What is a Trumpet Teacher?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

The trumpet is classified among the brass instruments, along with the French horn, trombone, tuba, and baritone. Unlike some musical instruments that have very specific ensemble identifications, the trumpet appears in orchestras, bands, marching bands, jazz ensembles, and Mariachi bands. A trumpet teacher is someone with sufficient experience performing on the trumpet and sufficient understanding of music pedagogy that he or she is able to instruct others in the methodology of trumpet playing.

A trumpet teacher may instruct students in music theory.
A trumpet teacher may instruct students in music theory.

It is common for a trumpet teacher to either primarily work as a music teacher or primarily as a performer and teach group lessons in a school, private lessons at school at home, or all of the above. Trumpet teachers may be elementary or secondary school teachers, college instructors, or members of symphony orchestras, armed forces bands, or other musical groups. They may also work in a completely different arena, and teach trumpet on the side.

A trumpet teacher for beginners will often use a set of published materials that introduce the student to music theory as well as well as trumpet playing. This is true whatever the age of the beginning player. Material for young beginners is published by companies such as Alfred Publishing, Hal Leonard Corp., and Neil A Kjos Music Company. Arban’s, an instructional method aimed at older students, is published by Carl Fischer Music. Mel Bay is another publisher of trumpet method books. Many of these instructional materials are made to work seamlessly for a Cornet in B-flat, and are labeled with the names of both instruments.

There are certain elements of trumpet playing that needed to be mastered and carried out with precision. Key elements in which the trumpet teacher will instruct a beginning student include assembling, disassembling, and cleaning the trumpet; the proper trumpet embouchure; how to hold the instrument; and fingering. In a school setting, a trumpet teacher will also begin early work on ensemble skills, helping students learn to listen to each other and play in sync.

Reading music is another area that any beginning instrumental teacher, including a trumpet teacher, often has to tackle. Because music for trumpet is written on the treble clef, instruction is likely to focus there. Because the trumpet that students learn on is a B-flat instrument, music for beginners will be prepared for keys that are easy to play with the trumpet’s transposition. There are other trumpets in the keys of C, D, and E-flat, but these are usually not introduced until a student has become proficient on the B-flat trumpet, and even then, only if there is a particular need for the student to be conversant with the other trumpets.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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