Stephen Burns

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dizforprez, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    any body taken from him?

    I have a few questions about things he assigned you guys to work on if any of you are out there.
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I saw Steve's masterclass at the Brass Conference.
    It was magnificent. His students will be asked to think about what they are playing.
    He dissected the Jolivet Concertino, then when the student came forward to play the same material he really got the young man to dig below the surface of the piece.
    Steve is a fine musician.
    We go back to the old Philip Glass days.
  3. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    I studied under Stephen Burns while doing my Masters at Indiana. He is one of my mentors, and means a great deal to me as a teacher and as a musician. He is also caring and involved, and takes his students very seriously.

    As far as materials go, we dealt mainly with literature - solos, excerpts, and etudes. However, there was a great deal of Arban's stuff, Clarke, Schlossberg, Stamp, and various other "basics". Undergrads in his "dojo" obviously recieved a bigger dose of those sorts of things - especially at first.

    He has definitely been greatly influenced by Pierre Thibaud, and thus encouraged all of us to not look at our technique as "limited". In other words, we were encouraged to keep stretching our own boundaries. Also, Vacchiano was very influential as evidenced in the admonition to play "bel canto", and the ass-kicking transposition work we had to do.

    Lastly, Steve has a dynamic nature and a profound intellect. His influence on me regarding how I listen to music, how I view the world, and how I interact with others has been incredibly significant. Hope this helps.

    Best wishes!

  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Thank you guys for the responses,

    Bob, a few more questions ( hope you dont mind)

    what type of warm up did Burns give his students? was it all Stamp exercsies?

    What kind of things would he give new students to practice from Arban’s or for daily fundamentals?

    I know that he assigned Clarke studies to be done with what he called a “flash”, did he have any other tricks like that for Clarke?

    Thanks again,

  5. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003

    First, let me say that you should try to contact Steve for a lesson yourself. He lives in Chicago, and runs a new music ensemble called Fulcrum Point. You can contact him thru that site, and I'm sure he'd be open to arranging a lesson at some point. Meeting him would certainly be more enlightening than any explanations I could give you. Like any good teacher, what he assigns changes from student to student so it's hard to make too many generalizations. Also, hearing him play is a huge factor in his effectiveness.

    Regarding warm-ups, Burns didn't seem to prescribe any "routine" per se, but emphasized covering your basics every day. Stamp was certainly gone over, but so were Chicowicz flow studies and some of the Pierre Thibaud tone production things. If you look online for masterclass notes from Hakan Hardenberger, I know he once described the Thibaud stuff in some detail. The idea was just to pay attention to what your sound is doing on a given day to take you in the right direction and avoid forcing anything.

    For Arbans', we used the whole book at different times. What was notable was that he could show you different ways to expand or modify the exercises to make for different challenges. Same with Clarke. You can alter the rhythms, do every other measure twice as fast ("flash"), expand the range, etc.

    At any rate, there's certainly nothing mysterious about anything Burns asks his students to do - i.e., no "tricks". Just solid hard work on musical goals and efficient tone production. Working with him one on one is the best way to discern what influence he might have on your playing.

    Best wishes,
  6. Qman

    Qman New Friend

    Dec 1, 2006
    Grand Rapids Mi

    I have taken quite a fewlessons with S for a while now. Although I have not studied with him at a university, one thing I can say that I have gotten from him is making your problems harder to make them easier...if that makes sense, he tends to be abstract, but if need be very detailed, also thinking, he has taken normal excercises like clarkes and arban and add his own variations, I know this does not help but I do not want to give away his teaching without his prior consent, I believe you should take a lesson! It is worth it
  7. trumpetlore

    trumpetlore Pianissimo User

    Apr 14, 2007
    Rochester, NY

    What a good summary. The man is definitely a bit of a Shaman. I worked quite a bit with him this year at Chosen Vale, and loved every minute of it. He's musically insightful, and God forbid, actually encourages independent thought, and musicality.

    In masterclass I premiered a piece and, no sooner had I finished, he had many useful things to say about both the piece (trumpet and electronics) as well as my trumpet playing.

    I really look forward to working with him more in the future.

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