Category Archives: Practicing

“Captain Obvious:” How Water Keys Work

Allow me to interrupt your holiday recuperations or Black Friday shopping for just a moment to address a pet peeve of mine. I titled this little piece “Captain Obvious,” but given the prevalence of this misunderstanding among my students and … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Euphonium Maintenance, Music, Performing, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Trombone Cleaning, Trombone Maintenance, Tuba, Tuba Maintenance, Water Key

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

Discovering Similarities between Music Practice and Sports Practice

Any parent will tell you that the experience of raising a child or children is an adventure, one in which parents often find themselves improvising, trying to do the best they can for their children but not always sure of … Continue reading

Posted in Baseball, Music, Parenting, Pedagogy, Practicing, Scales and Arpeggios, Sports, Teaching Low Brass

Fifteen Steps to Playing a Better All-State Audition (Repost)

Today I am reposting, for the seventh year, one of the more popular posts on this blog. With high school students preparing for auditions for all-state groups and similar ensembles around this time of year, posting this article every fall … Continue reading

Posted in Auditions, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Education, Euphonium, Music, Music Education, Practicing, Scales and Arpeggios, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

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