Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

News & Tips for Trumpet & Cornet Students

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Posts Tagged ‘piano’

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

Posted in Shows at Retirement Homes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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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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 »

Come to the Trumpet Arts Festival at SPU on Sunday, 3 March

Posted by glennled on February 4, 2013

Picture1 - MS PublisherTrumpeters! Want to become your best? Want a quick study on playing the trumpet? Feel like you’re stuck on something and just not getting any better at it, no matter what? Want to hear how advanced, professional trumpeters do things and what they’ve learned through their years of experience? Want to ask them a question about something?

Here’s your chance on Sunday, 3 March—attend the Trumpet Arts Festival being held at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) in Queen Anne. Please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Welcome.html.

The following trumpeters are featured this year: Peter Bond, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NYC; Anthony Di Lorenzo, soloist; Chad McCullough, jazz soloist; Judson Scott, University of Puget Sound; and Brian Chin, SPU. To learn more about them, please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Artists.html.

It’s a full program:

  • At 2 p.m., the Masterclass: “Practicing Fundamentals”
  • At 3:30 p.m., the Masterclass: “Practicing Improvisation”
  • At 4:30 p.m., Student Concert open to the public
  • At 7:00 p.m., Artists’ Concert open to the public
  • At 9:00 p.m., After-hours Jazz Jam at Thai Fusion, 15 Nickerson St

If you like, you can bring your horn and piano music and play for the Artists. They will give you written comments on your performance. This is supportive, professional, expert feedback, not a contest. Bring your own pianist/accompanist, or rehearse for a half hour and perform with the pianist furnished by the Festival.  An extra $40 fee covers the cost. For details, please see http://trumpetarts.com/NW_Trumpet_Arts_Festival/Students.html.

The location is the E.E. Bach Theater, SPU,  3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle. The cost is $25 tuition for the day and $10 for the evening concert only. Come learn more about yourself and your horn and hear some great music!

Posted in Festivals & Competitions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Piano Concert Tonight Benefits Underprivileged Children in Vietnam

Posted by glennled on December 3, 2011

Saturday night at 7 p.m., 3 December, Brooks Tran will sit down at the piano and play a concert to benefit low-income Vietnamese families whose children might otherwise be unable to attend school. The concert is a fund-raiser for the sponsor, Compassion in Deeds (CID), a non-profit organization. The concert location is in the chapel at The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N. in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Tickets are $12 each. See http://www.historicseattle.org/projects/gsc.aspx.

Tran was one of the winners of the concerto competition in November within the School of Music at the University of Washington. On 12 January 2012, he will perform Piano Concerto #1 in G Minor, OP. 25, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) I. Molto allegro con fuoco II. Andante III. Presto – Molto allegro e vivace. Tran is a student of Craig Sheppard. He plans to complete his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in Spring 2012. See http://www.music.washington.edu/upcoming/detail/39408.

Proceeds go into the CID Scholarship Program which provides financial assistance to students attending primary or secondary schools in Vietnam, where the average family income is less than US$90 a month and the average primary/secondary tuition at a public school is nearly US$70 a year per child. Kids in poor families often must drop out of school to help their families. Without proper education, they have little chance for a better life.

Scholarships in the amount of $100 a year help pay for the basic educational needs such as tuition, fees, uniforms and school supplies. The monies are distributed directly to the recipients. To encourage students to earn a high school diploma, CID pledges to continue assistance to the recipients each year until graduation, provided they keep in good academic standing.

Currently, CID’s prime target areas are in the rural southern region near Ho Chi Minh City, central region near Binh-Thuan and Da-Nang, and the highlands region near Kon-Tum.  In the past two years, CID has provided 85 scholarships, with over half of the awards going to repeat recipients.

If you are unable to attend but wish to make a donation, please see the CID website, http://www.cid-vn.org/index.php, or email compassionindeeds@gmail.com. As they say in their motto, “Because every child deserves a chance.”

Posted in Professional Concerts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Christmas Eve Duet: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” with Cornet and Piano

Posted by glennled on December 26, 2010

Glenn Ledbetter plays his 56-year old Super Olds cornet

Know how a song pops into your mind from nowhere, seems significant, and won’t go away? Early during the last week of Advent before Christmas Day, my wife “heard” me sweetly playing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” on my cornet on Christmas Eve. So on Thursday I practiced it, and on Friday night in our living room filled with family members, I played it at a moderate beat with plenty of vibrato and careful phrasing and dynamics. The first verse was solo, and on subsequent verses, she joined in on the piano, and everyone sang.

And then we sang lots of other carols, too, from the booklet of lyrics which she self-published a few years ago. That’s part of the way we celebrate on Christmas Eve (see my post of 30 December 2009, on the duet we played last year—“O Holy Night”—and more).

Late Christmas morning, some dear relatives who were not with us on Christmas Eve came over to visit, and after some delicious treats, we repeated the performance. They arrived happy and left happy. And so, as Dickens’ Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”

Posted in Musical Events at Home | 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 »

 
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