I believe every student is unique. Every artist is unique, as is their voice. Every artist is learning to master their medium in order to use their voice to communicate with their audience. My goal as a teacher is to nurture the voice of each student by way of helping them master the medium of the trombone. I focus a lot on fundamentals as these are the basic building blocks that allow us to master our instrument. Mastering the instrument is not in of itself the goal, it is a means to end - the end goal being to communicate the artists unique voice. To tell our story.
Fundamentals include starting the day with a warm up. This should be a mantra - a reconnection between your mind, body and instrument. After rest, fundamentals continue with the study books of Marsteller, Schlossberg, Colin, Edwards & I encourage all young players to develop their own unique exercises, lip slurs and flexibilities.
Joannès Rochut, former Principal Trombone of the Boston Symphony, adapted the vocalises of
Marco Bordogni for the trombone. These musical etudes are an incredible resource to begin the exploration
of expressive playing on the trombone, whilst working the fundamental mechanics of the instrument.
The Jean Baptise Arban Method Book is essential in the 'daily diet' of a trombone player.
This seminal work can be used to address many aspect of trombone technique, including articulation,
scales, multiple tonguing, slide technique and more.
As students progress, the more advanced technical etudes of Koprasch, Bitsch, Blazevich,
Boutry, Bozza, & Lafosse may be integrated into the practice regiment.
Appropriate solo repertoire should be a constant presence in the developing trombonists practice life. The major concerti of the repertoire should be studied, e.g. Ferdinand David, Albrechtsberger.
The study of the orchestral literature should be a constant from any early age. Learning the style of different composers comes from having a voracious aural appetite for a broad range of music (orchestral, chamber, jazz,) with some focus on the major works that involve us as trombonists. Evolving ones own voice can only come through familiarity with a myriad of styles genres and periods. This also holds true for chamber and large ensembles where students should always be active participants. Additionally the invaluable collegial skills learned in chamber music and trombone sections translate to all aspects of your interpersonal relationships.
Finally I believe in being an "Artist Citizen." You have chosen to be an artist. This is not for everyone as it is a path that doesn't always travel straight and certainly is not paved with immense riches for most. However you will be part of something special: a centuries-old community of composers, performers and artists across all disciplines.
So go and share your joy as a member of this group - share your skills as you develop them.
We each have the opportunity to use our unique artistic voices from the practice room to the concert hall to non-traditional venues, bringing our art-form to all walks of life and demonstrating a beautiful human capacity to communicate. There is a place in your community for you right now that is a ready audience for you. Do you have a family member in a retirement community or nursing home? Is there a community center nearby? A day school for kids who might not otherwise get to hear live music? Go and share your passion.
"I am <insert name> and I am a junior in high school" "I love music and I'd like to play this piece for you written by <insert name here>"When you are finished tell your audience why you love that piece. How it makes you feel. Share your story. Talk about the composer and his/her life. What is their story? Tell your audience your dreams and plans and ideas. If you think you sound nerdy/silly - you don't. You are unique and your story is special so go and share it and gift it to your community and they will give back to your in ways in which you cannot imagine. Play the repertoire that you love and play from your heart.
Take a look at my "Engagement" page for more thoughts about this -and check out my "PedaBloggy blog"for ideas, exercises and inspiration for mastering the instrument and finding your voice.
"You are part of something special: a centuries-old community of composers, performers and artists across all disciplines.
So go and share your joy as a member of this group"
"We each have the opportunity to use our unique artistic voices from the practice room to the concert hall to non-traditional venues, bringing our art-form to all walks of life and demonstrating a beautiful human capacity to communicate."