Category Archives: Playing Fundamentals

On Exercise Equipment and Musical Development

The phenomenon of unused home exercise equipment is so pervasive in our society that it has become something of a trope. With the holiday season fast approaching, many families will soon see this in action once again. Typically, a person … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Articulation, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Daily Routine, Embouchure, Euphonium, Mouthpiece Buzzing, Music, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

End the Tyranny of the Green Smiley Face!

As I feared might happen, the absolute busy-ness of my schedule this fall has prevented me from consistently writing here on a weekly basis. When I first started writing a weekly blog in 2012, I was teaching about twenty hours … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Music Education, Music Theory, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teachers, Teaching Low Brass, TonalEnergy, W. Francis McBeth

Rediscovering Leisure

The first week or two after the end of the spring semester might be my favorite time of each academic year. While it is true that I only teach full time about eight months of the year, those eight months … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, Christian Worldview, Doctrine of Vocation, Education, Emory Remington, Higher Education, History, Playing Fundamentals, Practical Christianity, Practicing, Society, Teaching Low Brass, Truth, Work and Leisure

Three Areas of Tension that Brass Players Miss

Brass instruments are amazingly simple devices. In their simplest form, these “lip-reed aerophones” as Anthony Baines called them are just tubes into one end of which players vibrate their lips to generate musical tones. The overtone series native to a … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Embouchure, Emory Remington, Ergonomics, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

The Boring Part Comes Before the Fun Part

Our society’s obsession with fun is, I fear, one of our most harmful collective traits at the present moment. We see this in the workplace, where positions in challenging yet necessary and well-compensated trades go unfilled. We see this in … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Education, Euphonium, Music, Music Education, Music Theory, Musicology, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Scales and Arpeggios, Society, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

“Uncle Micah, Will You Sing?”

My sister’s daughter, CJ, is five now, and after a long period of being not all that sure about Uncle Micah has, I think, decided that I’m an okay guy. Or at least tolerable. For the first four or so … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Euphonium, Frozen, Music, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Szeged Trombone Ensemble, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Uncategorized

Be a “Do-Nothing” Brass Player

I’m a few days behind where I wanted to be in writing this, but I have been thinking about this topic in earnest since the preparations for my recital a couple of weeks ago. As is usually the case with … Continue reading

Posted in Alessi Seminar, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Embouchure, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performance Anxiety, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba