Many trumpeters go to a music store and thumb through books on shelves hoping to find something cool and interesting. This is one of those instances for me. Sometime between 2005 and 2007 I came across a trumpet method book by Sandro Verzari using this very strategy of discovery. The “Exercises on the emission of fundamental and harmonic tones of the trumpet”, (which happens to be the true title of this book) is a great book for those of us who find benefit in playing pedal tones. With more than 50 exercises, there’s plenty of variety to work with in this method book.
I grew up playing fundamental tones (pedal tones) out of James Stamp’s book “Warm-Ups and Studies”, so really appreciate having another good book to use. I totally recommend checking out Verzari’s book if you are looking for some more material to help lend some variety to your daily practice. And, if you don’t have a copy of James Stamp’s book, you should check that out too.
There aren’t many ways to occupy your time while driving to and from work. Especially with when you have a four year-old diva sitting in the back seat belting out the hits like she preparing for an audition to “the Voice”. Before my kid, I had time to decompress after a long day, take long phone calls or just think in silence.
Now, I tend to listen to a myriad of podcasts, from the news to music and science. I guess it’s a good representation of my level of geek. Recently I marveled at the a podcast about music business and my immediate thought was “my students need to hear this…this is exactly what we’ve been talking about!” So I’ve made it a point to share these moments with my students as often as possible.
The reality is that I am really excited to be excited about things. I am interested in listening to interesting people talk about things they are into doing. Sometimes I feel like I am discovering something new that is only meant for me to observer at that very intersection of time and opportunity.
Here are just a few of the podcast I love listening to…
I was told today that I have a “child like fascination with everything related to space”. I took a moment to think about it and came to the conclusion that this person was right. Soon after I felt good about the nice way I was called a geek. It’s been a while since that’s happened with someone that was not married or related to me. But with a picture like this… can you blame me!
I’d like to think that I have a certain amount of balance in my life. If I keep to my routines I feel whole and complete. As a musician-educator there are few opportunities to work both sides of my professional life equally and with the same intensity. One will usually be stronger than the other, in other words I am either a musician (performer) who teaches music or a music teacher who plays music occasionally.
Then there’s the personal life and the balancing act which has become a game of Jenga. Spending the right kind of time with the spouse and kid, while keeping sanity within arms reach can be daunting. Not forgetting to exercise your body as well, you can’t afford to be out of shape. Eating well can be optional, depending on how much time you spend in you car. It seem to be all a game. One piece moved too far out and the whole structure come falling down and all the players get to yell JENGA!
There are rare instances where it all just seems to work. Hardly noticeable to you in the moment, sometime after the day has past by, you take stock of all the events that came into focus at the right times and in the right ways. Today might have been one of those days.
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Origins of Hip Hop
I love this book. The story of the birth of hip hop in a format I can share with my daughter…Outstanding work! Many thank and congratulations to Laban Carrick Hill and Theodore Taylor.
For more information about Laban Carrick Hill, check out his website.