Category Archives: Musical Interpretation

The Limitations of the “Pyramid of Sound”

From an early age, many band students are drilled in the “Pyramid of Sound” model for achieving a properly balanced ensemble sound. This model was perhaps most prominently championed by the prominent band composer and conductor W. Francis McBeth (1933-2012) … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Music, Music Education, Musical Interpretation, Pedagogy, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba, W. Francis McBeth | Comments Off on The Limitations of the “Pyramid of Sound”

Method Books: “Concepts over Checkmarks”

As a high school and undergraduate student, I made it a particular goal to “pass off” as many studies and etudes as possible in my trombone and euphonium lessons. I prepared as much material as I could each week, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone, Daily Routine, Euphonium, Method Books, Music, Musical Interpretation, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Repertoire, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba | Comments Off on Method Books: “Concepts over Checkmarks”

Improvisation in Slow Motion

I have been arranging solo and chamber music for low brass instruments for almost my entire teaching career. As is true of just about everything I do as a teacher, my reasons for doing this have been mostly practical. The … Continue reading

Posted in Bass Trombone, Benedetto Marcello, Copyright, Georg Philipp Telemann, Improvisation, Johann Ernst Galliard, Johann Sebastian Bach, Micah Everett, Music, Music Publishing, Music Theory, Musical Interpretation, Orchestration, Performing, Sheet Music, Teaching Low Brass, Trombone, Tuba, Writing and Arranging | Comments Off on Improvisation in Slow Motion

The Importance of Story, Part 1: Developing Musical Interpretation

I joined a brass quintet during my first semester of college, and the professor coaching the group assigned for us to play the Quintet No. 3 by Russian composer Victor Ewald (1860-1935). I have become very familiar with and fond … Continue reading

Posted in Arnold Jacobs, Gustav Mahler, Marco Bordogni, Music, Music Education, Musical Interpretation, Pedagogy, Performing, Teaching Low Brass, Victor Ewald | Comments Off on The Importance of Story, Part 1: Developing Musical Interpretation

Preparing for Sight Reading in Auditions

A few weeks ago, I served as an adjudicator for the second-round trombone auditions for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. I do this most years, yet in 2020 this provided a particularly enjoyable bit of near-normalcy for me. While we … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Auditions, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Embouchure, Euphonium, Mississippi Lions All-State Band, Music, Music Education, Musical Interpretation, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Sight Reading, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba | Comments Off on Preparing for Sight Reading in Auditions