practice, practice.”

I asked how he chose the trumpet. He said there was no demonstration at school where he could try playing various instruments. He chose trumpet from photographs!

According to the Homeschool Connections website, the Intermediate Jazz Band is taught by Robin Strangland. She plays and teaches French horn and plays trumpet in the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra (SWOJO—see http://www.swojo.org). She started the Homeschool Band in this area in 1993. She and her husband run the Northend Jazz Camp. The Advanced Jazz Ensemble is taught by Kevin Hall, trumpeter. He is a Director of Jazz at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. Twice, he has received the prestigious “Outstanding Soloist Award” from the International Association of Jazz Educators. He is a Festival Director for the Snohomish Valley and Mill Creek Jazz Festivals. You’ll find more information about both these instructors at http://www.connectionsnw.org/about-us/.

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