Category Archives: Pedagogy

“Gadgets and Gizmos:” Microphones, Mixing Boards, and Audio Interfaces…Oh, My!

I had planned to address a topic like this anyway, but a couple of weeks earlier. Events surrounding the COVID-19 virus had the contradictory effects of both making this topic very timely, but also delaying my having time to write … Continue reading

Posted in "Gadgets and Gizmos", Acapella App by Mixcord, Alto Trombone, Audio Interfaces, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Distance Education, Education, Euphonium, Instructional Technology, iPad, Microphones, Mixing Boards, Multitrack Recordings, Music, Music Education, Pedagogy, Performance Videos, Recording Technology, Recordings, Smartphones, Tablet Computers, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba, Videoconferencing, Zoom

You Don’t Always Need a Big Breath

The title of this article probably sounds downright heretical to most low brass players, but I am increasingly convinced that this is a neglected concept in both our playing and our instruction. Now let me say at the outset that … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Contrabass Trombone, Daily Routine, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

The Trombone Is a Musical Instrument

It almost always happens when I play a solo or chamber piece in a church service. Someone will approach me after the service, or later in the week, or even via email and say something to the effect of “Your … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Popular Culture, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

“Gadgets and Gizmos:” Tablet Computers as Sheet Music Replacements, Part 2

A little over four years ago I wrote an article defending my decision to not yet use a tablet computer for music reading, ending with the following words: Again, I am sure that at some point in the not-too-distant future … Continue reading

Posted in "Gadgets and Gizmos", Forscore, Improvisation, Instructional Technology, iPad, iRealPro, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Practicing, Smartphones, Teaching Low Brass

The Bell is Lava!

Touching the bell in order to locate third—and sometimes even fourth—position is a common bad habit among trombonists. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. When first learning to play young musicians are taught to visually locate some of the … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone

Avoiding the Patrick Star Sound (“The Singing Trombone” Epilogue)

A couple of days ago I wrote a little article about the historical and musical reasons for taking a “singing” approach to trombone playing. While I did not say so directly, this approach is appropriate not only for the trombone, … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Embouchure, Euphonium, Music, Patrick Star, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Spongebob Squarepants, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

The Singing Trombone

At this time last week I was preparing to perform Canzon “La Hieronyma” by Giovanni Martino Cesare (1590-1667) as a prelude to the Sunday service at College Hill Presbyterian Church. It has been over fifteen years since the last time … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Choral Music, Church, College Hill Presbyterian Church, Music, Music and Worship, Pedagogy, Performing, Pit Orchestras, Stepping Stones for Bass Trombone, Vol. 1, Teaching Low Brass, Trombone, Tuba