Trumpet Discussion Discuss Help for a trumpet teacher? in the General forums; Hey team,
I've only been teaching trumpet for about a year now and I have a student that is starting ...
Help for a trumpet teacher?
I've only been teaching trumpet for about a year now and I have a student that is starting from scratch. I think that he is doing remarkably well for having been playing for 7 months. He's got a great sound when playing loud (really loud that is), but when I try to get him to turn the volume down, the sound gets really stuffy and inconsistent. I am trying to get him to play with a great sound all the time b/c I know how difficult it is to change once you've been set in your ways. However, no I am realizing that we never work on music and he can only sometimes get an okay sound when playing
mf-->f . I find that whenever we start to work on music, I always stop to keep working on the sound.
HELP!! It feels as if my over analysing is hurting rather than helping...
Sounds to me like some long tones at lower dynamics c/w some note bending is in order.
Sorry to state the obvious, but maybe you should play some really loud music. Make it fun; fanfares, ice-hockey band riffs, bugle calls, circus tunes, street band marches or shouting blues riffs. Play duets with him in these styles and start each lesson with a new tune. If you are playing some call and response music with him then you can gradually temper your own volume and play with more subtlety or grace and see if he can go with you. Imitation is one very good way to learn. Show him the possibilities rather than stopping him from playing. Encouragement based on making the music sound right rather than trying to analyse faults and correct them might achieve better results. His natural flair and the joyful abandon in his playing is something to share in and nurture - many people never achieve this after years of diligent study.
I have always believed that it is easier to temper, shape and darken a bright, exuberant and even course sound than it is to try to squeeze some life and sparkle out of a dull or introverted sound. Maybe start with the story of the trumpet players who broke down th ewalls of Jericho; have a competition to see which of you can make the loudest, ugliest most frightening sound on the horn.
Please forgive this stream of consciousness. I hope it is of some help. Please also bear in mind that I have the utmost respect for you - I have never dared to bite off the huge responsibility of teaching a beginner, feeling that it might well be far more than I can chew.
All the best. Noel.
Noel Langley - Eclipse Artist [email protected]
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Play "call and response" exercises (you play/he plays) as much as you can in his lessons and try to limit the talk. Eventually he will start imitating you and the volume will come down. Encourage him to trust his ears.
Those are very helpful responses, i thnk. The imitation is key as has been stated. What goes with that is letting him articulate, using adjectives, what makes a beautiful sound and what makes an inferior sound. Extremes are good in this regard. Just so you know what's going on, he's pinching his lips shut and that's what is causing the muddy sound when he's playing quietly. Throw in a litle abdominal tightness and you have an inferior sound. He doesn't need to know any of that but you can use that knowledge to teach him to think of trumpet sounds, large and small, as always open and free.
Thanks everyone for your responses! You've given me some great ideas to go into our next lesson with. I am grateful...
JD- Everything so far has been absolutely right on. I might add to that some directed listening excercises. Bring some of your favorite recordings of trumpets, and have him respond to the sounds (like it, didn't, and why). In order to develop a good sound concept, he needs to be exposed to various sounds to have them in his head.
"Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting
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