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September 2013 Teacher Spotlight
Brass, Drum, & Woodwind Teacher, Heid Music Green Bay
Brian is a 2008 graduate of UW-Stevens Point and has earned a degree in Music Education. He has an array of experience teaching band to students of all ages in Green Bay and the surrounding school districts. Brian is versed in all band instruments and specializes in the brass family. He has been playing his main instrument, the trombone, since 1995. He also has over a decade of jazz and orchestra experience and can be spotted performing at various local venues.
Why is trombone your favorite instrument?
I like the trombone because of its versatility. It's an important instrument in band, orchestra, jazz, rock and many other settings. It's the one instrument that most closely mimics the pitch of the human voice. This allows for tricks such as humming while playing to make chords. I also love to belt out the notes in the bottom range.
If you had the time and could pick another instrument to master, what would it be?
I would definitely have to choose guitar. It's the instrument I know the least about, yet the majority of my music listening is centered around guitar.
What makes you a great teacher?
Frequently I've been told that I have a special connection with students. I've gotten comments from parents that I connect with their student better than most teachers. Kids know they can come to me with their problems or just to tell a joke. They also know when it's time to do some serious music playing and give their best effort. I've been told that my band students find new motivation after I've been their teacher.
What was the best musical advice you ever received?
The hardest part of practicing is sitting down and getting the instrument out of the case. Once you're going, it's easy to lose track of time.
Also, my choice of instrument and the university I attended were centered around one philosophy: Being a big fish in a small pond. I chose a less commonly played instrument and a college that was moderate in size. These choices led to a larger number of performance opportunities during my school years.
What advice do you have for a beginning student?
Don't expect instant success. It takes a great deal of time to become familiar with a new instrument. Like everything else in life, the level of skill you can achieve is directly related to the amount of time you spend doing it. There is a consensus among professional musicians that 10,000 hours of practice time is the magic number required to master an instrument. Practicing frequently in short bursts is far more beneficial than "cramming" practice time into one long session.