Lessons

WHO

Josh Graduation picI have been teaching music in public school and in private music lessons, to students of all ages, for over 25 years (Home school, public, private school and adults).  I am a certified music specialist  teaching music in a local public district and privately in the afternoon and evenings.  My students are ages 8-80.  I believe our students lose the excitement and fun they dreamed of when they decided to play an instrument.  I make learning music fun and focus on the Art part of music.  I still cover what is important.  Contact me for more information.

INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION

It is easy to forget why someone chose to play an instrument and instead focus solely on technique or the needs of the band program rather than the art part, the fun and the needs of the individual. Everyone is different and everyone has different goals. There are some fundamental skills and knowledge that make us good players and good musicians.  The students that practice what I ask them to practice, practice on their own, and have a goal, a vision, are the ones that improve dramatically.  And they have more fun!

TECHNOLOGY

I integrate technology into my instruction to help my students improve. Video recording, multi-track audio recording, DVDs, play-a-long tracks and YouTube videos from the internet are some tools that I use. Much of the instruction material that I use to teach is available on my website for free.

WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO I TEACH?

I teach lessons and brass instruments (trumpet, cornet, trombone, French Horn, baritone,  euphonium, tuba),  guitar and drums.

WHAT AGES DO I TEACH?

My oldest students are over sixty; my youngest are 8.   For drums, students can be pretty young. For guitar, they have to be old enough to handle the guitar and toughen up their fretting fingers. If you ask me: what age should you be to begin playing? Well that depends.  You’re never too old and for young children; it depends upon the child and the instrument they want to play-so contact me and we’ll talk.

TEACHING MUSIC BASICS

BRASS

My trumpet and brass students learn to read music and rhythms, develop an ear for pitch,  and to play songs. I use well established pedagogy to teach students to play their instrument with characteristic sounds and to develop the strength, range, flexibility and technique to play well.  I have my students learn to play with a free blowing, relaxed tone and the least amount of mouthpiece pressure possible. I use a little lip buzzing or free buzzing, lots of mouthpiece buzzing, pedal tones, air compression, and the use of tongue arch for range and flexibility.  I also found that if my students can sing their part, they play much more accurately and better in tune.   Here are some of the methods /materials I use:

    1. Schlossberg Drills
    2. Vincent Chicowicz Flow Studies
    3. James Stamp mouthpiece studies
    4. Clarke Technical Studies
    5. Clarke Characteristic Studies
    6. Arban Conservatory Method
    7. Arban / St. Jacome method
    8. Greg Spence
    9. Scales-Major, Minor, Arpeggios, Chromatic
    10. Texas UIL Prescribed Music List (PML) solos
    11. Audition preparation- All State High School, All Region Junior High, College auditions.
    12. Music that my students choose; music that they are curious about or are interested in.
    13. Transcriptions of songs and by renown players
    14. Most importantly I focus on making music, expression, the Art Part.

Go to the Free Downloads on my website for all of the drills I use with my students. Nothing new here, just tried and true drills from many sources.  But if presented correctly and practiced daily, my students see great results.

DRUMS

Drum students work on drum pads, snare drums and drum kits, learning to read music and develop hand coordination using  rudiments and different styles of music (rock, swing, funk, Latin, and world beats.  Some of the methods I use are:

  1. Tommy Igoe-Hands for a Lifetime
  2. Edward Freytag-The Rudimental Cookbook
  3. Haskell Harr Drum Method
  4. George Lawrence Stone’s- Stick Control
  5. Stanton Moore- Groove Alchemy
  6. Rick Latham- Advance Funk Studies
  7. John Riley- The Art of Bop Drumming
  8. Tommy Igoe- Groove Essentials
  9. Thomas Lang’s- Creative Control (double pedal and technical playing method).

I recommend the Turn It Up Lay It Down play along tracks.  A fun ,musical way to put your practiced technique into performing music.

Drummers need a good set of sound isolation headphones to save their hearing and to be able to listen to a metronome or track while playing a drum set.

Most importantly, I help students play expressively because that is one of the most   important skills a musicians must have. Playing music is good for you.  Playing music well and beautifully is better!

STUDENTS NEED TO BRING…

Students must provide their own methods/materials/books and a small notebook or spiral for assignments, suggestions and reminders. They need a small folder or binder with top loading sheet protectors to keep their pages in plus my own supplemental materials.

PLAY and PRACTICE

I am a good teacher with lots of experience and successful students. But, if you don’t practice at home, or play the things that we work on in your lessons, then you will not get better.

Practice a minimum of 15 minutes per day for young students, six days per week. 30 minutes per day for sixth and seventh grade students, six days per week. 8th grade up-30 minutes to one hour a day six days per week.

To be successful and see progress, your practice must have a plan, a routine that includes : a brief warm up (especially brass players), lip buzzing, mouthpiece buzzing, lip flexibility drills, technical studies, scales,  songs, etudes, audition music. Most importantly play something fun and something that makes you sound good every time you play.  And make it sound beautiful.

WHERE I TEACH

Lessons are taught in my home studio in the Northwest Houston area; US 290 and Mason Rd. Close to Fairfield, Cypress Mill, Lakes of Cypress, Cypress Creek Lakes, Bridgelands, Black Horse, Lakes of Rosehill. I am also close to Hockley, Waller, Tomball and even Hempstead and Magnolia.

WHEN DO I TEACH?

I teach in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Thursday.

ATTENDANCE

Please remember that when you set a lesson time with me that I have committed my time to prepare for your lesson in advance and I have set aside time for your lesson.  Please contact me in advance to cancel or reschedule.

COMPETITIONS,  CONTESTS and AUDITIONS

My students that choose to, can compete in junior high and high school region auditions (TMEA and ATSSB), solo competitions (U.I.L., Blinn College, TPSMEA) TMEA region band and jazz band auditions.  Home school students may compete at TMEA events too.

REFERENCES

References are available upon request.

Do you have questions or comments?

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2 thoughts on “Lessons

  1. Pingback: Trumpet / Cornet Lessons « A Life of Music

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