Lesson Feesfrom $25.00 / 30 Minutes
As a Middle School Band director for 30 years, I learned how to get the best out of students. So many students learn poor habits that prevent them from enjoying the instrument. I am skilled at diagnosing the physical issues, but also very attuned to the social and emotional needs of students. I believe being a musician greatly enhances the enjoyment of life!
Here are some youtube examples of the results of my teaching some great students!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icosc3mkSUk just the jazz band, 12 mins.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXSWc4DaL3k&t=1038s full middle school concert
After graduating with a BS in Music Education, I enlisted in the US Army as a Bandsman. In 1987 I began teaching at a public school and retired in 2017. Along the way I performed in a Brass Quintet, the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and played guitar and bass at church. I gained a degree of proficiency in instruments outside my major and feel comfortable starting students on trumpet, trombone, french horn, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and percussion.
Experimentation is key to success, so I engage students in several diagnostic activities to determine how they might best be able to get a good sound. Not every technique works best for every student, so we try different things regarding articulation, position, reed placement, etc. When it sounds good, it is good! And that makes making music more fun.
Fundamentals are important but they should not be drudgery. Musicianship is a hierarchy, one must build skills one step at at time. Otherwise, the student will be hampered by poor results. A student's ability to discern a steady pulse is basic. Then, can they divide the pulse into divisions. Can they discern pitch? I also believe scales are important to learn key signatures but not as an end in themselves. Articulation exercises are good if there is a context provided, not just a stand-alone drill. Position/posture of the body is important to get air movement and thereby, good tone.
My method is to demonstrate successful technique. If a student does not have a good sound, I can usually determine the problem quickly. Having taught for thirty years and thousands of students, I have seen many crazy embouchures, tounging styles, hand positions, finger placements, rhythm misconceptions, etc.
The method series, "Standard of Excellence" is what I used and am familiar with. I would require beginning students to purchase their instrument's version of this: https://kjos.com/standard-of-excellence-enhanced-book-1-b-trumpet-cornet...
For students with some experience, I would evaluate the materials they already have, diagnose their proficiency and recommend materials.