Challenge yourself and try something new in a creative way. Perhaps draw a picture, take a photo, make something out of wood or paper; write a poem or story. Every creative endeavor will help to expand how you think, how you see, what you hear. Everything you do will be enhanced.
March is often a tricky weather month, sometimes sunny and warm, sometimes cold, windy and snowy. The good news is the practice room is usually temperature controlled so staying there and working on your goals can be fun regardless of what is happening outside. Look at your goals before you start and monitor your progress.
One of my favorite pieces to listen to this month is Da pacem Domine by Arvo Pärt. It is a wonderful vocal work that is reflective and the performance I have is sublime (Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Hillier). It reminds me how important it is that we as musicians cultivate a vocal style of playing our instruments if we hope to connect with our audiences.
My freshman year of college studying the trumpet was an eye opening experience. The first half of the year was about producing the correct palette of attacks and note releases. The second half was playing melodies as softly as possible. My teacher, Mr. Samuel Krauss, chose Giuseppe Concone vocalizes for this purpose (25 Lessons Op 10).
Try to spend some time every day playing melodies. Use the Sing, Buzz, Play concept that I have explained before. SBP will help develop your musicality, intonation and breathe control on the trumpet. You can begin using simple melodies found in the J.B. Arban- The Art of Phrasing section at the back of the book. There are many options for lyrical materials. Here are a few to start your exploration.
Phil Snedecor – Lyrical Etudes for Trumpet — Pub. PAS
Bicchiere (Adler) Advanced Air Flow Studies
Original Italian title is Studi Superiori per l’Emissione dell’ Aria
Phil Collins- In a Singing Style – Manduca Music
From Jay Lichtmann’s site
Bordogni Vocalises at the bottom of this page::
- Concone: 25 Lessons Op. 10 medium voice
Oskar Böhme’s Concerto in F minor, op.18 is one of the wonderful romantic works in the trumpet literature. Although a technical and endurance challenge, one should not forget that it is the lyrical style that is of utmost importance in making it a great showpiece. Here are some outstanding presentations. Remember their journey also started by playing simple melodies!
Giuliano Sommerhalder trumpet
George Vosburgh trumpet
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Robert Sullivan trumpet
Timofei Dokshitser (movement II- only)
Music – available from
Bridge of Spies- trumpet solo Malcom McNab
Rafael Mendez Arban- single tonguing
New book by Phil Collins (formerly Principal Trumpet Cincinnati Symphony and Pops) – Now available- Piccolo Trumpet Studies
Otto Sauter: Juraj Filas, Concert for Piccolo Trumpet and Symphony Orchestra, 1st Movement
Håkan Hardenberger: How To Anticipate Pitch And Breathe
Alison Bolsom – Claude Debussy Syrinx
This month didn’t have a re-visit moment except for Charles Colin Lip Flexibilities Complete Method. I always return to this book to be sure I have range and endurance for upcoming concerts. I like Vol. 2 the most and have customized the exercises for my needs by adding repeats, crescendos, and fermatas. I practice with a metronome at quarter note equals 108 and the time seems to be about 45 minutes each practice session. I have also been doing the minor scale pattern from February 2016 trumpetroutines.com and finishing with attack drills to complete my practice.