Our Grifton School Audio Teacher for Beginning Trumpeters has been used successfully, especially in classroom teaching, for about 10 years. Our purpose in developing this AudioTeacher was to address several of the many problems the neophyte trumpeter faces:
A. When the child goes home to practice, after the first lesson, she has NO IDEA of whether she is sounding C or G, or perhaps even C2.
B. The student has no idea of what a "good tone" should sound like.
C. There is no one to remind, admonish, or encourage the child's efforts.
D. With our recorded call and response approach, the child receives immediate feedback as to the "correctness" of tone quality, pitch, duration, time, breathing, and what the note "looks like" in print. Repeating the tones after the teacher (who plays during the written rests), also assures the much needed rest.
E. The AudioTeacher is primarily a tone and chops developer that contains Four Lessons. This book and cassette is about the fundamentals of brass playing. We waste NO TIME before introducing a written warm-up routine which extends from the lowest F# to G above the staff. We quickly get the child working on the C scale. Anything you can do to move the emphasis from memorizing and practicing "Hot Cross Buns" and the like, toward encouraging the development of playing techniques, will be richly rewarded!
F. All of my classroom lessons are structured to what I call the "Group Private Lesson". I use the Rubank Elementary Method, concurrently with my AudioTeacher, for the first two years. When we still had 6 grades in elementary school, I would move the talented, hard-working students to the Arban Book, and one of the little "Vandercook" solos.
G. I am very much concerned by the "dumbing-down" syndrome which has evolved. Some causes seem to be: An obsession with the "fun" way, at the expense of any real learning. ("Now - you can learn to play ..."no more boring scales, etc, etc"). The goal of "being in the band" as a substitute for "learning to play well". "Band" method books in general. Playing the trumpet well is rewarding - NOT, "here we go gathering nut in May", fun. STARTING children off in a haphazard, anything goes manner, is BACKWARDS and counterproductive. MOST playing problems I see (older students and adults) stem from inadequate attention to fundamentals!!!
Young children are capable of AMAZING things - when you DEMAND it from
them! ALSO - please keep in mind that instrumental music is the single
most valuable (perhaps the only?) discipline/skill that goes on (hopefully)
in our elementary schools today. And it is in great danger in many areas
of the country!!
Hey - it is getting late. The above are only the tip of the iceberg.
Let's talk further if you'd like.