Reply To: Beginning Band Trumpets

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I’ve had that problem in the past. What I do is have them stick with it for about two months, and at that point if it’s clear they are still struggling, I sit them down and ask them how they’re feeling about the trumpet. They will probably say they don’t like it or they know that they are not good at it. At that point, I will suggest the possibility of learning a new instrument and see how they react. They will probably be excited. And yes, euphonium is the way to go with struggling trumpet players. Same fingering sequence, much more forgiving mouthpiece.

My beginner trumpets this year are a struggling lot, but today, for the first time, they all showed significant progress: they all were able to play both C and G for the first time. A few weeks ago they seemed like a lost cause. But I’ve kept on them to keep trying, and they have crossed at least one hump.

By the way, I don’t ever wonder if my students are “tone deaf.” In fact, I read an article saying that there is no such thing. And after teaching for many years, I agree. If a trumpet player can learn to buzz and finger, they will eventually get the right notes whether they can hear them or not. And I would wager that this will help them hear notes better.