Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘lesson’

My Trumpet Student Plays in Lake Washington School District Honor Band Concert

Posted by glennled on November 21, 2015

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

Sarah Dunsmore, LWSD Honor Band Trumpeter

She started trumpet lessons with me in 2009—six years ago—and thus became my fifth private student. Now she’s a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland and made the High School Honor Band in the Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Her plans are to study music education at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, starting in fall, 2016. I’m proud of her—Sarah Dunsmore.

On 3 November, she played in the LWSD Honor Concert at Redmond High School. There were 8 trumpeters–three from Juanita, two from Redmond, two from Lake Washington, and one from Eastlake high schools. The band’s guest conductor was Dr. Christopher Bianco, who is the Department Chair, Associate Professor, Director of Bands and Brass at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham. The 59-member Honor Band played three pieces to conclude the concert:

  • Festive Overture by Shostakovich, arr. Hunsberger
  • Irish Tune from Country Derry by Percy Grainger,
  • Joy Revisted by Frank Ticheli

The 58-member Honor Orchestra opened the concert with Dr. Ryan Dudenbostel conducting. He is Director of Orchestral Studies at WWU. Next came the Honor Choir, comprised of 37 members who were conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Boers, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Washington.

 

 

 

 

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Posted in School Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

25th Trumpet Student Catches Up With 7th-Grade Band

Posted by glennled on September 21, 2015

silly-trumpet-hi

My 25th private trumpet student wanted help this summer to prepare for entry into the 7th-grade band at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell this fall. You see, last year he was a sixth-grader in the 1st-year band, whereas most of his classmates had started one year earlier and were then in 2nd-year band. This fall he is one of them. But they have had two-year’s experience, whereas he has had only one. Along with some other band students, he’s skipping 2nd-year band. Summer lessons were his way to catch up, as much as possible, with his peers.

His first trumpet lesson with me was on 8 July. That’s when I learned he is of Vietnamese ancestry. His grandmother, who lives with his family in Bothell, got out of South Vietnam in 1975. Welcome to America! I was there as a Navy man in 1965-66. That’s how I qualify for the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and that’s how I became the bugler for VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood. I have a special tie with this student.

He’s a good player with a bright future. He says he likes the sound of the trumpet, and it’s lightweight and easy to carry. He learns quickly and has a nice, solid tone. Best of all, he has a great attitude and practices often! He’ll do fine in 7th-grade band—indeed, I predict that he’ll become one of the leaders in the trumpet section.

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tenacious, Motivated 24th Trumpet Student

Posted by glennled on May 5, 2015

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

Fernwood Elementary School, Bothell

For his first lesson at his home in Bothell on 26 February 2015 , my 24th trumpet student played for me from the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet by Peter Gelling. He’s a sixth-grader at Fernwood Elementary and in 2nd year band at Skyview Jr. High School. I asked him what first attracted him to trumpet. “It’s loud,” he said, so it stands out among the other band  instruments as a leader, “and I like that.”

What does he like about playing in the band? He likes being amongst his friends, and he likes playing music, although it does not come easy for him. He wants lessons to improve his tone and play higher notes. He’d like to continue in band at least all the way through high school. He knows the music is only going to get more complicated, so he wants to be able to handle it.

His Dad is confident that his son will master the trumpet because he has determination—once he sets out to do something, he sticks with it and gets it done.  Mom was a versatile musician in high school. She played tuba, trombone, saxophone, and oboe, and became a drum major in her school band.

That’s what I like—motivated trumpet students who are determined to become their best!

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts, Skyview Junior High | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

22nd Trumpet Student Has High Ambitions

Posted by glennled on April 13, 2015

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Chris Botti, trumpeter

Natalie Dungey. trumpeter

“We’re a musical family!” says the Mom of my 22nd trumpet student, a 7th grade student at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. His first lesson with me was on 1 July. He plays his Mom’s trumpet, the one her parents bought for her when she was in 10th grade at age 16. (Her Dad played cornet.) She made All-State Band in Texas, and now her son (13), has an even loftier ambition–to become a professional musician and play “awesome” trumpet. His favorite trumpeter is Chris Botti (www.chrisbotti.com/us), and he’s a great admirer of Natalie Dungey (www.nataliedungey.com).

He likes classical music but also plays in the school jazz band, which he says helps him make different sounds and improves his ability to read music. Within the past year, he’s taken up drums (his Dad plays drums) and tinkers around on the piano. He’s started a composition for an ensemble of 2 trumpets, 2 violas, 1 tuba, 1 snare drum, 1 alto sax, and 1 flute. Meanwhile, he also wrestles and plays soccer. And his older sister sings and plays piano, guitar, and clarinet, while his younger sister “sings like a mocking bird,” says her Mom.

Why did he choose trumpet? Because it has such a “powerful sound that it hits you in the face, but at the same time it can make soft sounds that are pure beauty.” Right on!

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts, Skyview Junior High | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No School Band? New Trumpet Student in Seattle Starts Lessons Anyway

Posted by glennled on May 28, 2014

TrumpetOn 6 November 2013, at his home, my 21st trumpet student had his first lesson with me. He’s a fifth grader who recently turned 11 years old. He attends the Morningside Academy, a private, non-profit school founded in 1980. It’s located in Seattle and has a typical enrollment of 70-100 students. However, the school has no music program. His parents play the piano and flute, so they encouraged him to choose an instrument, too. Like most of us trumpeters, he likes the strong sound of the trumpet.

For our instruction book, we’re using “Standard of Excellence” by Bruce Pearson–the same book used by my brass students in the 5th and 6th grade elementary school bands which meet for practice at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell. The plan is to have him ready to transition into band classes once he transfers into a school that offers music instruction. Meanwhile, he’s memorized “Happy Birthday” and plays it for his family members on their birthdays.

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

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 »

Bright, 4th-Grade Beginner Has Head Start in Magnolia

Posted by glennled on November 14, 2010

A piano sits in the living room—Mom wants live music in the home. Her 10-year old son (in 4th grade and my 11th student) has a head start. He’s a smart, friendly kid with a bright spirit and smile. And he likes music! He’d already had some music education before I arrived on the scene, so there are some basic things I don’t have to teach him. We can focus on the trumpet itself right away. He’s taking band at Lawton Elementary School in Magnolia in Seattle, but they meet only once a week. So when we ended our first lesson together last Wednesday, he got the usual assignment: practice for 30 minutes at least four times a week (or 20 minutes, five times a week). He seems eager to play the horn. They’re going to have some lovely, lively music in their home!

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

6th Grade Student Earns Quick Promotion!

Posted by glennled on May 11, 2010

My 8th trumpet student of this school year, a 12-year old sixth grader in a Bothell elementary school,  just started private lessons with me in late April. All year long, he had been in the 1st-year band and was struggling with his tone. It had become very frustrating. Most of the other sixth grade band members, his peers, had started playing trumpet in fifth grade and are now in the 2nd-year band. At our first lesson, I heard the tones and saw the problem: his embouchure. We made one simple, easy adjustment on how he should position the mouthpiece. The following week, his tone was twice as good as before–100% improvement! And the following week, after more practice, it was even better. Now he sounds just like some of my other trumpet students. That’s when he told me an amazing story.

He is now in 2nd-year band! How did this happen? Well, he said, the very next day after our second lesson, he went to the band director and asked to audition for 2nd-year band. He played the required music, won the promotion, and now sits in the Trumpet II section amongst his classmates. Wow! I’m impressed with both his spunk and his capabilities. Only one thing was holding him back, and he overcame it. I’m very proud of what he just did–in only 8 days!

Next year he’ll be in the junior high school band. Wonder how far he wants to go with this? 🙂

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Kirkland Girl Loves Trumpet!

Posted by glennled on November 25, 2009

Yesterday, I met my 5th new student of this school year for our first lesson–“It’s a Girl!” A 6th grader, she’s kinda shy but wants to improve her trumpet playing, so…she’s having to get used to me!  😀  Last year, she had a few lessons from another instructor, but their schedules didn’t work out. The instructor teaches only at a studio, and it proved too difficult for her to make it to his location reliably. So now I’m going to her home in Kirkland immediately following my lesson with my Bothell student. That’s an easy hop and a skip–works well for both of us. Her mom, an attorney, says she likes playing trumpet, is sticking with it, and wants to get better. So here we go!

Posted in New Students - Intro Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sweet Tones from 6th Grader

Posted by glennled on November 18, 2009

This afternoon during our first private trumpet lesson, I heard my newest student, the 4th of this school year, play the sweetest tones on his trumpet! Trouble is, he cannot yet read music fluently. He’s sort of stuck at that stage where he still has to think about the name of each note and then recall the fingering. But when he finally blows, his attack is clean and his tone is big, solid, full, round and fat! It’s so natural to him.

He’s been thrown into a 6th grade band class, handed a band book, and told to go learn to play Exercise __ or Song __ on pages __ with little or no guidance or instruction about the horn and technique. It’s forced “do it yourself” learning. Well, with this teaching approach, what results does the band director at this north Seattle elementary school expect?! Struggles, frustration, and a probable band drop-out someday.

It is my pleasure to help this gentle boy overcome these obstacles. Let’s give the kid some successes! and who knows? maybe we’ll be listening to him play in the jazz, concert and marching bands soon…maybe in the symphony or opera orchestras someday…maybe on some CDs or in the movies when he’s that good. Let him dream! Help him dream! Help him achieve his potential. Or maybe he’ll simply enjoy playing in the school band with his friends for a few years and never take it any further…that’s fine, too. You find good people in bands. Good memories accumulate with the many events, and lifetime friendships often form–even marriages!

Thanks to his Mom for giving me the opportunity to help him come to love music and the trumpet. Let’s motivate him to practice more. Let’s have fun while we work hard. Let’s see what he can do, if he really wants to.

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

 
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