Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Passion Outside the Box

We trumpet players, and brass players for that matter, spend so much time focusing on perfecting our brass playing and listening, that we sometimes forget how sublime music unrelated to brass can be.  This is not a criticism, but a reminder.  Find your music passion outside the box!

I will share my personal passion for Chopin, Jacqueline du Pre, and Beethoven Piano Sonatas.  Every musician, especially brass players, should be intimate with Chopin and Beethoven piano works.  Why????  Have you ever tried to find and play the melody line of a Chopin or Beethoven piano work?  You will learn so much about expression within a ever moving tempo.  It's friggin hard!!  We learn to be playful with rhythm and expression through Charlier Etudes, my favorite for teaching this ability in trumpet lessons.  But, to go further outside the box, begin by listening to Chopin Ballades and Beethoven Piano Sonatas, a lot.  Chopin devoted his entire short life to writing only for the piano.  He knew his instrument intimately.  What composers know the trumpet or brass instruments, in general, intimately?  Right now, seek out the music of James Stephenson.  He was a professional trumpet player before finding his true passion of composition.  He is just one example.

In piccolo trumpet playing, listen to baroque oboe and flute concertos.  How do these instruments articulate?  Play duets with oboe and flute players.  Can you sound like an oboe or flute?  Get to know the extensive works of Bach, not jus the ones with trumpet.  Listen and learn to play his Cello Suites.

If you are working on music for a recital, get to know your composers' other works, their history.  It will inform not only your performance, but your understanding of their music if you know their instrument.  Were they pianist, organist, violinist, etc...?  Why did they write for brass?  How many brass works did they write?  Are you playing a transcription?  Listen to the original.

Ok, passion!  ...now Jacqueline du Pre!  It is the anniversary of her death 30 years ago.  Listen to her in any capacity, playing anything!  She exudes passion like no one else.  Can you let go so much that you lose yourself?  That is the goal in performance.  This is what makes live performance magical!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Audition Guidance

Do you have an upcoming audition for college entrance, regional, state or other auditions? I can help you improve your audition.

One of the best things you can do as a musician is to play for others.  Add playing for professionals who have tons of experience with auditions, and knowledge of what it takes to succeed and perform at your finest, and you have a recipe for success!

I have auditioned for every major orchestra in the US (and some abroad as well) and have advanced to finals.  Plus, I have coached students and listened to colleagues countless times.   I also have a unique approach to playing.  The combination of my extensive experience and unique approach allows me to, first, determine whether you have an issue, or whether your issue is just "in your head;" second, to "see" an issue (if you have one) that you are unable to solve by yourself because it is invisible to you; and finally, to provide you with steps that will concretely solve the issue.

If you want experienced coaching to help prepare for your audition, call or email me to schedule an appointment to come to my studio (New Haven metro area).  Too far away?  I also offer coaching via SKYPE.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Lesson Scheduling is Now!!

I currently have openings on Saturday!  If you are in the area and can make it to New Haven (Morris Cove) you have an opportunity to study with a teacher who can set you on the path of not only becoming a better player, but one that understands how and why things go wrong and how to fix them, I have space for you!

Monday, July 17, 2017


I have finally decided to work for myself exclusively at my home studio!  I will be accepting private students for hour lessons only.  Beginners will be on an evaluation level only as I want to focus on more advanced/driven students who want to take their playing to the highest level.  This doesn't mean you have to want to be a professional musician, just that you want to practice, take getting better seriously.
I have the rare ability to communicate real concrete concepts that not only make your playing better, but empower you with the ability to know when things go wrong and how to correct them.
Try a few lessons and see what you think.
If you are a parent and don't know where to go to help your daughter or son find the right teacher, read my blog here.  Look at my teaching philosophy, my performance experience and testimonials.
From the president of one of the best band programs in Massachusetts:

"He is one of the most gifted communicators and teachers I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. He is a superb technician and has the ability to share his knowledge and expertise with his students in very creative and concrete ways. Not only does he bring out the best possible sound quality in his students, he is boundlessly enthusiastic and encouraging in the process, and just a really terrific person! I would recommend him very highly to anyone looking for an instructor or performer!"

What are you waiting for???

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Most Beautiful Room in New York


Very excited to be performing this premier of a new musical by New Yorker writer and author Adam Kopnik, that's sure to hit broadway in the near future!

Worked daily preparing this show with two of the most important music creators in the business: Jonathan Tunick, orchestrator (Sondheim would use no other), and composer David Shire!

I even get billing on the website!  Running the Month of May!