With the arts in a constant state of change, students pursuing music careers should, at the very least, have an understanding of the performance techniques appropriate for a variety of musical styles. Cross-fertilization of musical styles can be found in orchestral, wind band, jazz, pop and many other settings. Although deeply exploring one specific style or aspect of music is important as students advance through graduate degrees, a broad knowledge base of musical styles (i.e. baroque, classical, contemporary, swing, salsa etc.) during undergraduate study aids in the development of well-rounded musicianship. I strongly believe that the twenty-first century trumpet player needs to be versatile and able to adapt. Students are strongly encourage to participate in both classical and jazz ensembles, gain experience arranging and composing music, and learn how to self-promote their work through website design and use of social media. Becoming a well-rounded, versatile performer and educator increases music collaboration opportunities and marketability for employment.
Command of the trumpet is essential for versatility and finding one’s musical voice. World renowned pedagogue and tubist Arnold Jacobs said, “The main function of teaching is to develop artistry.” Artistry is not musical superficiality. It is a deep understanding of yourself as a human being and how you relate and connect with the world and others around you. As a mentor, I help guide students as they search for their musical voice. This is done in part by regularly taking time to assess students’ musical and non-musical interests and career aspirations. Additionally, I emphasize the development of strong music fundamentals to help equip students with the necessary tools and techniques required to express themselves musically. The end goal is to help students become continuous learners throughout their respective careers.