Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

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!