Here is my review of his masterclass:
I attended Byron Stripling's masterclass at the International TrumpetGuild Conference. This masterclass changed my playing habits, mytrumpet focus, and my focus on practice and success, giving me the knowledgeto know that I will make it! Mr. Stripling's presentation of poetryand rhyme and absolute
Stripling spoke of:
Learning to ANTICIPATE where the trumpet field is leading to.He said you must read an hour a day, of different music magazines,trumpet journals, method books, anything that will give you the knowledgeto anticipate where the trumpet field is heading toward. For an example,did the mechanics at GM know that machines would be replacing them?All of a sudden thousands of workers, the top workers in the field, wereout of jobs, because they did not anticipate change... ANTICIPATE, andreading will help us to accomplish this. He then spoke of STRATEGIC THINKING.He asked us all to writedown what we believed to be our number one limitingskill. Then to writedown what we could do to progress and help toimprove that skill. Hethen asked us to write down what we see ourselvesdoing in the next 10 years. At this point he mentioned keeping aJOURNAL, writing this down in a journal, and COMMITTING yourself to accomplishingyour plan, to fix the problem and achieve your goal. "Excellence,take yourself to the next level". He also said to keep a journal of everythingin your life, from academics, to trumpet playing, to social life.Also to write down say for trumpet playing that yes you practiced Clarke,but WHY? and to write for example that you did it to improve musicalityor range, etc.
He spoke of the Law of Belief with Feeling - it will become your reality, actual fact. You will play in the Cleaveland Symphony someday, orwhatever you goal was. He spoke of ACTION ORIENTATION, acting oflearned things, practice what you know will make you a better player, andstick to it. Continuously changing embouchure and what not, becauseafter a few weeks it did not work, will not help you. Practice whatyou have and let that action make you a better player, not changing ofmouthpieces, or a different horn. Adolph Herseth can play betterthan most, and he played on the same horn for his whole career. Hishorn will not make you a betterplayer, nor will his mouthpiece, practice,act out, and work hard! Striplingspoke, "Who you are (your actions) speaks so loudly, that we can't hear whatyou are saying" - Byron Stripling.
He went on to speak of the 3 KEYS TO SUCCESS
#1. Practice Everyday, daily practice. Believe thatpracticing will help you and know why you practice certain excercise, andwrite themdown in your journal. Byron said his students all keepjournals, andif they don't, they aren't his students for long. (Heteaches at theManhattan School of Music) He asked for suggestionsof what should wepractice, and these were what were suggested: LongTones, Tonguing,Intonation, Ear Training, Flexibility, Reading, Scales,Musicality, Dynamics,etc.
He went on to say that you must do it everyday, and do everything, even though you may not want to. Practice because you know you should,even though sometimes you may not want to. That is how we accomplishourgoals. "We don't make habits, habits make us".
#2 Practice Listening, being an attentive listener. "Give and you shall receive" Pay close attention to Rhythm, Melody, and Harmony when you listen. Don't listen to the radio. Hedoesn't have one student who doesn't use their tape player or CD playerfull timewhen in the car... a perfect opportunity to listen attentively!Alsopractice piano, block out chords, and know their sounds!
#3 MODEL THE MASTERS!!!! Don't reinvent the wheel,what they are doing is right, it's correct, just do it. When talkingto a master, don't ask dumb questions like what kind of mouthpiece do youuse or what horn is that? First of all, changing your horn or mouthpieceisn't going to make you any better, practice is. Second of all, themaster won't give you any knowledge that will help you by asking thosekind of questions.
When you talk to a master ask questions like, wow, you played a highDin the second movement of...., how did you build your range so you couldplay that so easily? Or how did you get better at improvising (Stripling is also a member of The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Lincoln Jazz CenterOrchestra), or I was listening to your recording and I was wondering howyou made thehorn sound that way. The masters will know that youknow their stuff,and will appreciate that and help you out with theirknowledge.
#4 SELF DISCIPLINE - Do it Everyday. You know you should, so go ahead and do it, even sometimes when you don't want to. You don't want to drift away for the path of greatness and success, andthis will make you the kind of person you want to be. Stripling leadof through an excercise. We all stood up. He asked us to closeour eyes and picture ourselves how we would want to look and how well wewanted to be able to play, and what kind of car we wanted, etc... He toldus to picture ourselves as this person. Now to picture ourselvesas this person walking into the backstage of Carnegie Hall. We aregoing to be featured on tonight's concert! Now we are walking on tothe stage, and we breathe and play our piece. It's the end and weknow we nailed it! The audience is soo appreciative of our hard workthat they rise to their feet. They are clapping, and all are smiling,they really did appreciate 20 years ofhard work, struggling and workingharder! We walk off stage, and smile,it was worth it! Now we opened our eyes. I personally was grinning ear to ear. Iknew then that I was meant to be a trumpet player, and had the confidenceto accomplish my goals.
Byron Stripling truly was a masterful speaker, player, and full of inspiration. After his master class, he stayed back, and as the line became longer and longer, he sat and answered all the questions, with details and encouragement, and was completely down to earth and very cool. I felt honored tolisten to him, to be able to shake his hand, and to learn so much fromone hour. It truly changed the way I practice and the train of thoughtthat I had before has changed dramatically. If you ever get a chanceto hear this MASTER I suggest it to all, to hear him speak and play, amazing!!!ByronStripling is a Graduate of The Eastman School of Music where he studiedclassical trumpet. He is a member of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Bandand Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He is on the Jazz faculty at theManhattan School of Music, jazz trumpet)
And you can check out the edited version at www.trumpetguild.org . He is a fantastic musician and speaker. I will never forget whathesaid, and how he impacted my practicing and outlook on trumpet life!
Joshua Lee Wolf