A trumpet

As a long time band director I have seen many strange things happen to instruments owned by my students. Despite repeated instruction on how to care for and maintain the instrument it seems that at least weekly someone would come to me with a trumpet that had a problem. This article lists the most common problems that beginning trumpet players will face and how to solve them.

Photo of a clarinet

Teaching Clarinet Students To Bust Through The Break!

In the eyes of many beginning musicians clarinetists often seem to have the easiest time learning to play their instrument during the first few weeks or months of lessons.  Then, when all seems well with the world, they finally reach the very bottom range of their instrument, using all ten fingers at the same time.  At this point their teacher decides to take them to the next level and suddenly asks them to "Cross The Break!" Depending on many factors this may be the beginning of a long, happy musical adventure or the beginning of the end for the student as a clarinetist.

bobcat pullerMouthpiece pullers are not just tools for the band director's office. Students and professionals alike will often add a mouthpiece puller to their stash of equipment to provide a sense of safety when practicing at home or when away on a gig. Since a stuck mouthpiece can be a big problem and prevent you from closing your instrument's case, it is essential that you have a way to remove the mouthpiece safely while outside of the band room.

Band directors tend to be Jacks of all trades.  We know how to play every instrument in the band but yet we tend to specialize only on one, the instrument that we grew up playing.  Once in a while in our teaching we will stumble across a difficult case, a student that for whatever reason is having difficulty understanding and executing the proper technique or embouchure for their instrument.  

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