Category Archives: Practicing

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

Spring Concerts and Activities Preview

Happy New Year! After my usual winter break from blogging I am glad to be back with you again and have a full slate of planned topics to cover here this spring. To begin, though, I’d like to share with … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Brass Quintet, Career Choices, Christ Presbyterian Church of Oxford, Colossians, Doubling, Education, Euphonium, Higher Education, Music, Music Education, NACWPI, North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Pedagogy, Performances, Practicing, Repertoire, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, The Gideons International, Trombone, Trombone Ensembles, Tuba, Tuba-Euphonium Ensembles, University of Mississippi

Want a Full Sound? Vibrate!

Low brass players necessarily have a great interest in learning to efficiently and effectively move air through their instruments. Tubas and bass and contrabass trombones require that their players generate tremendous airflow in order to produce and sustain a tone, … Continue reading

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

Rhythm is More Important Than Pitch (but Don’t Miss Pitches, Either)

Auditions for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band are coming up in just a couple of weeks, so in addition to our regular work on fundamentals, scales, and etudes, sight-reading is presently a major component of my high school students’ lessons. … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Auditions, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba