Articulation Consideration

Pedagogy, Philosophy

ARTICULATION: WW/Brass Considerations:  Wind players must develop finger, tongue, and air independence. This is accomplished through routine practice of tenuto, staccato, legato, and marcato articulations. The type of tongue action required for a legato note is drastically different than the…


Small Doses

Pedagogy, Philosophy

Relax. It’s just drums. Why are you shaking when you play? Why is your brain all over the place? You love music. It’s why you made it your career. Obviously you don’t hate it or you wouldn’t be doing it….


We’re All Human

Pedagogy, Philosophy

During a rehearsal today getting ready for our showcase performance at PASIC 2014, a couple of the guys were discussing their struggles with the piece. One mentioned how difficult it was to finally put all the gestural licks together in…


Nice Surprises

Pedagogy, Philosophy

Yesterday, we held (blind) undergraduate auditions for ensemble placements. As usual, the music was given out a month or so prior to the audition. The music is posted as a .pdf on the School of Music webpage and we have…


What Teaching Really Is…

Pedagogy, Philosophy

NURTURER: That’s what I am. Be patient and create a successful environment. A studio that practices together succeeds together. Practicing in close quarters allows for human contact. We can ask each other interpretation questions- perform for each other. This dialogue is…


Feeling Words

Pedagogy, Philosophy

From Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion. Encinias, CA: PuddleDancer Press, 1999, pp. 44-46 “Building a Vocabulary for Feelings” How we are likely to feel when our needs are being met: absorbed adventurous affectionate alert alive amazed…



Pedagogy, Philosophy

The following is what is possible when a student works towards mastery either on many instruments or a single instrument. Mastery is defined as 10,000 hours experience on a particular instrument, according to Malcolm Gladwell. Well-rounded (one instrument) 30 mins/day…


New Music Hipsters

Pedagogy, Philosophy

What I’ve said so far fairly sums up the state of at least American music around 1990. There’s general agreement now that it’s been a good ten years since the Down-Mid-Uptown terminology was adequate to cover the plethora of subcultures…


Be a Brand


It is important as a teacher to instill the value of being an entrepreneur. With an industry ever-growing in popularity and expanding in what’s artistically acceptable, it is important to keep ahead of the curve with business savvy. Instructors must…

Swiss Army Knife

Being a Musical Macgyver

Pedagogy, Philosophy

Being successful in the music world is not only about musical skill/talent. No one knows you even have a skill until you’ve been given a platform on which to broadcast it. With the opportunities for musicians to simply “walk into…