Curated from the Yamaha Educator Suite – by Jeff Conner –
For over 30 years, I have had the tremendous privilege of playing trumpet for audiences around the world.
Without the support, guidance and influence from my middle school (Mr. Kazanjian) and high school (Mr. Ezer) band directors, I would not have had the opportunity to pursue this musical passion that has given me so much happiness.
No matter how long a student has been playing trumpet, it’s important to develop a solid foundation of fundamentals. By having a strong warm-up routine, students will be able to move to the next level and continue to improve. I tell students that when professional athletes practice, they are always working on fundamentals — and that’s what they need to do. It’s important for your students to know that you will be able to guide them in the right direction.
I would like to address some fundamentals that you should look out for with your middle and high school trumpet players.
One of the biggest hurdles beginners and young trumpet players encounter is how to create a good embouchure and how much air to put through the instrument.
Embouchure problems to watch for:
Another thing to keep in mind is fingerings. If students are struggling or thinking about what fingering to use, the first thing that stops working is air. Once students are secure with their fingerings, it will be easier for them to create a full sound on their trumpet.
In order to have success, music students need to know how to practice. When young students are given an assignment and told to practice for 20 minutes a day, they usually focus on making it to the 20-minute mark, and they don’t accomplished anything.
It’s important to invest the time and demonstrate to your students how to practice a new song, scale or exercise. One of the hardest techniques is practicing slowly. If you can teach your students how to practice slowly and have them understand why they need to practice slowly, that’s a huge accomplishment.
Why is a warm-up routine for trumpet important?
How to warm up and what you want to hear:
Some helpful concepts for practicing:
The importance of daily fundamentals is an incredible investment for continued success on the trumpet. It’s like putting money in the bank! With proper guidance and using these rehearsal techniques you are guaranteed a great trumpet section.