Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘lessons’

New Trumpet Student (#55) Is 6th Grader at Sherwood Elementary School in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on December 6, 2021

Last June, my 55th trumpet student moved to Edmonds, Washington from Johns Creek, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, but there is no southern accent in his speech. How could that be? Perhaps it’s because his Mother once lived in Edmonds and Olympia during her childhood, and his Dad is from Puyallup. So, they must have passed along their Washington accent to him, but they did not pass along or push him into music, although his Dad once played the saxophone. His Mom says he developed his love of trumpet entirely on his own in about the third grade.

Back in Georgia, my trumpeter (now 12) attended Dolvin Elementary School, and now he’s a 6th grader at Sherwood Elementary School. In-person classes have resumed, and he’s in the school band, directed by Lance Ellis. I’m his third trumpet teacher, and for now, all our sessions are online, using Zoom.com. In Johns Creek, his first tutor retired from teaching due to Covid. His second one taught him until the family moved back west this past summer.

During our first lesson last June, I was amazed that he practically had “The Star-Spangled Banner” memorized. He had no trouble with the high F, except that after a short time, his throat would hurt. So, I taught him what it feels like to play with an open throat. He owns a student horn, the Bundy BTR-300 series. He could also play “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.” Where did his attraction to patriotic songs come from? Again, his Mom says he did it on his own. She says he does like sports (NFL football and NASCAR), so maybe he picked it up from that. He wants to become a firefighter. He sounds like a red-blooded, All-American boy to me!

We began with his school band exercise book, the familiar “Essential Elements, Book 1, Bb Trumpet,” and I had his Mom order Michael Sweeney’s “Patriotic Favorites, Bb Trumpet.” It contains 11 songs, and he can play most of them. He’s at the point in his development where he’s learning a little syncopation. We’re working on rhythms that employ dotted-half, -quarter, and -eighth notes and rests—tricky stuff, learning to count beats and figure out rhythms in different time signatures, learning to recognize downbeats and upbeats.

I believe he is well-advanced for his age. And I love his wonderful smile, enthusiasm, and desire to excel. Our lessons are fun! He already has that competitive drive and pride for which trumpeters are known. It’s the best instrument of them all—that’s what we believe!

How do you get a trumpet player to play fff volume?

Write “mp” on the part.

Why did the military brat stop practicing his trumpet at Christmas?

Because his mother prayed for peace on earth.

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My Trumpet Student Solos at “Jazz Night” at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 20, 2019

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Junior Jazz Band, Eckstein Middle School, Seattle

 

One hundred and eighty-six student musicians performed for a packed audience on “Jazz Night” on 21 November at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle. And one of them was a 6th grade trumpet player who has been taking private lessons from me since May 2018. I recall that he originally chose trumpet because it sounded “jazzy” (see my blog post of 12 May 2018). And here he was now, one and a half years later, my 42nd trumpet student, at this evening concert—the featured trumpet soloist when the 29-member Junior Jazz Band played “Second Line” (Joe Avery Blues). IMG_5627

Mr. Cuauhtémoc Escobedo (“Mr. E” or “Moc”) is Director of Bands, Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz. After the Junior Jazz Band opened the concert, Vocal Jazz II performed two songs.  Next, the 28-member Intermediate Jazz Band, with 7 trumpeters, played four pieces. Fourth on the program was Vocal Jazz I, the largest group (67 members). Lastly, the strong Senior Jazz Band (41 members, including 7 trumpeters) concluded the concert with five pieces.

As I sat again in Eckstein Auditorium, I was reminded of a former trumpet student of mine who also played in the winter concert there, also conducted by Mr. Escobedo, 8 years ago (please see my blog post of 14 December 2011). I remain in touch with his mom, a nurse. She says he continued to play trumpet in the concert, jazz, and pep bands through four years at two high schools. “Band was great for him,” she wrote to me. “It gave him a home wherever he went.” He’s now a senior at Western Washington University in Bellingham, studying manufacturing engineering. “He is quite the young man. I am very proud of him. He has had several 4.0 quarters and is on the Dean’s list. Hopefully, his job search will go well when he finishes.” IMG_5723

That prompted me to re-read my first blog post about him, then a sixth grader and my fourth student. (Please use the Archives in the left column to find 18 November 2009.) He sounded good in tone and articulation but was very frustrated, struggling with fingering, range, and reading music—no wonder—almost no one can teach themselves to play trumpet well. I wrote, “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!”

My 42nd student, now at Eckstein, doesn’t struggle with trumpet the way my fourth student did. He’s quite talented and advanced for his age. But I feel the same about both of them. “Let’s give the kid some successes!…Let him dream!…Help him dream!”—and then watch what happens!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Junior Jazz Band

 

Intermediate Jazz Band

 

Senior Jazz Band

 

Vocal Jazz I & II

 

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My Blogging Spree—23 Recent Posts!

Posted by glennled on July 25, 2019

Whew! I’ve posted 23 articles here on my blog during the past 11 weeks. For me, that’s a lot—in 11 years of blogging (see Archives column to the left), I’ve never had such an intense, prolific period. At last, I’m caught up to date (pant, pant). The backlog has been fulfilled, the warehouse is finally empty. As I look back at it, I see the following breakdown of these 23 blog posts: Thinking_of_music_color - by Pacific Retirement Services, Inc.

  • Burial-at-Sea, Puget Sound (1)
  • Trumpet shows at retirement communities in Seattle (Wallingford, Broadview twice, and First Hill neighborhoods), Mercer Island, Edmonds, Lynnwood (7)
  • Church orchestra concert, Lynnwood (1)
  • School band concerts involving my students, Bothell (1)
  • New trumpet students for private lessons, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Bothell (3)
  • Summer jazz band camp involving one of my students, Bellevue (1)
  • Recitals, Seattle, Edmonds (2)
  • Moon Walk, 50th anniversary ceremony, Edmonds (1)—(this post also mentions a cemetery memorial and busking to fundraise for VFW on the same day)
  • National holiday and observant day ceremonies (Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day), Lynnwood twice, Mercer Island twice, Edmonds (5)
  • This summary article (1)

Such is my blog. Experiencing these diverse events enables me to reflect about anything—not only music, theory, genres, concerts, shows, ceremonies, camps, bands, orchestras, ensembles, trumpets and cornets, equipment accessories, exercises, techniques, compositions, talent, and such, but also youth, aging, family, patriotism, spirituality, beauty, death, public (including military) service, sacrifice, discipline, teaching, travel, holidays, goals, achievements, gifts, life lessons, sports, recreation, entertainment, laughter, fun, gratitude—you name it, whatever comes up. After all, music is the universal language. And there’s more to come. Bring it on. It’s a Good Life!

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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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My Trumpet Student Shines at the Mid-Winter Orchestra Concert, Garfield High School, Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 18, 2019

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Concert Orchestra, Bryan Kolk, Conductor, Garfield High School, Seattle, 20 December 2018

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Aidan Grambihler, Principal Trumpet, Concert Orchestra, Garfield High School, 2018-19

 

On 20 Dec 2018, all the orchestras at Garfield High School gathered with the choirs and bands to present their Mid-Winter Concert to a packed audience in Quincy Jones Performing Arts Center in Seattle. The principal trumpet in the Concert Orchestra is my student. He’s been taking lessons with me almost three years, starting in his last year at Washington Middle School (see my blog posts of 13 April and 25 July 2016). For several years, it’s been his ambition to play in the GHS orchestras. He’s made it, and I’m proud of him!

Here is a photo gallery of the GHS Concert Orchestra, followed by some others on the program. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

GHS Concert Orchestra

 

Other Orchestras, Band, Choir, Soloist, and Ensembles

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Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of WWI Armistice at Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 17, 2018

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Most Veterans Day ceremonies in the USA were held this year on the observed holiday, Monday, 12 November, but VFW Post 1040 elected to conduct theirs on the real date, Sunday, 11 November—celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice at 11 a.m. on 11/11/1911.

Using my beautiful Getzen bugle, I sounded “Assembly” to call the ceremony to order, followed by the entrance procession, led by the Northwest Junior Pipe Band playing “The Marine Corps Hymn” honoring the 243rd birthday of the Corps. NWJPB was followed by the Legion of Honor of the Nile Shrine Center and the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood. As the ceremony closed, I was honored to sound “Echo Taps” with my trumpet student, Aidan Grambihler, trumpeter in Garfield High School’s Concert Orchestra in Seattle. Bryan Kolk is conductor of GHS’s three orchestras.

Aidan started lessons with me almost three years ago (please see my blog post of 13 April 2016). As Aidan has learned, playing bugle calls helps a trumpeter keep sharp articulation and slotting.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

Courtesy of Lynnwood Today

 

By Myra Rintamaki

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Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troop 49 and Cub Scout Pack 331

 

 

By Holly Grambihler

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations, Church Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

9th Annual Trumpet Recital in My Edmonds Home

Posted by glennled on July 9, 2018

How can you stretch out one annual recital and make it last for three weeks? Easy—you split it into two segments. That’s what I had to do this year—the first group of trumpet students came to our home in Edmonds on 26 May and the second group came three weeks later on 16 June. It’s the first time in my 9 annual home recitals that I’ve had to do it. Every other time, we’ve had a morning session and an afternoon session on the same day. This year, some of my students had some conflicting commitments that were unchangeable, so we had to adjust. “All’s well that ends well.”

Even so, we had to make one other adjustment: one student couldn’t make it—he’s 77 years old and had just had hip replacement surgery. He’s a veteran and captain of the Honor Guard of VFW Post 3063 in Ballard. He’s learning to sound bugle calls (see my blog post of 17 November 2017) and was scheduled to play “Assembly” and “Taps.” So I was his surrogate and did it for him. I played fine, and so did all the students in both the May and June sessions. Good job, everyone! “Life goes on.”

This year’s recital was indeed unusual. But every recital is unique. In the May session, one student has been taking lessons with me less than one month; another, 3 years and 9 months; and another, 2 years and three months. In the June session, one student has been taking lessons with me 7 months and the other, three months. To read about and see photos of previous recitals, simply click on the link, “Recitals,” in the footnote below this post.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

26 May Session

 

16 June Session

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My Trumpet Student Is a Standout at “Lessons In Your Home” Recital in Seattle

Posted by glennled on May 21, 2018

 

Recital_19 - Ferin Jones, The Serpent Song

Ferin, my 39th trumpet student, plays “The Snake Charmer” perfectly at LIYH Recital, 5 May 2018

 

Big things happened on 5 May, the 1st Saturday of this month. It was the opening day of boating season in Seattle. The Windermere Cup rowing races, as always, were held on the Montlake Cut near the University of Washington, followed by the Parade of Boats

Recital_66 by Joshua Diltz for LIYH

Audience gathers for the LIYH Spring Recital (2 p.m.). Photo by Joshua Diltz.

from Portage Bay through that waterway into Lake Washington. That afternoon, Justify won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky (“Bourbon City”). And it was Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May), celebrating Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, during the U.S. Civil War.

All this was important, of course, but in Seattle, the most important event of the day happened—at least for some 65 young musicians and almost 200 audience members, including me—the Spring Recital of Lessons In Your Home (LIYH) at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. The recital was so large that there were two sessions, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 4 p.m.

In the 2 p.m. recital session, there were 22 pianists, six guitarists, two vocalists, and one trumpeter—Ferin, my 39th private student (see blog post of 18 November 2017, using the Archives in left column).

He played “The Snake Charmer,” a traditional song, and nailed it! Perfect. His parents and I are so proud of him. Here’s a video, taken by Shilo Jones, of his performance:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nw_zQxkVsXfEzPTuIxT7IgYS5AH3kRHZ/view?usp=sharing.

LIYH is an online school of music that is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers carefully selected teachers who will come to your home for private music lessons in major cities, including Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Orlando, and Miami/South Florida. In some areas, lessons are taught at the students’ local schools. Scott D’Angelo is the excellent LIYH Seattle Director. At present, I have three trumpet students brought to me by LIYH. Please see http://www.lessonsinyourhome.net.

The two photos above are courtesy of Lessons In Your Home and were taken by Joshua Diltz. I took the four below. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Music Soirees at Home with Family From Edmonds and Anchorage

Posted by glennled on April 3, 2018

The merry month of March brought us together with our three musical grandchildren in our home. One Friday night (9th), our 12-year old granddaughter tucked her viola under every-person-should-play-the-violin-300x249[1]her chin and played for my wife and me the concert music performed by her 7th-grade orchestra at Meadowdale Middle School in Lynnwood. That prompted us to play our own instruments, too—my wife (piano) and me (trumpet).

Then two grandkids from Alaska flew down to stay with us (14th-17th) during their school’s spring break. One, a 16-year old girl, has played violin in the orchestra, and the other, a 15-year old boy, plays saxophone in the band at Dimond High School. Both take private lessons. She brought her violin, and he brought two saxophones and two bagpipes. One night when the viola player came over to visit, all four of us performed solos for her entertainment. images

To top it off, the boy came with me twice to Skyview Middle School in Bothell to play with the 5th-grade kids whom I teach there. On one of the mornings when I teach beginning brass, he sat in with his saxophone among the 23 trumpeters and four trombonists. The next morning, when the full band (about 65 members) practiced, he demonstrated for them both the sax and bagpipes, and then he sat in with his sax.

What could be better than that, folks?!

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41st Trumpet Student Comes from Queen Anne Elementary in Seattle

Posted by glennled on March 28, 2018

What do you do as a parent when your child is in 5th grade, wants to play trumpet, and attends a school where there is no band program? This parent rented a horn and started teaching him some music on her own last January. But he quickly adapted so well and got so good that she soon realized that what she was teaching him using the piano at home was not teaching him the trumpet. little-einsteins-quincy[1]

So she found me on the internet through Lessons In Your Home, http://www.lessonsinyourhome.com. We began with his first lesson on 6 March, using the instruction book, Progressive Beginner Trumpet, by Peter Gelling (see  https://www.amazon.com/CP69122-Progressive-Beginner-Peter-Gelling/dp/1864691220). When I first listened to him play, I found that he already has a solid tone, strong sense of rhythm, and a range up to C on the staff—things that it takes many 5th graders in band about 6 months to develop.

My 41st trumpet student is an enthusiastic, eager boy who will turn 11 this summer and is multi-talented—he loves sports, too! His eyes are bright, and his smile is ready and wide. Some techniques come quickly and easily to him. His mom says he loves music—he whistles and sings a lot. She says he needs challenges, responds to goals, and likes structure and assignments. (That sounds like a good formula for success, doesn’t it?) But at Queen Anne Elementary in Seattle, he attends a 45-minute music class only once a week. There are a few trumpeters besides himself, but “it’s not exactly band.” It’s a music program that the school started just this year.

So, here we go! Taking private lessons involves a lot of practice, and practice requires a lot of repetition. That can get old—gotta keep it fun. Along with his excellent disposition and talent, does he also have patience and tenacity? How can I help him handle obstacles and frustration? The instruction book we’re using is well-suited for him. And my motto is printed on my business card—“Become Your BEST!” Let’s make it happen.

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