Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘instrument’

42nd Trumpet Student is 4th Grader at Bryant Elementary School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on May 12, 2018

He likes trumpet because of its sound—it’s “jazzy” to him.  My 42nd trumpet student is 10 years old and a fourth grader at Bryant Elementary School, located in the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood of northeast Seattle. When he first tried out several different instruments at boyplayingtrumpetbw_pthe music orientation session at school, it was easy to make a sound on many of them, but not so the trumpet. Making notes by buzzing into the mouthpiece was a challenge, and he likes challenges. The fact that it has only three valves did not matter. Ten valves would have been ok. The trumpet’s jazzy sound is what he liked. And as soon as he’s old enough to attend nearby Eckstein Middle School, he wants to play in the school Jazz Band. Our private lessons will help him qualify. We held our first one on 2 May.

At Bryant Elementary, he attends a 30-minute music class once a week. There are about 10 trumpeters in this class, according to Elizabeth Harris Scruggs, the Instrumental Music teacher. “It’s a pull-out class,” she said, “meaning students miss 30 minutes of regular class to come to instrumental music.” There is no full 4th grade band—“just a few classes with either one or two different instrument types (for example, saxophone and clarinet). However, at the end of this year, they will all combine for the first time for a rehearsal and a concert to see what playing in a full band is like.” The Spring Concert will be on Wednesday, 6 June at 6:45 p.m. Fourth-graders will participate, along with the general music, instrumental music, and choir groups.

Next year, my student will be able to join the fifth-grade elementary school band. Neither of his parents play an instrument, but his older brother plays saxophone at Eckstein Middle School.

His other interests and activities include swimming, basketball, Frisbee, chess, and dance. He has taken lessons in ballet, tap, and hip-hop dancing since he was 4 years old. On 16 June, he will tap dance in a recital at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline.

Bryant Elementary opened in 1918—100 years ago—and was recently remodeled. The school and the neighborhood are named after William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), an American poet, journalist and editor whose most notable work is Thanatopsis.

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9th Grade Trumpeter Making a Comeback Towards Rejoining Band

Posted by glennled on March 12, 2012

Lots of people start band and drop out, only to regret it in later years. My 19th trumpet student did just that—dropped out after his first year in band when he was a 5th grader at John Muir Elementary School. Now he’s a 9th grader at Kamiakin Junior High in Kirkland, and his goal is to join the band next year as a sophomore at Juanita High School. He’s given himself one year to catch up and be ready. It’s a rare, ambitious attempt. So far, so good.

Last September at the start of the new school year, he found himself eating lunch alone—all his best friends were in band rehearsal during his lunch period. Well then, rejoin band, his mother suggested. “Ok, I’ll try,” was his response.

His mom contacted the high school band director, Mariko Lane, to determine whether she would accept him into band. Yes! Kids join at all levels of performance, she said enthusiastically. She then advised him to stay with his original instrument, the trumpet, and to find a good tutor right away. In our first meeting, I listened to the story of why he quit and why he wants to start again. I wondered, is this his goal or someone else’s? Is this realistic or just a pipe dream? So I grilled him thoroughly with tough questions and provactive comments, giving him every opportunity to drop the idea or select a different tutor. But he stayed cool and stood fast, which pleased me, so we embarked on the challenge together.

Our first weekly lesson was on 3 November 2011. They ordered the instruction book I prefer for beginners, “Progressive Trumpet,” by Peter Gelling. It happened to be out of stock in local music stores and took a few weeks to arrive on special order. Why is this important? Because he is now finishing that book after about only three and a half months! A fifth grader takes much longer. He is now more mature, he is more dedicated, he has more self-discipline–in other words, he practices regularly! He works at it, so he’s on the fast track. It’s that simple. But simple is not always easy, is it? Simple can be the most difficult.

What does he think of his progress so far? “It’s more possible than I originally thought,” he said. Yes, it is. He has finished the first instruction book faster than any of my other students. When he finishes the second book, he’ll be ready to join high school band. Immediately, he’ll have to learn to march while playing. Then he’ll get three, fun, high school band years full of wonderful, lifelong memories with his friends—just by playing music, and that’s fun in itself. It’s one of those things that’s better “The Second Time Around.”

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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