Trumpet Syllabus


Private instruction is necessary for the professional development of musical skills on a primary or secondary instrument. Applied study is one aspect of the music curriculum that prepares you for your professional goals. Success as a music educator and performer rests largely on how advanced one's musicianship has been developed. To develop the degree of musicianship required for a successful and satisfying career as a music educator or performer, you must have the experience of performing in quality musical ensembles and be capable of performing significant solo and chamber literature. Developing your performance skills is the only way to obtain these invaluable musical experiences.

This development of performance skills is a gradual and demanding process and it is expected that undergraduate music majors will practice a minimum of two hours and graduate students four hours on their assignments and repertoire each day.


It is necessary for each student to own a professional-quality instrument, mouthpiece, and maintenance accessories. In addition, students are expected to purchase music and study materials required for lessons and to own high-quality mutes and a metronome. An electronic tuner is also strongly recommended.


Music/Equipment assigned in lessons must be purchased promptly. Students who have not procured the assigned repertoire within two weeks of the assignment will have their final grade lowered. It is not acceptable, or legal, to photocopy published music when the original is not owned.


All music majors and minors enrolled in studio instruction are required to play a performance jury at the end of each semester of study as well as a scale and technique exam. A committee of instrumental faculty members evaluates the jury performance. It is the student's responsibility to sign up for a jury time according to the instructions posted at the end of each semester and to perform the jury as scheduled. The semester grade is determined by the studio teacher according to the following formula:

Weekly Lesson/Performance Grades-70%
Performance Juries-20%
Reading/Writing Project-10%

The student's progress is evaluated in weekly lessons, seminars, and all performance situations. Chronic lack of preparation and/or tardiness will result in a failing grade. Emphasis is on improvement of skills and professional performance standards are required for advancement. Incompletes are not given in this course.

Attendance Requirements

Each trumpet student will be given a one-hour lesson per week (minimum of fifty-five minutes to allow for student travel time between classes, if needed.) At the beginning of the semester, each student will fill out a schedule form listing their weekly schedule, name, and phone number. Lessons will be scheduled on a week-to-week basis, based on both the student's and instructor's, and a weekly schedule will be posted on the instructor's door. A semi-permanent schedule will be followed as much as is possible. Each student will receive a minimum of twelve lessons/coachings in the course of the semester. THE INSTRUCTOR  MUST be notified at lease 24 hours in advance if rescheduling or cancellation is necessary (emergencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis), and no-shows without just cause will be treated as an unexcused absence resulting in an "F" for the lesson grade. Tardiness of more than 15 minutes will be treated as a no-show and will not be made up. In addition, The instructor retains the prerogative to terminate any lesson for which the student demonstrates inadequate preparation, resulting in an "F" for the lesson grade.

Attendance at studio class is mandatory for all trumpet majors. In addition, attendance is required at all faculty brass recitals, brass student degree recitals, and all guest brass recitals/master classes. The private lesson absence policy will apply to the studio class and all required recitals: 24-hour advance notification with just cause, or an "F" will be averaged into the semester grade.



Lessons unavoidably missed due to illness or emergency will be made up when possible if cancelled in advance. When lessons must be canceled due to illness or emergency, you are required to call the trumpet studio office 678.3779 BEFORE the scheduled lesson.

Lessons missed for reasons other than illness or emergency, and lessons missed without advance notice will not be made up, and will result in a failing grade for that week.

Unexcused absences/tardiness from three lessons during any one semester will result in failure for that term. Masterclasses, seminars and studio recitals are considered part of the lesson. Seminars, masterclasses and recitals, of course, cannot be made up.

Lessons missed due to absence of the teacher will be made up promptly at the mutual convenience of the student and teacher. However these lessons will not be made up if the lesson falls during a scheduled school holiday or if the instructor is away on official UofM business.

Other Miscellaneous Information for students

Inform the trumpet studio well in advance of any auditions or performances outside the School of Music.

We recommend that you join the International Trumpet Guild and/or MENC and maintain your membership throughout your college career. A special student membership rate is available. Information about ITG or MENC is available by visiting the appropriate website www.trumpetguild.org or www.menc.org. If possible, plan to attend an upcoming Conference.

Plan to have an accompanist available for your lessons toward the last month of the semester. It is at that time we will schedule coaching for the upcoming juries.

Take responsibility for your life. Keep a calendar with you at all times to avoid scheduling hassles.

Present yourself appropriately and observe proper decorum in all musical and academic settings. For example, it is not appropriate to wear a hat or cross your legs in rehearsals or lessons, nor is it permitted to carry food or drink into rehearsals, classrooms, or concert halls. Show respect for yourself and for others by observing these simple courtesies.

Be early and well-prepared for all rehearsals and lessons.

Suggestions for Successful Progress

Always be positive and enthusiastic about your love for music and the trumpet, and demonstrate this in your playing and your cooperation with faculty and other musicians.

Maintain a regular, daily practice schedule of at least two hours each day.

Be faithful about addressing the Daily Routine as prescribed in your lesson.

Plan practice sessions so that they are purposeful and directed at accomplishing specific results. Write your goals for each session in a notebook. Establish both short-term and long-term goals for yourself.

Always be well prepared! Be early to lessons with all your materials ready, and with plans about what you will do in the lesson. Have any questions written out so that you ask them at the beginning of the lesson.

Understand that developing performance skills may at times be a slow and demanding process. Patience and persistence are important traits for success in music.

Take advantage of opportunities to attend live musical performances of all kinds.

Seek opportunities to perform in public. After learning a work, perform it several times.

Collect and listen to recordings of quality music daily. These should both include your instrument and other genres. Listen to a wide range of styles. It is only through focused listening that musical style can be developed.

Own the necessary equipment to be successful in your profession. This includes quality instruments, mutes, metronome, tuner, literature (including methods, etudes, solos, and orchestral excerpts) and accessories.

Record your practice sessions periodically, and evaluate them objectively.

Common Pitfalls for the Student

(Compiled from professor interviews)


Poor planning

Listening the wrong way, or to the wrong people or performances

Taking advice from the wrong people

Lack of effective practice

Being late or unprepared

Not asking questions

Asking the wrong questions

Lack of resourcefulness or imagination

Being dogmatic about the wrong things

Not listening

Just "getting by"