You can never have enough method books as a trumpet player. There may be many books about the same things like buzzing, long tones, articulation, lip flexibility, and more. However, each book has it's own unique take on the subjects and offer different ideas for your practice. Money is limited, but when you have the time I suggest you add these books to your collection if you haven't already. I will list some of the books I think are essential to beginning and intermediate students. If you click the images the link will send you to an external webpage where you can purchase the book. A quick tip for music buying, Amazon is always great, it's also faster and great to support local if you have a music store near you. However, if the books are not in stock, look around first. Music publishers have been pretty slow over the past few years, if the book is out of stock it could take months for them to get another in stock.
A tip for anyone out there, have your instrument inspected by a professional every now and then. Trumpets are so varied, and once you get used to one it's hard to tell there is anything wrong. Handing your instrument to a teacher can help diagnose any leaks, inconsistencies, or manufacturing issues with your trumpet. There is a 99% chance it's you who is making the horn sound bad, but a 1% chance it's your equipment.
At my first audition for the President’s Own, I learned my very first lesson of professional auditions. The lesson was, don’t play too much before your audition. I went with a large group of trumpet players from IU and had to warm up in the dreaded mass warm-up room with 100 other individuals. In that room it was easy to be distracted by, “oh, she’s doing Clarke, I should do some of that,” and “that seems a lot faster than I am taking Variations on America, I better practice that faster.” By the end of my “warm-up” I was spent, going into the audition barely able to make it through the 3 minutes of repertoire on the list.
It sure seems like it has been a while since a legit Military Band audition was posted. When I saw these trumpet vacancies with the Pershing’s Own Ceremonial Band, I booked my flight that night!
I can say that I gave it my all this time. I had spent the last month and a half married to this repertoire. I have been to many auditions, and have always played well, but I have never felt this prepared for an audition. I tackled tuning head on in the Pines of Rome-offstage solo, Schumann-Symphony No.2 and Summon the Heroes. My attention to detail and precision definitely grew these last few months.
I have been at the University of New Mexico for over a year now as a graduate assistant. During my assistantship I have had the privilege to teach privately and also instruct some trumpet masterclasses. On top of this teaching, I feel as if I am looked to as a role model for many students at the university (I hope that doesn’t sound too cocky).
What an inspiring week it has been! I have never been to a trumpet convention/conference and now I see why I should be going. I heard so many phenomenal performers this week, it is insane.
I have really made a lot of progress this year at the University of New Mexico. I was really unsure of what I would get from being in a rather small state very close to the border of Mexico, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome. So far this year I have seen drastic improvements in my endurance, range, piccolo trumpet playing and overall musicianship. I have also been learning that I am not too bad at soloistic trumpet playing.
I was privileged to have found such an amazing job this summer. I made some good money, some amazing connections, and learned a whole lot about the beauty industry.
It was a really strange time for me. This was the longest I had been with a job not having anything to do with music. I found myself conflicted for a while. My trumpet practice was dwindling, however my efforts at the salon were shining. After only a few days of work the president of the company had recognized my efforts and talent. I am always one to give my all no matter what I am doing and I was shocked to see how many people give as little as humanly possible. I don’t understand why people continue to care less and hate more. You would think with such a hard time the world is going through that people would be more sympathetic...
Well after an incredibly LONG process of applying, auditioning, and waiting for graduate school. I have finally come to a decision. I auditioned for Depaul University, Northwestern University, Rice University, Juilliard, Mannes, and the University of New Mexico. After my auditions I began to get an idea of where I wanted to go. Unfortunately, I had no idea how competitive it was to get a masters. The auditions I took at Northwestern, Juilliard, and Rice had about 80-150 people auditioning for 1-3 spots in the trumpet studio!
My weekend of auditions was pretty successful. I went with the goal of continuing to find comfort in the spotlight, and to advance to the second round. My first audition in Lexington was a little rusty. It was my first audition in about a year, and technically my second professional orchestra audition. I got way too nervous, and “played it safe” in the audition. Then I went to West Virginia, for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston. What a dump! I drove in and started thinking, why would I want to live here? I think this thought was key to me advancing. I went into that audition thinking, “wow, this place is a dump, I am just going to play and have fun with it.” Surely enough it was one of the best auditions I had and in the end I placed 3rd. It was incredibly frustrating to see that with a little more focus, I could have won it. At least I learned from this experience and now know what to do next time.
So its been about a month since I have been here in Ohio and things are going pretty well. I have been asked to sub for the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in October and I am very excited. I also have a couple wedding gigs lined up for the next month. However, I am still on the hunt for students. Most schools are happy with the people they have or don’t have any students that want lessons. I keep making small strides, hope this next week will bring some students.
What an adventure this year has been! I graduated from Indiana University, then worked my butt off at home in Phoenix, got a job on Royal Caribbean, and now I am in West Chester, Ohio.
The last month has been crazy, I have been helping out my sisters to prepare for college, working on my websites, and creating promotional materials to get my Trumpet Studio and Wedding Services up and running when I get to Ohio.
It sure has been nice to be back in the good old United States. I have been enjoying all the little things that we take for granted living in the U.S. such as, free refills, free water, the U.S. paper dollar, Wal-Mart, and cheaper clothing. Plus it has been fun to use my phone and drive a car again now that I am back. Europe was amazing, so rich in history, but I truly understand why we say “I’m Proud to be an American.” I am not saying that Europe is a terrible place to live or work, but I am saying that it is simply not for me.
I apologize for such a long time in-between postings but my laptop crashed on me not to long after my last post. Anyways, things on the ship continued to be pretty dull until about the last 2 or 3 weeks. We got a new drummer and bass player and brand new cast all of which were much younger and willing to go out and have fun. It was really a blast those last couple of weeks. From the picture above you can see that I visited the Segrada de Famalia in Barcelona, Spain. It was truly breathtaking and without a doubt in my mind was the most amazing thing I have seen yet.
So this is now my fourth voyage and unfortunately I am afraid to think that it may be my last. I will first start with what all has happened since my last posting.
I moved in with the previous second trumpet player who became my best friend on the ship. Noah was his name, he was an amazing improvisor. I usually don’t like listening to many trumpet players improvise, but he really has something going for himself. Anyways, he was a great friend and very supportive and I already miss him.
Well my vacation sure went by quickly, and I am back on the boat, the Brilliance of the Seas. My first run of the shows has been a rough one. The music on this boat is a LOT harder than it was on the Jewel. The range is higher (ahh!), I play a lot more often, and I am featured quite a bit. I think this will be a good experience for me, even though it may be painful at times. The musical director, Mr. David Bentley, is a pretty firm man. He takes his job very seriously, and really holds us all to our very best at all times. The band here is very professional, maybe they are not as much fun as the Jewel but they definitely play very well individually and as a whole. At first Mr. Bentley made me extremely nervous, one because I have to sit right next to him, and two because he just has that ora to him. But now I can see he has a soft side, but he also knows when it is time to get down to business and tell you to clean it up!
I want to begin with saying that I am extremely sorry that my updates were non-existent while I was aboard the Jewel. I had no clue that it would be so difficult to get on the internet, and when I was able the connections were usually way to slow to update my webpage. So now I am uploading all the blog entries that I wrote but was unable to post. I hope you enjoy!
Since my last entry not a whole lot has happened. This last voyage, number 4, was very similar to the first voyage. We had most of the same entertainers, so it was a nice refresher of what I did way back when.
Well it has been almost a full month since I signed onto the Jewel and with time I am beginning to have a pretty good time on board. The first week was very tough, I was sight reading all the time, and while doing that I was struggling to keep my range in tact.
Well about 4 months later I am actually starting to feel the reality coming. I am leaving on January 18th for Miami, Florida. In Miami, I will begin my first REAL job onboard Royal Caribbean Cruises. I will be playing Lead Trumpet with them for a starting period of two months. After that, if I like it and they like me I can sign on for more.