Trumpeter playing the blues.

5 Steps to Re-energizing as a Brass Student

With the current social distancing measures across the country, brass students everywhere have had their usual musical routines taken away from them.

With weekly lessons and ensembles suspended or moved online, it can be hard to keep the motivation to practice.

But with the lock down has come an unprecedented amount of free content from sheet music to live performances, you just need to know where to look.

Have a look at these 5 suggestions below to get your practice motivation back:

1. Download Some New Repertoire

  • Warwick Music – Until 30th June 2020, Warwick Music Group are making available their top 10 best-selling music education titles from Warwick Music Publishing, for free, for students to help support them with remote learning or online lessons. Many of these are included on grade syllabuses – ‘Easy Jazzy Tudes’ is one of the popular titles available!
  • Salvationist Publishing and Supplies resources from ‘Music Editorial’ on Facebook – Free resources for beginners in their ‘First Things First’ series – well written play at home solos and duets for mixed instruments. Also, more advanced G6+ level music being released for free download, some which are on grade syllabuses. These are being released all the time so make sure you follow them on Facebook.
  • Gramercy Music – Released for free download ‘6 Accapella Studies’ by Peter Graham. These are available from their YouTube channel with the link to the download in the description of the demonstration videos. Aimed at Grade 6+ players they can provide a real challenge.
  • Prima Vista musikk – Have released all the solo parts from their catalogue for free download. Some excellent melodies, technical pieces and duets to work through.

2. Watch a Masterclass

  • 4barsrest – 5-minute masterclass series – With some of the best brass players in the world. Every instrument is covered and gives some great advice of things to work at.
  • 4barsrest – Porthouse Pointers – A great series of videos looking at basics in technique for players from about grade 4 in standard.
  • Warwick Music Master classes –  MusicGurus – some of the top brass practitioners giving valuable tips on this usually paid for resource.
  • Conversations with Wynton – Possibly the most famous trumpet player in the world, Wynton Marsalis is doing weekly workshops.

3. Watch a Virtual Brass Ensemble Performance

4. Find Some New Apps to Mess Around With

All available on iOs or Android:

  • rhythm cat lite – Challenge your rhythm reading
  • treble cat lite –  Challenge your notation reading
  • Loopseque – Create your own backing tracks to play along with
  • ClappingMusic – Get addicted to learning how to play Steve Reich’s famous piece

5. Follow Some Brass Legends on Social Media

  • Alan Thomas – CBSO principle trumpet – @noteblower is a great one at the moment with his #trumpetchallenge and also his hilarious Friday Night Is…. Series.
  • Buffet Crampon Paris Showroom – The owners of many well known instrument brands are getting their artists to deliver live concerts from home. David Child’s, the Euphonium star, did one recently.
  • Rex Richardson – Trumpet star and Yamaha Artist – Posting videos everyday for his 100 days of practice – great advice!
  • Wycliffe Gordon – Trombone mega star – if you haven’t heard him you need to!

Summary

So there you have it. 5 easy and fun steps to re-energizing your practice as a Brass student. I do hope you find them useful – and engaging.

If you would like to get your hands on more music resources like this, please visit our Resource Page here. We also have a range of other resources in other subjects, from Maths, English and Science, through to Physical and Emotional wellbeing.

Want to read more music blogs? Visit our dedicated Music section here.

About the Author – David Taylor Bmus(hons), Mmus, QTS

Having been brought up in the Salvation Army, David came to study euphonium at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2005 under the teaching of David Childs. During his studies, he won many prizes and scholarships including the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Prize, Countess of Munster Scholarship and a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Since graduating, David has continued to perform as an ensemble member and soloist at such venues as the Symphony Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Great American Brass Band Festival in Kentucky, USA.

Alongside David’s performing, he is also a highly skilled teacher, having gained teacher status as a primary school teacher and then teaching brass for different authorities across the West Midlands. David was appointed Head of Brass within Services for Education in 2017 and leads a department of twenty three teachers across the city to deliver high standard brass teaching.