Weekly Trumpet Tips 10/15/13

The Shadow

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

Please always feel free to respond / comment on any of the tips listed in these weekly posts. Your input may help clarify details for someone else!

Check out About Face HERE!!! Check out Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing HERE!!!

ReCheck out the Chops Rehab and Jazz Improv courses. These are designed to be 4 weeks worth of lessons to help the student gain insights and skills in each specific area.

Keith is available for clinics and as a guest artist!! Please go to our “Clinics” page for details!

Keith’s new CD is available on iTunes! Click on the photo below!


(Physical CD’s Available HERE)

Tip #1 – Letting Your Air Do the Work (Video)

A couple of weeks ago we talked about letting your air do the work… I didn’t have a chance to put together a video last week, so I decided to hold off until this week.  Well, here it is!  Here’s some great secrets that shouldn’t be secret anymore!


Tip #2 – “How” To Teach & Take Lessons

I think in most people’s minds, taking lessons constitutes showing up each week, learning some skills, working on said skills, and packing up to return to their regularly scheduled life.  What’s becoming more and more apparent to me is that most students show up with their assignments barely playable and ready to “learn” them in their lessons vs. preparing them on their own time and coming in to sharpen these new skills.

Having taught students ranging from young beginner to comeback players in their 80’s, I have seen this a lot.  And it’s becoming more and more clear to me that teachers and students roles are not clearly defined any longer.  So, in an effort to help out as much as I can through my experiences and quest for improving as a player and a teacher, I thought this would be a topic that may at least spur a discussion.

In the interest of “efficiency” of learning, I see each role as follows:

Instructor:  I see it as the instructors responsibility to assess where the student is in their learning and skills, and create a systematic approach for improving the students skills through assignments, “proper” tips on practicing, and clear instruction so that when the student leaves each lesson, there are no dark areas of mystery in the students mind.  Answering all questions as clearly as possible, and giving the student the necessary tools and suggestions to aid them in their practicing.  This DOES NOT mean – holding that students hand in each lesson, and allowing them to come in unprepared each and every session.  The instructor’s primary role is to hold the student accountable for showing up, and being prepared.  I also believe that the best instructors are actually ongoing students themselves…

Student:  As a student (as well as an instructor) I see a students role as being responsible enough to understand that learning requires thought, patience, practice, consistency, and awareness!  Asking questions in their lessons so that they achieve clarity and understanding of the assignments, and then MAKING the time to actually practice the lessons given slowly, methodically, and without deviation!  The student must understand that showing up to a lesson unprepared or under-prepared is as good as throwing time and money out the window.  A student must also understand that they are at least 50% of the equation of success or failure.  Most failures happen because students give up or just never take the time to practice.

One of the biggest failures of our time is doing away with apprenticeships.  And essentially, when we start trumpet lessons / music lessons, we are beginning an apprenticeship… therefore I see it as absolutely vital that clearly defined rules be understood by both instructor and student so that we can continue to pass this art form on to future generations!

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”
-Zig Ziglar: Motivational author and speaker

Have a GREAT Week!