Congratulations to this year’s graduates…

A wonderful group of trombonists is graduating from ASU this week. I wish them all the best!

Adam Dixon is receiving his DMA in trombone performance. He wrote his dissertation on augmenting the Arban’s Method to better reflect the demands of popular solo repertoire.










Jordan Crimminger is receiving his BM in music education. He has been awarded a full scholarship to begin work on a Master’s degree in trombone performance at Yale University.

Hannah Raschko is receiving her BM in trombone performance. She has been offered the position of Patron Services Assistant Manager for the Phoenix Symphony.











Liam Russell is receiving his BM in trombone performance. He has been awarded a full scholarship to begin work on a Master’s degree in trombone performance at Carnegie Melon University.










Collin Logsdon is receiving his BM in trombone performance. He will continue with his freelance career in the Phoenix area.


Spring Trombone Day 2018 is in the books

Spring Trombone Day 2018 is in the books; a great success. Alex Iles proved himself not only a gentleman but a really well-rounded musician with so many different gifts to offer.
Many thanks are in order:
To my teaching assistants to did so much to make this work: Julia Broome-Robinson and Adam Dixon. Also to those students who volunteered to come in early and help set up.
To the choir directors who brought their ensembles to share music with us:
David Vining (NAU)
Matt Lennex (Chandler-Gilbert CC)
Bob Weller (Bones Southwest)
To the members of the ASU Desert Bones trombone choir who really rose to the occasion with a wonderful performance.
To the wonderful combo that backed up Alex: Mike Kocour, piano; Dom Moio, drums; Bailery Zink, bass.
To the vendors: Milano Music and Michael Lake who took the time to set up nice displays for the participants.
I got a lot of nice feedback from the event; so much so that I think I’d like to make this an annual thing.

Spring 2018 Event Run-Down

The ASU Trombone Studio will be keeping busy this semester:
Wed. 1/17, 7:30 pm, Peter Steiner guest recital
Tue. 2/13, 7:30 pm, Brad Edwards faculty recital
Fri. 2/16, 5:00 pm, Paul Lynch DMA recital
Fri. 2/23, 7:30 pm, Trombone Studio recital
Tue. 3/13, 5:00 pm, Collin Logsdon Senior recital
Sat. 3/17, 12:00 pm, Julia Broome-Robinson DMA recital
Sun. 3/25, All Day, Fruhling Posaunen with Alex Iles
Mon. 3/26, 5:00 pm, Hannah Raschko Senior recital
Tue. 4/3, 5:00 pm, Liam Russell Senior recital
Sun. 4/15, 7:30 pm, Spring Trombone Night
Tue. 4/17, 5:00 pm, Adam Dixon DMA recital

Blog Post by Dr. Edwards: Go Somewhere

Sometimes long notes wobble a bit. The tone gets a little quiver.

There is a simple mental trick I use that helps with this. I imagine my sustained note as moving forward from my bell through the space in front of me.

It’s almost as if my sound is a column of light moving forward from the bell. In fact, I sometimes like to visualize an entire phrase as a single, unbroken column of light that changes color for the different notes of the phrase.

In lessons, I sometimes use a hand motion where I begin with my hand close to the bell and then, as the student sustains the note, I move my hand slowly away from the bell, giving them a visual image of forward motion to the sound. This often helps.

Playing any note without a sense of forward motion is often a source of trouble. Not only is the note less musically satisfying, the tone is often less resonant as well.

In that way, you can almost imagine a little, nearly imperceptible crescendo as you sustain the note.

When buzzing, it is nice to get visual feedback of the air-in-motion. A pinwheel is good for this. So is a piece of tissue paper suspended in front of the mouthpiece.

Think of this analogy: If you were to drink from a stream, it is better to drink from flowing water…

..than it is to drink from stagnant water!

Just as you wouldn’t drink from stagnant water, don’t subject your audience to stagnant notes.

Congratulations, Jason Roseth

Congratulations to Jason Roseth (ASU MM, trombone, 2014).

He has been appointed Instructor of Trombone at Augustana University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jason has responsibility for teaching trombone and coaching brass chamber music at Augustana.

Way to go Jason!

The Monsters We Make (A Blog Post by Brad Edwards)

I shall the name the above monster:

The Ding-Slurp

More about that later.

So often, I see students decide that a passage is difficult. Once they have placed that label on the music, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

We see that batch of notes, we think, “Oh man, that’s difficult.” and we tense up accordingly.

This reminds me of that famous experiment with Pavlov and the dogs.

The bell is the stimulus, the salivation is the response.

Do we have similar learned responses?

As you listened to that music, perhaps you envisioned yourself getting ready to play the solo. Did it evoke a learned response?

Students studying for psychology tests will sometimes encapsulate this Pavlovian experiment as the “ding-slurp” theory.
Thus, the name of our monster!

So, if we have developed a learned response that hinders us, we’ll have to learn a new response to replace the old one.

Here’s one simple example. When a younger student is struggling to play higher notes, they often label a note as ‘really high’ and proceed to freak out. Stepping away from the music, I simply play a gliss from 6th to 1st and back down, asking them to imitate me. Back and forth we go, moving to higher partials. When they hit the partial on which they can’t gliss to 1st position, I suggest that they just gliss to 3rd instead. In each case, I play and ask them to imitate.

Usually, they end up playing higher than they thought they could!
Then, I tell them what high note they just reached and even write it down on the page.

Sometimes, their eyes grow wide with the thought,
“Whoa, I just played *that* note?”
Now they are looking at the printed note (stimulus) and realizing that they just played with far more ease than they thought possible (new learned response).

It’s a good beginning.

Pause to consider what monsters you create as you practice your music.