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Andrew Hacker

MUSE 375

Palmer/ Spieker

March 7, 2017

Lesson Review

Over spring break I had the privilege to work with one of my former students from

home. Erin Brown is now a senior trombone player who is very talented for her age. Our lesson

was about 30 minutes long and I used various techniques to bring out the best sound for her.

This review will discuss what I feel went well in the lesson as well as what did not.

The lesson began with Remington scales. The main purpose for these long tone scales

was to establish the center of the pitch and to have the best rounded tone and volume. When

the she began to play there were not a lot of issues with her tone quality, the main issue that I

saw in her long tones was the speed of her slide and then how her notes tapered off at the end

rather than being supported all the way through. In order to fix the slide movement speed, I had

her play a quarter note on beat one and rest for the other three beats, then in the last

subdivision of beat four I had her move the slide. We did this a few times before applying the

technique to the normal Remington long tones. This exercise fixed the slow slide movement

almost completely. When working on the tapered notes I used an analogy of playing solid bricks

of air through the horn rather than a cone. This imagery was somewhat helpful, but in order to

compensate for the tapered notes at first I had Erin surge her air the last two counts. Then after
doing this a few times taking away the over training helped to keep each note very solid. Some

things that I had wished that I had done better was to be more concise with my descriptions

and to be faster to find issues. It took me a few minutes to find a way to really fix the details

that I wanted to fix.

After the warm up we moved to working on the solo that she would be performing for a

few last minute auditions. The piece that she was playing was Ferdinand Davids Concertino.

This trombone concerto is one of the best known concertos in all of trombone repertoire. That

being said I have spent a lot of time on this piece. The biggest issues that I saw in this were

some rhythmic discrepancies. Dotted eighth sixteenth notes were being played like eighth notes

a lot and there were also some rhythms that were rushed (quarter notes that were being played

like eighth notes and long notes being held too long). After addressing this the piece ran very


The final portion of the lesson consisted of a mock audition. I had her introduce herself

and then asked her to play a few scales. After this I had her perform part of her piece. Following

this I gave her some feed back on how the audition went. Her scales were very good. There

were no pitch issues whatsoever and the tempo was at a very solid pace. The performance of

the piece was also done very well. There was a lot of musicality in her playing and the sections

that I addressed earlier were fixed as well.

Over all I felt that this was a very fun lesson to teach. There were several different

portions of the lesson that I have never been able to do before. I value the experience greatly

and I felt that the lesson went very well.