Brassatomic habits–a cautionary tale for setting up cues

Yesterday, I started a series on how to build good trumpet habits, starting with building good cues. And later in the day, I remembered a great story from one of my mentors and teachers, Dennis Monk, a trumpet player and, later, the director of the School of Music at the University of Alabama, who I interviewed a while back on Trumpet Journey.

His wife had just given birth to their first baby, and he knew a little about the theory of cues. He and his wife decided to play a recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, last movement, every time the baby girl was nursing from her mom. That way the baby would begin to associate this great music with food and nurturing. After several months of this, eventually their baby was weaned. One day not too long after that, the radio played this great trumpet piece. They looked over at their baby girl, hoping to see some sort of recognition, but they didn’t really notice anything. But then they looked at Mom’s blouse–it was wet. She had started lactating because of the music cue!!

So, cues really do work. Just be a little careful with them, okay?


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