Category Archives: Uncategorized

2016 Denver Jazz Trumpet Consortium

Al Hood, who teaches trumpet at Denver University’s Lamont School of Music, and directs their Lamont Jazz Ensemble, has once again put together an event for lovers of jazz and trumpet.  Here’s some information he recently posted that could be … Continue reading

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Lessons in Life from Playing iPad’s FreeCell Solitaire

As I am spending more and more time caring for my elderly father, we have come upon a shared activity that we both really enjoy.  FreeCell Solitaire is a twist on the classic solitaire card game.  Most of the rules … Continue reading

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Avoiding the Dark Side of Success

The world constantly presents us with challenges.  Sometimes we find their solutions quite readily, or we may struggle with a problem for years.  And other times we might just give up, or even ignore the dilemma altogether.  Finding a successful … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements, Composition Lessons, Improvisation Lessons, Jazz Piano Lessons, Miscellaneous, Observations on Our Human Nature and Self Improvement, Trumpet Lessons, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Using Pain to Increase Awareness

Who would have thought that hernia surgery would have given me new insights into playing the trumpet more efficiently?  Although I had not experienced pain when playing the horn before the procedure, the post surgery experience was an entirely different … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellaneous, Observations on Our Human Nature and Self Improvement, Trumpet Lessons, Trumpet Practice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Importance of Having a Mentor in Music

Today the internet has put an incredible amount of information at our fingertips (and also a vast amount of misinformation).  If you want to know more about any subject, or just an answer to a single question, you Google it. … Continue reading

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Problem Solving: Getting Your Eyes Adjusted to the Dark

What would you do if you knew the answer to your problem was in a particular room, and yet when you opened the door to that room you found it was completely dark?  Of course you would reach for a … Continue reading

Posted in Composing, Composition Lessons, Improvisation Lessons, Jazz Piano Lessons, Observations on Our Human Nature and Self Improvement, Trumpet Lessons, Trumpet Practice, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reharmonization, and Other Ways to Increase Your Listening Skills, Knowledge and Creativity

Reharmonization is the process of composing new chords for an already composed (and harmonized) melodic line.  Hearing that melody in a fresh harmonic context can bring new meanings to the theme, provide variety for an arrangement, underscore lyrics, and even … Continue reading

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The Genius in All of Us

One of my students, Mark, who daylights as an architect, recently loaned me a copy of David Shenk’s wonderful book, The Genius in All of Us.  It quickly dominated my reading time as it debunked the old theories that intelligence, … Continue reading

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A Common Pitfall When Taking the “Next Step”

Although I’m very careful to make sure a student is ready before moving to the next level with their fundamentals, sometimes that “next step” is a misstep…where they not only fail with that new step but also lose the abilities … Continue reading

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Wisdom from Vitamin Cottage

We all know how challenging music can be. When everything is working right, the musical experience can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it is not always a magical moment every time we perform, rehearse, practice or compose.  As musicians, … Continue reading

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