Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Milestone: 50th Trumpet Student Attends Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Kirkland

Posted by glennled on December 16, 2019

Carl Sandburg Elem School, Kirkland, 12-13-'19

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Kirkland

I don’t have a studio in my home where private trumpet students can come for lessons. I’m not affiliated with a music store or company that has practice studios, although I do occasionally use the rooms at Ted Brown Music in the University District, which rents studios. If I had my own or a company studio, I think I’d have reached this milestone–50 trumpet students–much earlier. So, since I started in 2009, I’ve been driving to people’s homes and teaching my students in their living rooms or basements or wherever.

My 50th student is a quiet, cute, petite girl with a charming smile who attends 4th grade at the Carl Sandburg Elementary School (CSES) in Kirkland. The Music Teacher there is Mr. Bryan Melerski. He conducted a recital at the school on 17 December at which my student’s ensemble played three pieces. Her group consists of trumpet, trombone, baritone, flute and clarinet players.

Our first lesson was on 19 November. She recalled how she chose trumpet. The trombone and baritone were too big for her to carry home. So she tried playing the trumpet first, then the flute and clarinet, and finally, the trumpet again. She made a good sound that she liked. Also, the trumpet had only three valves, and she liked pushing down the buttons. That was it—the choice was easy. She’s smart, earnest, and pleasant. She’s had piano lessons in the past, and her music knowledge is far better than other 4th grade students I’ve taught. Some techniques and skills just seem to come naturally to her. She shows good promise.

According to the CSES’s website, enrollment was 459 in October 2017, and there were 27 teachers, 70% of whom had at least a Master’s Degree.  The unexcused absence rate was 0.3%. Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was a famous, popular American poet, journalist, biographer, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes (1919, 1940, and 1951). Born in Illinois, he lived and worked in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina, where he died at age 89. Numerous schools are named after him throughout America.

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“Taps” for Veterans Day Ceremony at Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 11, 2019

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Annually, Cottage Lake Elementary School (CLES) in Woodinville presents an exceptional Veterans Day Ceremony, and for the second year in a row, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” near the end of the program on 12 November. That was immediately followed by the flag-folding ceremony. Brigadier General Raymond W. Coffey, U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve (USAVR), who was emcee of and principal speaker at the ceremony, read a script explaining the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds. Please see https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm.

The principal of CLES is Jennifer Welch, and the chief organizer of this event was Kelsey Brady, music teacher. She played the piano and conducted the school choir in a number of patriotic songs. Students conducted the White Table Ceremony (aka Missing Man Table, Fallen Comrade Table, Fallen Soldier Table, POW/MIA Remembrance Table, and POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony). Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_table.

About 20 veterans, most wearing clothes that identified them with their military service, were honored by the school and the large audience of parents, relatives and friends. These vets have children or grandchildren who attend CLES. In addition to “Taps,” I sounded two other calls on my gorgeous Getzen bugle—“Assembly” and “To the Color.”

Please use the Archives column (left) to find the article of 18 December 2018 and read about and see many photos of last year’s ceremony.

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My Trumpet Student from Mercer Island Performs at Autumn Recital by Lessons In Your Home

Posted by glennled on December 6, 2019

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Trumpet solo, “Merrily We Roll Along”

On Saturday, 9 November, the main event in Seattle for many of us was the recital hosted by Lessons in Your Home (LIYH) at Woodland Park Presbyterian Church in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. On stage in the morning session (11 a.m.) was my trumpet student from Mercer Island, playing “Merrily We Roll Along.”

She was one of 38 musicians who performed before the audience of about 100 parents, relatives and friends. The afternoon session (2 p.m.) probably had as many performers and audience members, too.

She is my second trumpeter to perform at these recitals, and they have always been the only trumpeters at these recitals. Most Seattle LIYH students play piano and guitar, but LIYH also teaches voice, drums, violin, bass, and more. LIYH hosts one recital in the fall and one in the spring. For more information, please see https://start.lessonsinyourhome.net/music/seattle/?msclkid=f54abce17e3f174e63cce10868a590d9&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=New%20-%20Seattle&utm_term=lessons%20in%20your%20home&utm_content=Brand. Scott D’Angelo, Seatttle LIYH Director, is very personable and exceptionally competent.

For other articles about trumpeters at past LIYH recitals since spring 2016, please use the Archives in the left column to read my blog posts of 10 May 2019, 21 May 2018, and 22 March 2016.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“To the Color” and “Taps” at 5th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 10, 2019

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March to “Boots to Books” Monument. Photo by My Edmonds News.

 

The annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College (ECC), held this year on 22 May at the Black Box Theatre, just keeps improving. This is the sixth such ceremony. The structure remains the same, and I think the execution is better. For one thing, Lt. Col. Jon Ramer, USAF (Ret.) was an excellent Master of Ceremonies. After his 25-year career, he is now the Veterans Event Coordinator for the City of Mill Creek. The excellent keynote speaker was Joe Wankelman, U.S. Army (Ret.).

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Myra Rintamaki, Gold Star Mother, escorted by Chris Szarek, Director, VRC. Photo by My Edmonds News.

There was a variety of music at various times in the program. Prior to the event, as the audience filed into their seats, the excellent five-member ECC Brass Ensemble played numerous pieces—two trumpets, French horn, trombone, and tuba, led by Stacey Eliason, ECC music faculty member. Peter Ali improvised on two of his flutes. Linda Kappus provided piano accompaniment as the audience sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” Toby Beard played three songs on the bagpipes. And I sounded two bugle calls, “To the Color,” and “Taps.” I’ve been the bugler at all six of these ECC ceremonies. I use my beloved Getzen bugle.

For more information (including photos) about this annual ceremony and its sponsor, the ECC Veterans Resource Center (VRC), please see my blog posts of:

  • 31 May 2018
  • 28 June 2017
  • 20 July 2016
  • 18 August 2015
  • 17 June 2014

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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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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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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Trumpet Show at Covenant Shores Retirement Community on Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on May 24, 2018

 

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Covenant Shores, Mercer Island

Fifteen years after moving from Mercer Island to Edmonds, I returned to M.I. to do something I had neither dreamed of nor could have predicted when I lived there for 30 years (1973-2003)—i.e., perform a one-hour show on my trumpet! Oh, I still have my car serviced at Mercer Island Service Center, and I still use my same dentist, Lewis and Gibson, DDS, after all these years. But to play “Showtune Favorites: Hit Songs from Musicals and Movies” for about 50 residents of Covenant Shores (CS) Retirement Community—“Who’da thunk it?”

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See? Here’s proof: some of my jokes are funny!

The CS Chaplain, Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos, longtime family friend, invited me to Fellowship Hall for the show on 17 May. That’s Norwegian Constitution Day—his mother, Star (91), is of Norwegian descent. The day commemorates the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in Eidsvoll 204 years ago on 17 May 1814. More about this later.

“Showtune Favorites” features 25 songs written during 1906 to 1992 which were sung in  South Pacific, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, Show Boat, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, Hello Dolly, Gigi, Grease, Aladdin, and others. The audience sings along with me, as I play. I use two trumpets, one cornet, two mutes, and three mouthpieces.

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“Showtune Favorites” trumpet show by Glenn Ledbetter

The finale was “You’re a Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan in 1906. It was sung by James Cagney in the movie, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942). I invited Chaplain Greg on stage with me to lead the singing, and Roxanne Helleren, CS’s Resident Life Director, accompanied us on the piano. Suddenly, Chaplain Greg vigorously waved the Norwegian flag! After the laughs, he brought out the American flag, and we burst into song. It was rousing, and the audience clapped in rhythm as they sang.

Covenant Shores opened in 1978, and today, it occupies 12 acres of land on Lake Washington waterfront with a private marina. There are 298 apartments for rent, as follows:

  • Residential Living: 208
  • Assisted Living: 32
  • Memory Care: 15
  • Skilled Nursing: 43

Floor Plans:

There are 12 different floor plans in the complex of buildings. Please see https://www.covenantshores.org/floor-plans.

  • Adventurer: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 633 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 806 s.f.
  • Islander: 2 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Custom Islander: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,600 s.f.
  • Tradewinds: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.
  • Tradewinds Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,300 s.f.
  • Voyager: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,182 s.f.
  • Lighthouse: 1 Bdrm, 1 Bth, 1,086 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,753 s.f.
  • Lighthouse Plus Den: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 1,504 s.f.
  • Shoreview: 2 Bdrm, 2 Bth, 955 s.f.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Photos by Greg Asimakoupoulos and Bob Bowen, Covenant Shores:

 

Courtesy of Covenant Shores:

 

Photos by Glenn Ledbetter

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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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Christmas Eve, 2015, Features Trumpet, Viola, and Piano

Posted by glennled on February 17, 2016

Christmas Day 2015My wife and I have 9 wonderful grandchildren. One in New Zealand plays the drums. One in Alaska plays the violin, and another there plays the saxophone. One in Bellingham, Washington plays the ukulele. And now, this year, one here in Edmonds is learning to play the viola. My wife plays the piano, and I play the trumpet.

We could have a family septet, but what composer ever wrote music for that combination of instruments and when/where would we ever get together? We need an arranger, and then maybe we could all assemble somewhere for Christmas someday and perform.

We’re traditionalists. Each year after our traditional Christmas Eve ham dinner, we then participate in a traditional program in the living room of our home, reading the prophecy of Isaiah about the coming of a Savior and the story of Jesus’ birth, praying, singing and playing Christmas carols and songs, and opening gifts. That’s when three of us did play this year for the family—trumpet, viola, and piano.

From “The Big Book of Christmas Songs,” I played “O Holy Night,” accompanied by my wife on piano, and soloed “Santa Baby,” showing off my new Getzen trumpet (see my post of 14 December). Our granddaughter played a few pieces on her viola—some solo and some with accompaniment—from the instruction book, “Essential Elements for Strings, Book 1” by Robert Gillespie, Pamela Tellejohn Hayes, and Michael Allen. And while my wife played the piano, all six of us sang from her own beautiful songbook, “Christmas Songs and Carols for a Season of Happiness.” The songbook contains the lyrics to 39 pieces, and she plays the music by memory!

Next year, perhaps we’ll all three play together as a trio. Perhaps someone else will then join us, and we’ll work our way up towards becoming a family septet. Or maybe the other two grandchildren will choose their own favorite instruments and take some lessons so we can become a nonet.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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