August 8, 2016

The Music Student’s Notebook

This notebook has been around a while. I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in 1993, and in the fall semester I was assigned my first private trumpet teacher, Jeff Stout. As you can see, I still have the notebook! And there are all kinds of important notes, exercises, and musical pieces in there. I…[READ MORE]

June 18, 2016

Rhythm Practice

Friends, I wanted to send out a brief note of reminder that we are officially on break until July 5th. This means NO lessons or classes this coming week, or the next. Also, I wanted to continue offering some suggestions on summer practice. Early this week I sent this out on summer shedding (shedding is…[READ MORE]

June 13, 2016

Summer Shedding

The summer is a great time to practice! Students don’t usually have as many responsibilities and often can spend too much time bored, watching TV, playing video games—all kinds of things which are fine in moderation, but certainly not very productive. Especially for homeschool students that may only get music in class once a week,…[READ MORE]

January 2, 2016

My Musical Goals for 2016

As promised, some of my musical goals for 2016…. What do you want to sound like musically this year? I have a tendency to play with a lot of slurs, both in my interpretation and improvisation. This year I am making it a goal to be more intentional about utilizing tonguing as an essential component…[READ MORE]

New Year, New Goals

Do you have dreams of what you’d like to sound like, or what you’d like to be able to do musically? I hope you do! And I hope you will consider what baby steps you may be able to make towards meeting goals that may help that dream come to reality this year. Musical goals…[READ MORE]

November 18, 2015

Brass and Braces

Have you ever seen the James Bond film Moonraker? You know, the one with the giant ogre like villain with the hideous and scary looking mouth filled with jagged and piercing metal, Jaws they called him. That’s the image that comes to my mind when I think back to having braces. Extreme? Perhaps, but braces…[READ MORE]

June 26, 2015

Critical Components for Summer Shedding the Blues

Students in our new Eastside Elements ensemble are doing so great! They are just starting to click! And if you are a first year jazz student this may be helpful to you as well. Or maybe you’d like to get started. No time like the present! If you would, allow me to suggest a few…[READ MORE]

June 23, 2015

Summer Shedding: Three Reasons to keep your Children Shedding this Summer

Musicians often refer to music practice as shedding. Many children that study music in the U.S. will work on their instruments and play music at least once or twice a week in school, maybe even five days a week. Either way, that is some substantial consistency in music and on the instrument. Music is an…[READ MORE]

June 16, 2015

Intentional Listening: C Jam Blues

Intentional listening is an essential part of learning music. One of the first forms that we often teach to students when immersing them in jazz music is the 12 bar blues. C Jam Blues is a classic blues head that is simple yet beautiful. It develops uniquely over the 3 unique harmonic phrases, and it…[READ MORE]

March 18, 2015

Warm Up Tips from Lew Soloff, Part 2

This is part two of my post on highlights from the late great Lew Soloff on warm ups and practice. The first post, warming up on the mouthpiece, is here. So, after warming up on  the mouthpiece, Lew Soloff recommended building up the range on the horn in the same way. Start at the bottom…[READ MORE]