Practice style changeup

Ninety percent of the time, trumpeters need to keenly focus on their . But every now and then, a practice in front of the , while watching something not too gripping (like sports), allows for a great changeup in practice habits. Change can be refreshing and a growing experience.

This evening, I HAD to watch my alma mater, the University of , play the Ohio State in the championship college game. But I have a recital looming in the not-too-distant future. I decided to practice while watching the game. This strategy is normally not great. Being distracted while practicing usually results in a bad habits. But as a rare changeup, it can be a very healthy practice session, incorporating lots of rest into it. In most of my recent practices–focused on my upcoming recital–the main focus had been on stamina: they were, in large part, designed to insure that I can get from the beginning to the end of the recital. This evening, however, I totally allowed myself to the luxury to polish passages that had been a little less-than-perfect.


Pandemic all-star trumpeters

COVID-19 has taken away work from so many trumpeters. But it has also given to the community many fabulous videos from the rooms of so many trumpet greats. Here are some of my favorites:

, Associate Principal Trumpet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and teacher at the Colburn School, has recorded a new etude every day from his practice room. The unaffected mastery he brings to each etude is astounding. He tries to never edit for bad notes. Here an example of Jim’s playing on Charlier’s Etude No. 1 (I would embed this video, but this feature has been disabled–please watch on YouTube).

, Associate Professor at the University of Maine School of Performing Arts, has also been very productive, recording most of his performances on Schagerl trumpets. Here’s a lovely Wurm study.

Principal trumpeter of the San Diego Symphony, , has been a very consistent uploader of trumpet etudes. Here’s his split-screen recording of Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury.

One of my personal friends and trumpet instructor at Sonoma State University, , has been a champion of many unusual pieces, underrepresented composers, and a versatile arranger and composer. Here, he performs a piece from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress on trumpet and flute.

This video, arranged and performed on keyed trumpets and natural trumpets by Stian Aareskiold, has stood out as one of the most incredible of the last year.

But perhaps this video of “A Hope for the Future” was one of the most touching ones–recorded to bring attention to our healthcare workers and including one of the last performances of my friend (along with 31 other amazing trumpeters).