Improve Students’ Tone

In music, tone is distinct and identifiable, and when played correctly and in harmony within an ensemble, it sets the overall mood and quality of a performance. However, mastering tone does not come easily.

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775 Hits

How to Lubricate Trombone Slides

Trombones are a critical voice in any band or symphonic ensemble, and compared to most other wind instruments, they are actually pretty simple machines. However, if you haven't spent much time playing trombones, they may seem like a bit of a mystery.  

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6085 Hits

Teach Your Students the Best Way to Oil Valves

It's the night of the beginning band concert, and the curtain will go up soon. You're back stage shepherding all of your students, who are bubbling with nervous excitement, to their chairs. Then, from the rear of the ensemble one of your trumpets raises his hand and says, "My valves are sticky – can you help me oil them?"  

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2562 Hits

Sean Jones' Advice to Educators: Encourage Professionalism with Students

In the blog post, How Trumpeter Sean Jones Gets Respect, Jones recounts how he started performing as a child through church. Today, he teaches his students more than just the fundamentals of performance; he also stresses that professionalism will help students secure gigs and succeed in their musical careers. Here are some ways that educators can encourage professionalism with their students.

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673 Hits

Fix Winds Instruments in a Pinch

As a school band director, you take on many roles, including instrument doctor.

For students renting an instrument, the dealer most likely offers maintenance and repair insurance. Though insurance is a great investment in the long term, in reality, problems almost always occur at the wrong time or at the last minute. 

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1027 Hits

Instruments at an Inner-City Music Program

In the blog post, Case Study: A Music Program Succeeds in the Inner City, read how the band program at Rancho High School in Las Vegas was transformed by band director Clint Williams.  

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484 Hits

3 Teaching Tips from the Boston Brass

In the blog post, Boston Brass' Quest to Educate Young Musicians, the members of the Boston Brass shared that education is essential to their mission. Here are some tips that the Boston Brass members like to impart to music directors during their many clinics.

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661 Hits

How to Choose the Right Mouthpiece

I worked in a music store for many years, and one of the most common requests we'd get from customers was help with picking a mouthpiece. The conversation would often include something like this: "I need a new mouthpiece. I want something that lets me play higher … and sound really good!"

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580 Hits

The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti

As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols. Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and bandleader for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," gave a guest performance at Vizzutti's high school. With the encouragement of his band director, Vizzutti played a solo for Severinsen, who eventually became one of his most important mentors.

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1338 Hits

Blending Brass

With so many superhero movies hitting the theaters, it's ironic to hear ensemble directors tell their students, "Don't be a hero," when someone is sticking out in the overall sound. Because of the brass instruments' powerful directional abilities, blending the sound and dynamics of an ensemble can sometimes seem like an epic battle!

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766 Hits

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon Does it All

On a seemingly normal mid-April day, a group of jazz students at Columbia College Chicago are fixated on the man who's talking, world-class jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Their excitement is palpable. The lights shine down from above while the Artist-in-Residence's master class takes place. Gordon is so close that the students can see their reflection in his trombone.

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  1464 Hits
1464 Hits

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