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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) Building a student's sound concept
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davdud101
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« on: Feb 02, 2017, 08:35PM »

Hi, trombrethren! :D
I've got a student - my second student thus far - an 8th grade girl who switched to trombone from flute in October. She's at a pretty beginner level - her note reading seems to be okay and her technique (at her level) is decent for how long she's been playing, but I'm wondering what some good ways to get her acquainted with good trombone sound and stuff "good music" would be.

I play well enough, certainly enough to be able to teach her what I've learned. She said she likes the trombone thus far and seemed *very* enthusiastic about it, and given her age (and our gender difference, AND that we sort of just met), she seems to be able to focus although she gets a bit irritated with doing basics over and over. I want lessons to be *fun* for my students, but I also am maybe the type who goes too technical too early on.

On another note, kids these days aren't overly interested in going out a listening to 'band music', or even so much brass-music, it seems... is there maybe some music or something out there that'd appeal to a kid on trombone that would also give the kid a sense of what a trombone can do at a high level, what a trombone should sound like, etc?

Not quite sure what to make of all this, but you guys with all the experience know the drill far better than I... Help me out!  :-PGood!
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BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 02, 2017, 08:41PM »

First, make sure the stuff she has to play is a mix of technical exercises and familiar tunes.  In the "bad old days" there was a book called "Tune a Day" that had a mixture like that.  The book is still available but it's content is 40+ years old -- it needs to be updated.

For a group with trombone, check out Chicago (I know they are pretty old, but so am I).  There are other rock bands with horn sections, typically a sax, a trumpet, and a trombone.  Maybe some of the other guys here can name a couple.
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 02, 2017, 09:13PM »

A Mnozil Brass video?

It's going to be tough teaching trombone sound to someone who doesn't want to listen to the trombone.  :D

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« Reply #3 on: Feb 02, 2017, 11:12PM »

Trombone Shorty?
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2017, 11:32PM »

Streetlight manifesto?
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 03, 2017, 01:25AM »

First, make sure the stuff she has to play is a mix of technical exercises and familiar tunes.  In the "bad old days" there was a book called "Tune a Day" that had a mixture like that.  The book is still available but it's content is 40+ years old -- it needs to be updated.


There's a new version available in the UK with a picture of a young Prince Harry on the cover, that may help to create a little interest?

http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/0159983/details.html?kbid=1582&gclid=CjwKEAiA8dDEBRDf19yI97eO0UsSJAAY_yCSQuOKBIJUO8qAeqBU1LUComYBKT4hkchZglMW3vhUIxoCb8fw_wcB
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 03, 2017, 01:58AM »

There's a new version available in the UK with a picture of a young Prince Harry on the cover, that may help to create a little interest?

http://www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/0159983/details.html?kbid=1582&gclid=CjwKEAiA8dDEBRDf19yI97eO0UsSJAAY_yCSQuOKBIJUO8qAeqBU1LUComYBKT4hkchZglMW3vhUIxoCb8fw_wcB

I've used the New Tune A Day before and it's certainly not as stuffy as the original but for me it introduces slurs/legato far too quickly - about level 4 or 5 if memory serves me correct. This for me is ridiculous because if you have a kid that can barely tongue then how can you ask them to go doo/dah? I learned from the original in the 90's and a colleague of mine swears by it and uses it with all of his kids.

Anyway in terms of sound concept does she make a nice sound? I think they need to learn to blow properly and make the nicest sound possible and I have an easy little exercise which works instantly. I always give pupils warm up exercises which gets them to think about basics like note lengths,sound quality and breathing before using the tutor book.

It's hard to keep it exciting all the time even more so with the "instant generation" - they're so used to having everything done easily with technology that they expect learning an instrument to be the same. Not all obviously but a fair amount don't want to put the time and effort in to get better and give up after a few months because they don't see being able to play 5 notes comfortably as progress.

Slightly veered off there so apologies!

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« Reply #7 on: Feb 04, 2017, 07:32AM »

Does the student have an ambition of 1st chair all-state for grades 10 thru 12, or looking forward to try her hand in school marching band or become good enough for an orchestra or two?  At her age any music/band class would be better than math, english, science etc.
  Does she play at school or is it an after school notion of starting her own jazz/blues/dixie combo?  The latter would be uncommon in my book but I must remind myself that it would not be unheard these days of because some of these younger players can be special.
 
  If she is making decent sound then scales with a half octave or so added below and above to expand playing range could help.  Make sure they're on paper to read - it's the best way to instill the musical language.  Bb, F, Eb, G, and Db scales, in that order, for starters.  For sheet music use quarter notes with eighth notes thrown into the mix in the upper Bb range or the key of F.  The positions are closer together for easier work - just an idea there.  The only trombone music I ran across from my olden days of playing that could be of any use for her was the 1st Trom. part for The Horse - pretty boring viewing wise now that I reflect on that piece of paper but it might show an idea what the trombone is used for music wise.   

  Keep in mind at her age that the learning/reading of music can be like learning a foreign language.  It takes time, just reassure her of that and also keep in mind the younger kids these days have to be told something just once most times - just because they don't answer or reply doesn't mean they didn't get the message.  Took me awhile to realize that one.
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 04, 2017, 03:42PM »

Today I've been  listening  to Mike Davis' latest big band recording, as well as M Gilke's and M Dease's recordings. She might have a listen to those. Grade 8 - 13-ish?
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 04, 2017, 05:23PM »

I think you have to find out what it was that inspired her to start playing trombone. If she switched from flute it does not seem that she would be that interested in jazz or pop. I think you will have to ask her about her musical background, interests and how she wants to play and sound on trombone. Then  recommend the appropriate listening list.

If it does turn out to be jazz that interests her, then I recommend she gets the free Jamey Aebersold "Jazz Handbook". It outlines all the necessary basics of playing jazz and has such things as "Song List For Beginners" and a "Scale Syllabus" and lays out interesting practice routines. She should also get some play-along CDs.

If she has no clear objectives, you will have to inspire her to some!!!

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Grah

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« Reply #10 on: Feb 04, 2017, 05:57PM »

Maybe Start the lesson with a short listening session: Mnozil Brass, Trombone Shorty are good, I would also particularly recommend this group for a young trombone student: Maniacal 4 (video available on YouTube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJaX4ZpfULM
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davdud101
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« Reply #11 on: Feb 04, 2017, 07:41PM »

This is a good springboard for what I can show. Thanks, guys!

What would you *say* while listening? I figured the teacher should maybe point out a specific element of the recording that makes it good... not quite sure though!
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