The Summerglen Files

Music, Creativity, and Everyday Life at Summerglen Music in Raleigh, NC

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Andrew’s Teaching a Drumset Workshop…and Taking Your Questions!

February 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Happy Monday, Summerglen friends! We’ve been insanely busy over here at the ‘glen. I’ve been working hard on setting up another after-school elementary band and some creativity workshops for businesspeople, and Andrew has been out playing solo percussion shows! (Pics of his latest show will be up within the next couple of days!) But the [...]

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Tags: music education · Summerglen News

The Best Professionals are Still Students

December 5th, 2009 · No Comments

As I was packing up my scores after a Wiley Band rehearsal earlier this week, a parent asked me why I was taking my music home. “To study,” I said. The parent replied with surprise, “But why do YOU need to study? You’re a professional!” Without even knowing it, this lady had answered her own [...]

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Tags: a day in the life · music education

Music School, Seven Years Later

October 17th, 2009 · No Comments

Last night, Andrew and I took a random trip out to Greenville to visit my alma mater, the East Carolina University School of Music. The school has begun hosting an alumni recital each year, and we took advantage of our free Friday night and came to check it out. The alumni performances were excellent–we heard [...]

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Tags: a day in the life

Creative Practice Tips of the Day

March 30th, 2009 · No Comments

When young trombonists think of practice, they may think of running through their band music or scales. The problem here is, the scales are usually run the same way every time, and the band music is often just played through, top to bottom. To become a great trombonist, it’s wise to mix things up in [...]

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Tags: creativity · music education · Practice Tips · Trombones

The Benefits of Buzzing

November 14th, 2008 · No Comments

During the last week, I’ve seen phenomenal results from brass students’ spending time buzzing on the mouthpiece–results so great, I must encourage you fine readers to take some time today to buzz! When I was a younger trombonist, few of my teachers were strong advocates of buzzing. I got the impression that buzzing was just [...]

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Tags: music education · Practice Tips

When You Need to Practice But Don’t Want To

October 20th, 2008 · No Comments

Today I worked with a student who absolutely detests scales. You can tell they’re the low point of his day, and that often, he’ll avoid practicing them altogether. I know the feeling, because I have that same dread when it comes to improvisation. Once I get started, I can improvise for hours. But getting started, [...]

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Tags: music education · Practice Tips

So, Why Trombone Choirs?

August 19th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ve written on this blog and in several other places about this summer’s student trombone choirs, and how exciting it’s been to work with them. But I haven’t written much about the reasons for my excitement–the amazing transformative powers of chamber music! The defining characteristic of chamber music is that only one person plays each [...]

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Tags: music education

The Importance of Having a Good Teacher

August 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

As I’ve worked through my new technical routine, I’ve done a lot of tailoring to make each exercise fit where I am and where I’m going as a trombonist. It feels like I was given a pair of pants that was far too long, so I hemmed up the legs so they wouldn’t drag the [...]

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Tags: music education · Practice Tips

Summerglen’s All-Girl Trombone Choir

June 20th, 2008 · No Comments

Something very, very, very cool has happened this week, something that truly moves me and sparks a jolt of excitement at the same time: My first student trombone choir is all girls! Now, many people may wonder why an all-girl trombone choir is such a terrific phenomenon, so here is some background story. I began [...]

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Tags: female musicians · Live Music · music education