Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hard work = great results

Congratulations to my students who made CT regionals!
Also last year's senior who is on scholarship at Hartt School of Music this year as a freshman (I'm sure she's grateful for the break); one of my 8th grade female students who is 1st trumpet in the Regional Band, and one of my seniors who is auditioning to several schools to study music next year.
Another one of my high school seniors made regionals on trumpet and just found out he will be on a full academic scholarship to NYU studying economics, presidential honors program, and a trip with other honors students to Florence, Italy.  Oh yeah, he also plays violin and piano!  When does this guy sleep!
You have all worked very hard and deserve recognition.  Good job!
All of my students this year are progressing very fast using my concepts of air flow control and tongue position in combination with retraining subconscious response.
Do you need a great teacher?  Do you practice, but feel frustrated at your lack of progress?  What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Accepting new students, adult through advanced junior/high school and college level

If you're interested in studying with someone who has extensive teaching and performing credentials and a concrete methodology to fix problems with your playing or take your playing to the next level, shoot me an email or phone call.

I have some students travel as far as Wilton, CT and Westchester County,  NY(south) and Rhode Island (north) to New Haven to study with me.  I prefer one-on-one instruction to Skype style teaching, but will consider this method if you just can't get to me.

I have students taking once a month lessons or just fine tuning isolated lessons here and there if you can't commit to a regular schedule.

If you are preparing for college auditions and you need some extra help or a new prospective give me a try.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Performing Napoli with wind ensemble tonight!  Then off for a well earned 2 week vacation!  More posts to come after my summer hiatus....stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Student progress

I have only one student leaving this year to go off to college.  She will be attending the Hartt School of Music as a double major in Trumpet performance and Music Education.  All of my other students will be continuing their studies with me next year working very hard and making progress.  My adult students continue to work hard and see terrific progress.  My beginners always start with a good sound because of my work on sound production from the beginning.  It pays off to invest time in the beginning explaining and demonstrating how to control air and tongue placement.
Plans are in the works to have a regional audition workshop day either this year or next.  If you're in the New Haven area let me know if you or your junior or senior level student/son or daughter would be interested in this helpful prep day.  Plans are for early October.
My brass ensemble at Neighborhood Music School continues to progress.  I hope to add more players to this group or start another brass quartet/quintet group.  We need more of every brass instrument, especially trombones and french horns (who doesn't).  If you're interested are in high school or are a very advanced junior high student, please let me know or call the office at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven.
We're always in need of high level high school trumpets and trombones for the New Haven Youth Orchestra.  The orchestra plays at a very high level, and is under the direction of Yale's own wind ensemble conductor, Dr. Thomas Duffy.  Last years two performances included Gershwin's American in Paris, Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis, and Brahm's Academic Overture, just to name a few.
The youth Orchestra just started a collaboration with the New Haven Symphony offering full scholarships to advanced brass players.  Students travel from as far away as an hour in the New Haven area to play in this prestigious ensemble where I am the brass coach.

Please, spread the word if you know any high school students who might be interested in this great opportunity! Auditions will be very early in mid to late August!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Trumpet Courses

One of my long term goals has always been to publish either a method book of my own or smaller books divided by levels.  There is enough sources out there for everything, but what I feel is lacking is not only a step by step method that's very easy to follow, but any good explanations for "how" to work on exercises that are presented.  My biggest pet peeve:  many methods are set up for the advanced trumpet player, so there is unrealistic expectations from the less experienced student; I even mean college level players as well as less experienced.  What happens is that a lot of burden is put on the student to have a teacher who is very good at explaining how things work within each method or etude book.  Even that leaves challenges because a teachers style may not resonant completely with the budding student or a lot can be taken for granted, or, god forbid, you get a not so good teacher.

I felt in my younger college level years that I had a great teacher, but I wasn't learning how to navigate for myself certain implementation.  So, I would default to "if I just practice more" being the answer.  Over time I felt my hard work only paid off to a point if I was unable to define what were my issues.  Even well meaning teachers would say things like "there's something in your playing I just can't pin point" or "your sound is a bit constricted" without any real answers presented to me.

So, I have spent the years after (many years) of college trying to be as well trained on playing issues as I can.  This helped me and my students thus giving validation to my methods.  These methods are a combination of my own ideas expanded from teachers who presented me with the most solid concepts and how to articulate them.  The best teacher for this (for me) was Charlie Schlueter by far.  Some things taught to me early on only solidified under his guidance, but he made instruction easy to follow and implement in ways no one every did or has since.

Keep tuned in....I hope to have the first beginner installment ready within the year.  I will do my best not to call it beginner as it will apply to absolute newbies and also intermediate to advanced players to try as well.  The concepts will be controversial, but give it a try before you make your opinions know.  I have no time for naysayers who make preconceived judgements without even trying the routine.  You can criticize or critic it all you want after working on it for a bit.  I would love to hear constructive ideas and critics.

I will also have some tutorials via youtube to go with the methods.  I will continue to post random articles in the meantime, so don't go away while I'm on a bit of a hiatus this summer!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Freelance chops part 3

So, if you are wondering the details of my preparation for maintaining proper sound, endurance, etc...for freelancing, here you go!

I believe throughout my years of practicing/trying different routines that it's not as important which routine you do, but what your routine addresses.  This is where it has to become personal and dependent on where you are in your development.  This is why my routine changes to address new issues and to keep my desire to engage fresh.  When I say it changes I mean about once a year or so I try something new.

WARNING ADVANCED:  First, I will tell you where I have arrived after many years of trying every routine out there.  Because of the diversity of freelancing I have found a method that works for me.  The core of it is pages I have put together from Pierre Thibaud's methods.  Later in life Mr. Thibaud had surgery and had to rethink how to play as effortlessly as possible.  He found that working on the double pedal register helped with ease of playing in all registers.  I would add that it has helped my sound tremendously!  What I do is play pages 8-10 (when I have lots of fundamental practice time I add pages 11-16 or more) of his Method for the Advanced Trumpeter.  I then go to his Daily Routine and Vocalises for the Advanced Trumpeter pages 4-9 (continuing throughout the book if I again have lots of time for fundamental work).  Usually I have to do the minimum as my schedule is usually busy, but I do my complete routine after a grueling run of a show or when I have extended off time.

Without the additional pages above this is my daily routine.  I have to warn you that initially it took loads of time to get through, but once things where in place and working well, I could get through this routine pretty quickly.  From there I would add things that would address what was on my plate for the week.  Show work with lots of flexibility?  I would add some Irons exercises, sections of the Thibaud Method-Isotonic Exercises or Dr. Charles Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities.  Orchestral work?  I would add some Brandt Etudes or just the works I am working on at the time, even Arban p. 13 at forte to fortissimo.

All of the above Thibaud Method work is VERY ADVANCED.  I consider mastery of the pedal register something that is hard for the advanced high school through college level player to master.  This doesn't mean don't try at all.  It means do so with lots of care and time.  Don't spend too much time messing with it.  Limit your time per day and don't worry about it sounding like crap.  Most of all don't allow pedals to change your set up, embouchure wise.  The goal is to be flexible up into the upper register without changing your set up.

I spent years doing these wrong and feeling that it was doing more damage than good in the Stamp book.  The best thing I did for several years was to stop and leave it alone.  I'll address how to work on this in another post.

Picc work is different for everybody.  I find a solo work that address range and lots of tonguing to keep the method of playing picc fresh.  Tonguing can be challenging on Picc when you're doing baroque work.  It's light, resonant, and has to flow like flute articulation.  I usually use transcription solo works for piccolo such as the Tartini, Stolzel, many Albinoni's usually from the oboe repertoire, in sections to test my ability to keep the picc ready to go at any time.

Last, but not least....I try really hard to take days off completely, here and there.  I used to bodybuild very seriously for many years until I had a major injury that halted not only my bodybuilding, but for a large chuck of a year my ability to freelance because I just couldn't drive a car except for very short distances without being in pain.  What I learned from bodybuilding was the importance of resting muscles that were hit hard for at least a day or two.  For trumpet, if I have the luxury of a day off the horn I take it.  Most importantly, even if I have a lot of playing the day after the day off.  I usually find I play much better with that day off.  If I have a two week chunk of time without gigs in the summer I don't play a note for two weeks.  I always come back fresh with new vitality and love of the work I do on the instrument.

Parts 1 and 2 to this article can be found here  and here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Why post articles instead of youtube videos?

I love youtube video tutorials!  But, they aren't as portable. You can't listen to them everywhere, you may miss things and have to watch the video many times, and you still may find things you miss.  But, most of all for me, I like to print articles out and read them during rehearsals, on my stand, on the train, in the doc's office, etc.  There's nothing to miss when you have the printed word.

The down side! Much of how we learn the trumpet is non specific, internal, hard to put into words, etc.  It's also much easier to do a video and talk than to try to explain yourself on the written page.  It comes down to personal style.  I like to write.  I'm ok with learning to express myself this way.

With that said, I do hope to add some video's in the future to enhance what I have written.  With both, hopefully, you can get a sense of my approach.  I hope it helps others out there in trumpet land!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Freelance chops part 2

The next three weeks are a beautiful example of the challenges of freelance playing and maintaining chop endurance and musical style challenges.
This week I have rehearsals and a performance with the Asylum Hill Orchestra in Hartford, CT where I'm performing the Music for the Royal Fireworks, Zadok the Priest, and the King Shall Rejoice-all Handel (all on picc), plus the Missa in tempore belli of F. J. Haydn on C trumpet.  Got the music 3 days in advance.
The following week is one rehearsal with a brass quartet and harp with a performance the next day in Marblehead, MA, don't have the music for this yet.
The next week I begin a month long run of playing lead on City of Angels at Curtain Call Theatre in Stamford, CT.  Got the music a few days ago, so I have the luxury of two weeks to review it and get the chops into a lead mouthpiece.
On top of this I have a busy teaching schedule all during this and have to prepare for all of the above at the same time.

So...how do you prepare?

I focus for the next couple of days on the baroque/classical stuff by playing through it with a recording to get a sense of endurance issues.  Right away I see that the conductor wants to repeat the entire Overture and the 3/4 Allegro section which is a big issue because it is a long haul without the repeat AND goes right into a short adagio that has a pic trumpet flourish up to concert D then jumps right into the 3/4 allegro section that goes on for an entire page with many concert D's throughout.  A bit of a challenge as conductor's haven't a clue what this does to our chops.  Endurance challenge.  Without more than 2 days to prepare for the first rehearsal I just focus on really being aware of setting on breath support and floating the notes.  The style of this period lends itself to chime types of attacks with a dynamic drop after notes.  Don't confuse this with not sustaining the notes, it just allows you to use your articulation like a trampoline so to save any unnecessary pressure on the chops.  I try to make sure I can go through the pieces twice in a day.

It is also necessary, for me, during this hectic schedule to really spend more time on my routines before tackling the music.  This is also the time I get on youtube and listen to great advice on breathing and tonguing.  I would highly recommend James Morrison's tutorial!  Yes, these are concepts I know, but it's nice to be reminded of different approaches to the same ideas.  Keeps me engaged in what to value....AIR!!!

As soon as my music arrives for week 2, I have to manage looking it over without killing my picc chops for the above performance.  Depending on how it looks I'll probably wait until after the first performance on Friday to look at it.  Best scenario!

While looking at the Brass Quartet music I'll probably have no choice and have to run the show music as City of Angels is a tough book, especially because the music director is adding additional parts for me to play.

Did I mention that I'm playing Napoli with band in mid July.  Got to fit that in too!

This is what it's like folks!

Part 1 and 3 to this article can be found here  and here.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Instinct response part IV

I have an adult student who is a thoracic doc with whom I have great conversations about breathing.  Teaching him has helped me really define, verbally, control of proper air flow for trumpet playing so there isn't a contradiction between medical functionality and teacher description.  He has such an understanding of function of the lungs that he processes what I describe through his thorough lens.  With all my students I do my best to avoid too much technical vocabulary and keep things simple and easy to understand with my vast wardrobe of analogies.

Vincent Penzarella has said it best, "Exhalation is inhalation without hesitation".  Now, this is an advanced concept, so although my students hear me say this, I give lots of examples of what this means.  For years I did not breath deep enough and move my air fast enough and still sounded decent.   Having a deep understanding of the importance of a very deep, relaxed inhalation and pushing out my exhalation at the end of a note before a breath took my playing to a new level.

The beginning of anything we play is the easiest place to start, but it only begins here.  The test and most important implementation of this concept is in the breath between notes.  Understanding that how you exhale has everything to do with what type of inhalation you will have.  So....I teach my students how to increase exhalation before a breath so that inhalation will be deep, relaxed, efficient, and will need less time, thus interruption of the music is minimized.

Continue that concept to every note you play.....meaning "connection".  Think of a relay race.  What is the one aspect beyond being a fast runner that makes the team win/work?  It's the hand off of the red stick!  What does the runner do?  The runner with the stick, when getting close to the hand off, increases his/her speed and reaches out with the stick.  The runner on the receiving end starts slowing running and reaches out to grab the stick from behind so there is as seamless a hand off as possible.

Try this with each note you play.   Start a half note (quarter equals 60) middle g...on beat two increase your air in anticipation of handing it to the next note, a "c" one forth above for a whole note.  Do that again, but add a breath at the end of the "c", push out the exhalation at the end of that note and come back in on another "c" whole note.  Experiment with this concept with the music you are working on. Does it improve your sound, pitch, relaxation?

Find  Parts I,    II,     and III   to this topic by tapping the numbers.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Training the right instinct responses

When focusing on the inner workings of the trumpet, technique, air, tongue, rhythm, sound, etc..the one thing I don't find discussed enough is instinct response.
Huh??  You may say...Well, I teach about this a lot!  This, to a certain extent, can apply to all musical instruments, but for the trumpet it is a vital discussion.  While talking recently with my trumpet mentor, Charlie Schlueter, he said something to me that I say all the time to my students, "there's nothing natural about playing the trumpet".  I had to laugh because he was reminding me of all the gems of wisdom that came out of my 3 years of studying with him.

Instincts serve us well for the most part in everyday life.  Unfortunately, certain instincts and body function instincts are the opposite of what a trumpet player needs to be able to count on to play well.

This will be an ongoing discussion here.  So, I will begin with some basics.

The most basic instinct we have is the fear/flight mechanism.  That adrenaline rush that happens when we are at risk, either physically/verbally.  This same mechanism reacts similarly when we perform.  Much has been written about this issue so I won't focus too much here.  This instinct can reek havoc on our abilities to breath and not be tight.

Other instinctual impulses connected to our senses are a problem with trumpet playing.

The one I will discuss first is sight.  Without knowing it we see a high note and instinctually blow up, and even worse assume because it's "difficult" to play high we must play with force to "get the note out". Why in the world would we assume there is a correlation with where a note is on the page and which direction we should blow?  To the subconscious this makes perfect sense, but boy is it wrong.  This is where guru's like Jimmy Stamp say, blow down for high notes and up for low notes or "when your up your down and when your down your up.  Why is this powerful.  Well....it makes the analysis of tongue position much easier.  But, only if that conception works for you.  Meaning, when you
blow up does your tongue drop and vis a versa does your (back 2/3rds) tongue elevate?  For others, analyzing the specifics of what the tongue does works best.  Most important here is that none of this is natural, thus our subconscious cues have to be retrained. Is your sense of sight sending you strong assumptions?  If so, what do you do to re-train correct trumpet behavior!  I give my students specific drills just for this problem.

The second one I will discuss is air flow related to our subconscious impulse to regulate speeds of air with sight again.  I consider my air flow in all registers and all volumes to be fast!  How much is released is a matter of tongue placement and control.  This is not natural, so it must be a calculated retraining of our impulse to change air speeds based on what we see or assume.  Keeping the air speed fast at all times makes playing so much easier and dependable. Especially, when there are dynamic changes and tempo changes.  Slowing your air down in andante and slower tempos is a big problem.  The same goes for soft dynamics and longer valued notes.

This should peak some interest to discuss more.....

In future posts I will discuss more in depth air and tongue control as well as note grouping.

Parts II,  III,  and IV on this topic can be found by tapping on the number.

Instinct Response part deux

I will address many instinct response issues ongoing.  Next, let's talk about multi-tasking.  It's a BIG asset for musicians.  Whether you are a natural or not there are things you can do to improve your abilities in this arena.
Assigning the task of rhythm solely (pun intended!) to the foot is vital for the trumpeter for two reasons.  Tapping your foot rhythmically and coordinatingyour release of the tongue together calms the instinct responses and allows the brain to focus better on other tasks.  What does that mean?  I'll do my best to explain because we will get into territory that is somewhat unexplainable to the sceptic because it is not tangible to the efact seeker.
Tap your foot to a consistent rhythm of about quarter equals 80.  Make sure you keep your heel locked to the floor and only move the first 1/4th to 1/2 of your upper foot.  The problem I find with most is the emphasis is too much on hanging the foot up in mid air too plong before coming down.  Think of delaying the movement of the foot up so you have to rush to get it down on time to the beat. This is "he be je be wise" a big deal!  You'll see me use that word a lot, so get used to it:-)  When you have a good grasp on this when you play, you will notice it has an impact on your focus of moving the air forward (every little thing makes a difference).
Now, once you feel you have mastered a good tap, take a deep breath and set up air compression.  What do I mean by that?  This is controversial stuff, so just please try it for a while and see if things help you.  I believe that the tongue acts like a valve releasing air much like an air compressor.  For an example, blow up a balloon to it's capacity, hold the opening closed, then release small amounts of air.  You should get a steady high pitched note.  stop, then release again.  Same note.  A compressor works the same way.  Fast moving air that is stopped and released once you hold down the valve.
Now, with the trumpet and your new mastery of foot tapping, count 4 beats inhaling deeply and fast on beats 2 and 3 using an "Oh" syllable (it may be a lot more air intake than your used to).  On beat 4 you will set up your compression with the tongue forward acting like a gate with the tip forward thinking of pronouncing the letter D (this should put the tongue in the right position).  Now comes the dicey part!  The right compression comes from a balance of the tongue pressing against the bottom back of the top teeth, not pushing too hard with the volume of air you just inhaled, and keeping the throat relaxed.
The foot and the tongue should acted to total solidarity at this point starting and ending (yes ending) together.  Once you have release the fast moving air with the tongue moving back only enough to let air through.  This is VITAL because our tongue naturally lies back too far for proper air control.  Then make sure the middle of the tongue drops down tip staying as forward as possible.  Say the word "dHOT" over and over again.  If the air pressure stays fast you should notice the pitch from beginning to end is consistent.  I would suggest trying this just on middle g starting with half notes, then quarters, then eighths.  While this is extremely difficult to verbalize on paper I hope this will give you some idea of how the air and tongue can work together to give you dramatic results.
More later.....

I use Richard Shuebruk Graded Lip and Tongue Trainers for Brass Instruments published by Carl Fischer "Tongue Training Grade 1" page 2 and 3 for working on this method.  If you read the top paragraph on page 2 he explains the same process as "like spitting a seed from the tip of the tongue".

Find Parts I,  III,  and IV  of this topic by tapping on the number.

Instinct response part 3

Continuing on my teaching concepts to retrain instinct responses I will focus this post on gravity.  Huh????  What does gravity have to do with air flow?  A heck of a lot!  I like to use the term gravity because I have found that students relate better to the understanding of gravity more than talking just about air flow alone.  There are many ways to approach this and it's individual for each teacher/student.
If you think about how you begin a note on the trumpet, say middle g for a whole note, what happens to your air after starting the note (as described in my previous post about set up)?  The support drops dramatically.  The higher the note the more dramatic the drop.  This is where instinct is a problem. Our subconscious focuses on starting but not on ending or as Jim Wilt of the LA Phil says "pinning the line".  I like the word "energize".
Think of jumping on a trampoline.  Similarly, once you bounce you float until you start to return back down.  Imagine starting a note, like the impact on the trampoline and when you feel the air delivery starting to wane (happens shortly after starting, especially on long valued notes) you energize the air keeping the flow moving forward until stopping the note with the tongue acting as a shut off valve, with the end of the note being the most energized.  Not with a dramatic "thud", but just to close the fast moving air.  This sets your tongue up for the next note to begin without any additional change.  Controversial, yes, but does it work.  Charlie Schlueter always told me to imagine another note after the end as if you are handing the note off to silence.

I try my best to find the common things that all good teachers seem to focus on and find my own method of how to express the inner workings of air flow and tongue positions.
Intrigued??  Try it.  Take some lessons if your in the area or via Skype.

You can access Parts I,  II,  and IV  of this topic by tapping on the number.

Mastering freelance chops

My career has been predominantly as a freelancer and private teacher.   While there is no glory is saying that, there is a lot to be proud of despite our industry not giving us much recognition.  Freelancers have no benefits, no paid time off, if we're sick we have to most always find our own replacements all while quite probably loosing that gig connection or moving down the call list.  You have to be in top form at all times because you just don't know when that phone will ring.  Vacations are usually with you horn in tow.  This is the career most of us end up with, and at least in the past, we were not prepared for this reality!
 Personally, I have been called to play a live broadcast of a Boston Pops concert to replace someone ill, but had to turn it down because I just had my gall bladder removed two days before.  Believe me, I was trying to think of any way I could maneuver myself on stage to play.  Then reality said, What!  You must be kidding!"
I was beat up one evening by 5 guys while I was in the middle of a 7 week run of a show at 1am after returning from a show.  I lost work and money and returned probably way too soon, but I had little choice.  There are many more stories, but these two were highlights.

Navigating freelance chops is a tricky business.  The "big guys" so to speak, perform under the best of circumstances for the most part.  Wonderful acoustics, the same colleagues every day for the most part, a chosen genre (classical, jazz, solo, or pop).  These scenarios constantly push them to new heights because they are surrounded by amazing musicians that challenge them.  As a freelancer I have always dreamed of that great Orchestral or Soloist gig that would fit my personality better than freelancing.  That never transpired for me so I continue to make the system I'm not as comfortable with fit for me.

There are weeks when I have been playing shows like Legally Blonde for several weeks and have a run of B Minor Mass thrown in between.  Now, while both are about playing high notes, the style of playing could not be more different.  Instrument and mouthpiece choices become crucial!  Finding the right sound and approach for the job at hand and delivering with confidence is key.

The best advice I can give is to prepare for this type of career now!  This is the norm these days.  You will most likely end up in the freelance arena either permanently or at minimum for an extended period while attempting getting into another arena.  Good jobs are more scarce than ever.  Reinvent a new way to present yourself and your art.  Try dearly to be true to yourself and your creative spirit.

Being a great player is a matter of discipline, yes, but practicing efficiently and effectively is key.  That is the elusive part!!

It took me years to overcome, and I still work on this!   Two things:  you don't have to be THE best virtuoso and you have to be ok with you!  I am in no way a Zen Master, but a Zen student.  Zen and trumpet work nicely together.  Learning to prepare then let go is the challenge.

Part 2 and Part 3 to this article can be found here and here.

My Teaching Concepts

My goal as a teacher and coach is to reduce the process to as few steps as possible. Playing a brass instrument can be daunting, mainly because the process of controlling your air and your tongue is not something that comes naturally to the majority of us. We won’t even talk about the coordination of the valves and rhythm! Let’s just address getting things started.

When we are in total control of our air speed and tongue position there is not much more that we need to do. While this may sound simple, believe me it is not! BUT, the first step is to understand the process, and then work on applying it with absolute consistency.

There are many camps of thought on how to simulate a thought process that will help you achieve the same result. Most of my teachers used some form of “vowel” syllables to aid the tongue in finding its way. Samuel Krauss used a variety of syllables for different sounds and registers. Early on in my training I found his process a bit overwhelming and advanced to put into practice. It was complicated! Over the years I have come to understand his philosophy better. The most important break through, in my own understanding of this air and tongue ratio, was from Charlie Schlueter.

Charlie Schlueter, retired Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony, has reduced all of the complicated methodology into a very simple word that sets the tongue and air into perfect harmony, in my opinion.


Just say it! Your tongue is set up to start a note; the word itself sets the air into motion and then delivers it to an END with the tongue. This keeps your tongue forward which will aid in keeping your air flow from slowing down and making notes unstable. Your next note is now set up to begin with no additional movement involved. Now, try this same word without speaking the word, use only air and push the air forward to the end. Another favorite analogy is from the tongue training exercises of Richard Shuebruk. He states that your tongue needs to be trained for strength and speed. "The action is like spitting a seed from the tip of the tongue." Key to beginning the mastery of this is to remember that the jaw stays absolutely in place with NO movement. Practice this by talking without moving your jaw with your lips slightly parted. This will show you how the tongue and air can do it's job without any movement of the jaw.

Mastery of this sent my playing on levels I could not have imagined as well as my teaching skills. Don’t get me wrong, there are many other skills to develop within this method, but this is the fastest way to get things happening correctly, I believe.

If you are interested in trying my method which melds this above concept and applies it to the methods of Adams, Stamp, Cichowicz, and Caruso, Jacobs, etc.. take a lesson or two with me and give it a shot. All of my students show great progress in their playing when they apply these methods AND practice!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Skype Lessons!!

Skype Lessons coming soon!!  If you are anyone you know is interested, please contact me via this blog/website or by email at rousseauman@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Recital March 5, 2016

Badollet Ensemble

                         Featuring Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet Soloist and Director
                                      Naomi Senzer, Flute
                                      Andrew Gordon, Piano

                                Concerto in D                                                                       Heinrich Stolzel
                                     Allegro                                                                                  (1690-1749)

                               Trio for Flute, Trumpet and Piano                               James M. Stephenson 
                                     Dances for Insecure Nobility                                                      (1969-   )
                                     No:  ReMorse

                               Sonata for Flute, Trumpet and Piano                          James M. Stephenson
                                    Andante Semplice 
                                    Devil's Mischief

                                Choral et Variations Op. 37                     Marc Marie Jean Baptiste  Delmas
                                Andante et Allegro                                               Joseph Guy Marie Ropartz

                                Hungarian Melodies                                                                  Vincent Bach

                 March 5, 2016   7PM    Neighborhood Music School     100 Audubon Street New Haven, CT  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that the trumpet holds a unique set of challenges. Teaching a student that deep inhalation is the most important setup for a good beginning and mastering an understanding of tongue position, aids in over coming these challenges. The art of diligent work on process, integrated with a Zen philosophy of letting go empowers my students to optimize their abilities. My teaching is designed to teach students how the mechanics of air flow and tongue position work together. Once understood and practiced with set drills, I implement a psychological method of re-training subconscious cues that are detrimental to what actually needs to happen to produce optimum ease of play. For example, the "sense of sight" will lead the player to assume low notes require blowing down with less air, thus creating instability and tightness in the back of the throat, when in reality it is quite the opposite. Blowing up lowers the middle of the tongue which places the tongue more appropriately, with relaxation, than just using an "ah" syllable which is a much used approach. This enables more open relaxed air flow. The next equally important element is the loss of air flow after a note is produced, which allows the tip of the tongue to move back too much causing air flow instability. By teaching students how things work, empowering them with methods to self correct, and instilling an understanding of consistent long term commitment; self reliance and self confidence soars then their ability to relax (Zen) manifests. All of this process orientation occupies the subconscious mind replacing much of the performance anxiety that occurs when the mind focuses on fear. Once the basics are in place I continue to build confidence and security in the students by tackling the literature and pushing performance opportunities. There is no greater feeling than seeing students sound and feel better than they ever imagined possible. Giving them the tools to be great music communicators in any style they have to present, this is the true reward of teaching.