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Are you interested in developing your trumpet abilities from a wholistic perspective? 

A note:

Hi friends! I could share with you my "official" teaching philosophy that allows me to exist in the formal world of academia, but it feels more authentic to word-vomit my stream of consciousness about everything I love about teaching and the many soapboxes that I find myself on while guiding students, so here we go!

First and foremost, I do not teach trumpet players.  I teach musicians; I teach individuals; I teach humans that are figuring out what their role is in the world, all while juggling the intricacies of their own lives. The trumpet just happens to be their chosen vehicle of musical communiation. I aim to treat every single one of my students as the individual that they are. My students are encouraged to vocalize what is it that they need out of our journey together and if what I am offering is not working for them. Together, after setting goals, we explore methods and plans to keep them on their path. All of this done with full acknowledgement that life and learning are not linear. Goals and dreams will change, and it is my job as a teacher to support those shifts and provide space for my students to grow into their own. 

I emphasize wholeness. I understand that there are things that students may be dealing with that impact their learning or ability to practice that week.  My trauma informed training has provided tools for me to facilitate learning despite challenging circumstances. I may implement mindfulness techniques when/if appropriate to center a student and keep them on the tracfk to excellence. 

Sometimes, I'll joke with my students that seeing me is like seeing a medical doctor in the sense that if they lie to me (about how much they practiced, what they want out of their lesson, etc.), I can't properly "diagnose" them. Vulnerability and transparency are key to allowing me to understand how to best serve students. My hope is to consistently create a space where they feel safe to be vulnerable and transparent.

Don't mistake my compassion for an inability to push my students. I hold high standards for each of my students, which will be just as individual as they are. This could be in how I teach the student while they're in front of me, what repertoire they are assigned, or finding ways to push them out of their comfort zone, just to name a few. It comes down to understanding my students well enough to be able to be the teacher that they deserve every time they are in front of me. I am extremely knowledgeable in trumpet pedagogy and musical philosophies and believe that my problem solving skills (particularly with physical playing challenges) are rare and exceptional. I could go on and on about articulation, tongue arch, tone, breathing, and all of that trumpet stuff, but instead I have listed some of my recurring thoughts on teaching philosophy below. 

(But if you want to talk about those trumpet things...please contact me! I could talk about why flutter tonguing is awesome and the mechanism of breathing all day, every day).

My philosophy in a nutshell:

  • Play like a trumpet player, don't act like a trumpet player. (Unfortunately there is an infamous stereotype about trumpet players' level of confidence....I believe you should play with confidence and strength, but I won't tolerate jerks.)

  • Nobody should feel scared when attending a lesson, despite what their practice schedule was that week. (I don't find that shame is a useful pedagogical tool.)

  • There's no "I can't." There's, "I can't yet."

  • Clear is kind. 

  • Your worthiness is not tied to your ability to produce music.

  • I do not kick students out for being unprepared. We sit with the discomfort and problem solve together so the next week is better.

  • We are all imperfect. Let's turn your imperfections into your superpowers. 

  • Consistency in playing, attendance, and attitude are keys to success.

  • I don't tolerate you talking to yourself in demeaning ways. (Why are you talking to my student like that?!)

  • The more you learn about yourself, the more you learn about your playing. 

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. I am passionate about mentoring trumpet players to be not just musical messengers, but also kind humans that understand that vulnerability is strength and that they have the ability to change the world. 

I'm rooting for you!

Dr. B

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