December 2016

Sunbow in Colorado image by Marian Hesse
Sunbow in Colorado
image by Marian Hesse










Scott Hamilton – Olympic Skater

I felt that this story should be inspiring to all of us. Obviously dealing with cancer is an extreme challenge; but the “Get up” statement can apply to all the things we must do that we feel are not easy. How we face our challenges can help us deal with them better. Get stronger and build your own “get up” moments! Everyone has setbacks. But what happens next is what can set us apart from the herd.


One may hear repeatedly- “you must listen”… but how can you start to develop this important skill? Learning to play “by ear” is one way to start in building your listening skills!

A simple melody is a good place to start. You might try to play “happy birthday” or the theme music from a cartoon that you know very well. Pick a starting note and try to play what you hear in your memory.

A second or other option would be:

Take a piece of music that has been recorded and listen to it over and over again. When you know the song well enough to sing along with the recording find the first note of the melody on your trumpet. Then try to keep adding or filling in the notes of the melody. Keep going over the melody until you have added all the notes. The more you do this the easier it becomes

Here is a recording of Highland Cathedral. Listen to this melody several times and see if you can figure out the melody so you can sing along- then play along.

At 2’13”  the melody begins on a low “C” on your Bb trumpet played by the euphonium.

Black Dyke Band plays Highland Cathedral @ Lucerne KKL 2014


A different version in “F” with a wonderful trumpet soloist. Play the melody an octave lower if that is better for you.

HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL Jouko Harjanne, trumpet & The Guards Brass Septet


Be persistent; keep trying even if it does not come easily to you!  This is a skill you will need and should want to possess.  (Next month I will provide the music for Highland Cathedral- see how close you can be playing it by ear.)



This month try listening to a transcription of Georg Fredrick Handel’s Oboe Concerto in Bb.  Here are some wonderful trumpet players making it sound so easy!

Maurice Andre, trumpet

Alison Balsom, trumpet


Of Interest

My new brass Christmas cd for 2016

In the Bleak midwinter, Christmas with Septura


Here are some samples of playing to inspire you:
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Peter Roberts, farewell performance of “On With The Motley”

Brass Band of Battle Creek.  Such a musical player on the Eb cornet


Richard Marshall & Black Dyke –

I do not know this solo- but I love the playing


Derek Smith, cornet

Just Where He Needs Me


Caleb Hudson   Bach Partita


Chosen Vale – Shining Forth


Clément Saunier,  Yann Maresz –  Metallics, Ensemble intercontemporain


Re Visit

One of my regrets is that I never studied with or took a lesson with Vincent Cichowicz.  Mr. Cichowicz was an important teacher in the American style of trumpet playing (Chicago Symphony and Professor of Trumpet Northwestern University). He taught so many people that became great players. For the rest of us, there are a series of books that outline his teachings. Among them is the compilation by Mark Dulin and Michael Chichowizc – Vincent Cichowicz Flow Studies Volume I. This series of helpful books are published by Studio 259 Productions. In addition, I would also mention there is a wonderful and insightful book by Luis E. Loubriel, Back to Basics for Trumpeters: The Teaching of Vincent Cichowicz.

This month I went back to Vincent Chichowizc Flow Studies Volume I. I believe that before you start playing these studies you should read the printed materials in the book. Perhaps start by listening to the CD. The included interview may be helpful in understanding that in addition to playing beautiful music you are trying to develop habits that will, with practice, give you greater control of your instrument. There are reading topics and instructions in the front of the book. Topics include: “A guide to using”; C or Bb trumpet; Dynamics; Maintaining Air Flow; Breath and Phrase Markings; Pulsing; Articulation; Musical Breaths; and Make Every Breath Like Your First Breath. Included is a CD containing a masterclass by Mr. Cichowicz and performances by his students of the studies in the book.

These studies help to condition me to play in a relaxed manner by focusing on my sound, my breath and the flow of the air. I also use these to build my endurance, all while really just concentrating on the musical phrase. I love to play through 7-10 of them; rest a minute or two and then do a few more. In addition they are part of my transposition practice and efforts to refine the intonation of the different key trumpets in my collection. My copy was given to me by my friend Bruce Briney of Western Illinois University who had studied with Mr Cichowicz. Mr. Briney also did an interviewed for the International Trumpet Guild with Mr. Cichowicz that helps clarify to an ever growing audience of trumpet players these important and vital concepts. That interview is included in Volume I of the series.

Some of my favorites from Volume I that I seem to play often are 19, 22, 23, 31 and 39.










Bruce Barrie (detail photo)

Soloist with 박 종 화 (Jong Hwa Park) piano

Shostakovitch Piano Concerto No. 1-  Seoul Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra- 이 경 선 Kyung Sun Lee, music director

Disclosure: I am the author of Daily Routines for the Student Trumpet Player, if you purchase a copy of the book, I will receive compensation. I am part of the affiliate program for and may receive compensation if you purchase a hosting from and mention my name. Finally, if you use and choose to name the Chestnut Brass Company as receiving your charity giving, then as a member of the Chestnut Brass Company I will benefit from your purchase. I do not receive compensation for the recommendations and mentioning of recordings, books etc on this site other than the ones stated at the beginning of this paragraph. The opinions expressed on this site (my site) are my own with the exceptions of the testimonials for my book which I did solicit. Thank you. Bruce Barrie