Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘band’

Fifth Grade Band Performs Third and Final Concert at Skyview Middle School in Bothell

Posted by glennled on June 23, 2019

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5th Grade Band, Skyview Middle School, 06-05-2019

The 44-member fifth grade band performed its third and final concert of the school year under the direction of Dan Carlson on the evening of 5 June at Skyview Middle School in Bothell. The audience of family members, relatives and friends totaled more than 100.

The program was comprised of five pieces:

  • “Frere Jacques” (4-part round)
  • “Major Scale Skill” (Concert Bb Major)
  • “Montego Bay” (Calypso song)
  • “Regal March” (by Bruce Pearson)
  • “Eye of the Tiger” (arr. by Gerald Sebesky)

Mr. Carlson presented awards to 10 students among the three sections: percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The brass section consisted of 9 trumpeters and 7 trombonists. The award categories were Leadership, Most Improved, Most Inspirational, and Most Outstanding.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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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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New Trumpet Student #47 from Lockwood Elementary in Bothell Prepares for 5th Grade Band

Posted by glennled on May 9, 2019

th[4]He’s about to finish 4th grade at Lockwood Elementary School in Bothell and has a close friend who has registered for band next year—so he’s registered, too. That’s why he chose trumpet. His mother contacted me on 12 March, and we started weekly private lessons on 2 April. He wants to get a head start.

She bought him the instruction book which the band uses, Standard of Excellence, Book I, by Bruce Pearson. We’re working our way through the early pages and the inside back cover, concentrating on “the first six notes,” C through A of the C Major Scale. He’s learning the very basics: how to hold the trumpet properly, sit properly, buzz in the mouthpiece, understand the route of his air through the valves and slides, oil the valves, release the water that collects in the horn, breathe while playing, set his embouchure to sound each different note, read the time signature, recognize the shapes of quarter, half, and whole notes and rests, play different rhythms at different tempos, and so forth and so on.

Every page introduces new things to learn and master. There is so much to remember to do, all it once! Yet it looks so simple—the trumpet has only three buttons—it appears deceptively easy. He has shown me that he can handle it—and he will master it if he practices. He has the natural ability. He already has a head start. He’s getting better, step by step. And so far, he tells me, he likes playing trumpet. I’ve invited him and his family to attend my 10th Annual Trumpet Recital in Edmonds on 25 May as observers. Here’s hoping he attends next year as a participant.

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Spring Band Concert, Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on March 18, 2019

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2018-19 Fifth Grade Band, Skyview Middle School, Bothell

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Dan Carlson, Band and Orchestra Director, Skyview Middle School, Bothell

The Spring Band Concert at Skyview Middle School in Bothell was really two concerts on one night: one at 6 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. on 13 March 2019. The first part was by the fifth and sixth grade bands. The second was by the 7th and 8th grade bands. Both are under the baton of Conductor Dan Carlson.

The 5th grade band performed 8 short pieces from Standard of Excellence, Book I, by Bruce Pearson and one sheet music piece, “Yankee Doodle.” Mr. Carlson is the SMS Band and Orchestra Director. Students in this band come from four nearby elementary schools: Canyon Creek, Crystal Springs, Fernwood, and Lockwood. Mr. Carlson is assisted by three sectional instructors: Jane Lin (percussion), Tyler Rogers (woodwinds), and me (brass—i.e., trumpet and trombone).

The 6th grade band performed “Canto and Caprice” by James Curnow; “Dueling Dragons” by Robert W. Smith; and “Legend of the Alhambra” by Mark Williams. All but three of the 17 brass players at the concert were in my class last year.

I did not stay for second concert by the Jazz Band, 7th Grade Band, and 8th Grade Band which started at 7 p.m., but, here again, most of the brass players were in my class when they first started.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Fifth Grade Band

 

 

Sixth Grade Band

 

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First Christmas Concert—Elementary Band Performs at Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on December 26, 2018

 

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Dan Carlson, SMS Band Director, conducts “Good King Wenceslas”

 

The 2018-19 Skyview Elementary (5th Grade) Band performed its first concert at Skyview Middle School (SMS) on 12 December with more than 100 family and friends in attendance at 8 o’clock in the morning. Dan Carlson, Director, is in his first year at SMS. Jane Lin is the instructor for percussion, Tyler Rogers teaches woodwinds, and I teach brass for the eighth year.

The full band performed three pieces from its instruction book, Standard of Excellence: Comprehensive Band Method, Book 1 by Bruce Pearson. They were “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” and “Jingle Bells.” In addition, each instrument section got to perform individually its own chosen selection. First, the percussion section played “Hot Cross Buns,” followed by the woodwinds (“Merrily We Roll Along”), and concluding with the brass (“Lightly Row”).

The next day after this concert, the band met in the SMS cafeteria for a pot-luck party to complete its fall schedule.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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My 44th Trumpet Student Came and Went

Posted by glennled on December 25, 2018

dc8Mgnjgi[1]My first weekly trumpet lesson with my 44th trumpet student was on 4 December. Two weeks later, he dropped. But no worries—all is not lost. He’s also taking piano lessons (and has for the past two years), but taking lessons on both instruments is just more than he and his family want to handle at his young age (10). Besides, his sister is taking piano and guitar, too, so there’s a lot of music being played in their home.

He’s a 4th grader at Wedgewood Elementary School in Seattle. At our first lesson, I asked him what attracted him to trumpet. “It’s size and weight,” he answered. He walks to and from school daily, and he simply did not want to carry something like a cello. When we started, he already had Bruce Pearson’s Standard of Excellence, Book 1, Trumpet, so we began with that, learning how to make notes on a brass instrument. During our last lesson, I gave him the music for the first four bars of “Happy Birthday,” which he managed quite well.

We parted amicably, and I encouraged him and his mother, saying that he can still become a good trumpet player if he wants to take band in the 5th grade. In my experience, it’s very rare that a fourth-grade trumpeter will stay with private lessons. They burn out. They simply need to grow and develop just one more year, and then most of them will make it. There are many good reasons why almost all elementary schools start band classes in the fifth grade. The kids are bigger and stronger, their hands have grown, and they have more maturity, discipline, and motivation. My 44th student pleasantly accepted this, and indeed, he may join band class next year. He certainly has had a good head start. Good luck, warm regards, so long for now, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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Pocket Trumpet for Three Songs at My 60th High School Reunion, SHS Class of 1958, Sinton, Texas

Posted by glennled on October 28, 2018

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Jupiter Pocket Trumpet, Model JPT-416

On 19-20 October in Fulton, Texas, about 30 of us classmates gathered for our reunion, celebrating 60 years after graduation from little Sinton High School in little Sinton, Texas, near Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico. Almost another 30 of us have already passed away.  Recognizing, at our 50th reunion in 2008, that Father Time is on the march, we th1JWTGAUGstarted having our reunions every two years. This year, we decided to cut that in half. From here on, we’ll be getting together every year—it’s our SMO schedule—“See Me Out!”

Before the reunion, my wife and I had lunch at the Water Street Oyster Bar in Corpus Christi with my cousin, Tricia Brown, to celebrate her birthday. As we reminisced about the high school football games, pep squad, cheerleaders and band, I got a bright idea. A few days later, I presented it to our class reunion leader, Hattie Beth Fojtik. How about letting me play the “SHS Fight Song” on my pocket trumpet, while everyone else sings it, like we used to at the Friday night games in the old football stadium [no longer in use]? I got the green light.

So, what did I do? Naturally, I played three songs by memory: the fight song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” I handed out the lyrics, and they all sang! In the banter that sprang up amongst us, we honored our former football players, cheerleaders, pep squad, band members, and veterans. It was grand.

Check out my Jupiter pocket trumpet in my blog post of 31 March 2018. When we travel, I take it with me so that I can keep in practice and not let my embouchure muscles atrophy; i.e., keep my chops strong and flexible. I’ll probably take it again next year, too, although who knows whether they’ll ever let me play it again (chuckle).

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My 8th Year Teaching Beginning Brass at Skyview Middle School, Bothell

Posted by glennled on October 27, 2018

 

Girl TrumpeterOn the first of October, it was back to school for me at Skyview Middle School trombone-clipart-A_man_playing_the_trombone_110127-132560-479009[1]in Bothell, where I began my 8th year as a paraprofessional, teaching the beginning brass section of the elementary band. Trumpets and trombones, 5th graders from four elementary schools in the Northshore School District—Fernwood, Canyon Creek, Crystal Springs, and Lockwood—about 20 students this year. Mr. Dan Carlson is the new Band and Orchestra Director. Meanwhile, a huge one-to-two year remodel of SMS is underway, temporarily complicating access and logistics but promising major improvements and benefits for years to come. The kids make it all worthwhile.

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Photo Gallery of Trumpeters and Buglers at 2018 Royal Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted by glennled on September 6, 2018

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On opening night, 3 August, my wife and I attended the 2018 Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. It’s a great show, and this is the third year we have attended (2014, 2017, 2018). This year, I shot more than 300 photos. By far the most prevalent musical instrument was the bagpipes, but there were lots of trumpeters and buglers, also, in the many bands. I got a few photos of some of them, and here are the better ones. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to play your trumpet or bugle at the Tattoo?!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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My 43rd Trumpet Student—5th Grader at Northwood Elementary School, Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on July 14, 2018

My newest trumpet student—No. 43—will enter fifth grade this fall at Northwood Elementary School on Mercer Island, where I lived for 30 years before moving to Edmonds. He plans to join the beginning band, and to get a jump start, we began lessons on 16 June. I now have two M.I. students (please see my blog posts of 18 November 2017 and 21 May 2018). dc8Mgnjgi[1]

How and why did he choose trumpet? He heard his cousin play trumpet, and he liked the sound of it. (That cousin has since moved from M.I. to California.) It was that simple and easy. His two older brothers play piano, and he also started piano lessons earlier this year.

What’s the M.I. 5th grade band program like? According to the Northwood website, Carol Krell is the Director, and the band is supported by the Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters (please see http://www.mercerislandschools.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5624 and http://www.misbb.wordpress.com). The first school band lesson will be on the evening of 12 September. Band classes begin on 17 September, meeting twice per week from 8:15 – 9 a.m. Each student has one class with a specialist on their instrument, and one full band class. The instruction book will be Essential Elements 2000, Book 1.

Where is my student eventually headed? To the Mercer Island High School Band! And then he’ll get to do some very cool things like this: on New Year’s Day 2019, the MIHS Band will march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to the Rose Bowl Football Game. I did that as a member of the Varsity Marching Band playing cornet, University of Washington, 1 January 1961, when the UW Huskies beat the top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, 17-7. May my newest trumpet student have as much fun in band as I did!

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