Category Teaching

Extra-Musical Affairs

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting a masterclass at Arizona State University for Deanna Swaboda and the Tuba-Euphonium Students. I had a great time and hope to get to see many of those students in the future (I know I’ll get to see a handful at ITEC this summer). The most striking […]

Art and Wallpaper, Part 3: Why Wallpaper Is Not Art

As I was saying, that beautiful wallpaper … does it evoke a heart response? By looking at our three tenets of creating art (link here), it should become obvious why wallpaper is not art. Wallpaper does not engage with any of these— it is not specific in its emotional conveyance, it is purposefully unclear in […]

Art and Wallpaper, Part 2: The Three Tenets of Creating Art

In my previous article, we addressed the notion of what art is—it is a fundamental piece of the human condition that connects two or more people in a shared emotional state. An artist is the person who creates the thing (painting, dance, musical performance, creative writing, etc.) that transports the audience member into a similar […]

Art and Wallpaper, Part 1: The Art Question

I have a hard time calling myself an artist. And I have a hard time calling what I create art. I write music. I perform music. (Sometimes, on occasion, I may paint a picture.) To me, it is not in the craftsman’s scope to decide what is or is not art. But that also leaves […]

Prerequisites

I’m not talking about the classes you need to take in college before you can pass your upper level jury here. When I was touring with Synergy Brass, I would often get asked by young musicians how to be a better player—usually as that related to playing high notes or double tonguing. As much as […]

What We Learn from Our Instruments

As musicians we should be more like the instruments we play. I recently watched Note by Note, the documentary about the Steinway Piano  Company. It’s available on Netflix and I urge you to seek it out. The film takes you step by step through the whole process of creating these amazing pianos, works of art […]

Five Questions to Ask Yourself

Any time you sit down in the practice room or rehearsal hall, take a minute and ask yourself a few questions … 1) Is this new? The music may not be new, but your performance of it is (or should be). If the music is new, then sell it. There’s no room for same-old-same-old in […]