In music, tone is distinct and identifiable, and when played correctly and in harmony within an ensemble, it sets the overall mood and quality of a performance. However, mastering tone does not come easily.
Trombones are a critical voice in any band or symphonic ensemble, and compared to most other wind instruments, they are actually pretty simple machines. However, if you haven't spent much time playing trombones, they may seem like a bit of a mystery.
It's the night of the beginning band concert, and the curtain will go up soon. You're back stage shepherding all of your students, who are bubbling with nervous excitement, to their chairs. Then, from the rear of the ensemble one of your trumpets raises his hand and says, "My valves are sticky – can you help me oil them?"
In the blog post, How Trumpeter Sean Jones Gets Respect, Jones recounts how he started performing as a child through church. Today, he teaches his students more than just the fundamentals of performance; he also stresses that professionalism will help students secure gigs and succeed in their musical careers. Here are some ways that educators can encourage professionalism with their students.
As a school band director, you take on many roles, including instrument doctor.
For students renting an instrument, the dealer most likely offers maintenance and repair insurance. Though insurance is a great investment in the long term, in reality, problems almost always occur at the wrong time or at the last minute.
In the blog post, Boston Brass' Quest to Educate Young Musicians, the members of the Boston Brass shared that education is essential to their mission. Here are some tips that the Boston Brass members like to impart to music directors during their many clinics.
I worked in a music store for many years, and one of the most common requests we'd get from customers was help with picking a mouthpiece. The conversation would often include something like this: "I need a new mouthpiece. I want something that lets me play higher … and sound really good!"
As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols. Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and bandleader for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," gave a guest performance at Vizzutti's high school. With the encouragement of his band director, Vizzutti played a solo for Severinsen, who eventually became one of his most important mentors.
With so many superhero movies hitting the theaters, it's ironic to hear ensemble directors tell their students, "Don't be a hero," when someone is sticking out in the overall sound. Because of the brass instruments' powerful directional abilities, blending the sound and dynamics of an ensemble can sometimes seem like an epic battle!
On a seemingly normal mid-April day, a group of jazz students at Columbia College Chicago are fixated on the man who's talking, world-class jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Their excitement is palpable. The lights shine down from above while the Artist-in-Residence's master class takes place. Gordon is so close that the students can see their reflection in his trombone.