After going through some serious trumpet training doing a Bachelor of music in Jazz performance I still found most technical aspects of playing the horn difficult. I got to the point where I wasn't making any significant improvement over the period of a few years. The technical method I was shown was based on Bill Adams' teaching. It was not the full method and I'm not sure what this is as I haven't learned from Bill Adams myself. But, it revolved around a routine of the same exercises being done continuously which was fine for a few years, but after not hearing much improvement it became frustrating. I spent 6 years learning this way with two teachers.
The first few lessons with Jeff got me off to a fresh start not having to worry so much about different points with the embouchure, breathing, mouthpiece or lip buzzing. Lots of things that never made much sense to me were removed from the equation.
Here is what I like about Jeff's teaching style and the Claude Gordon method:
- You leave the lesson knowing exactly what to work on. You can't forget with the practice routine sheets Jeff gives you.
- As a teacher Jeff uses a good balance of discipline and encouragement.
- Online lessons are very convenient. There is no time driving to a teacher and then waiting. The quality of lessons were very good and only hampered by insignificant glitches in the internet connection.
- The lessons stay fresh with new things to work on building on the same skill set from the previous weeks. Rather than doing the same technical exercises for months or years, the approach is creative with changing and more challenging exercises still moving towards the same goal.
- There is less to get confused about than I have experienced before (i.e. What do i need to do with my diaphragm or lips? What kind of mouthpiece or trumpet should i get?).
- Jeff has a deep knowledge of classical trumpet pedagogy.
- He has some good stories!
- Above all the Claude Gordon method taught by Jeff is the best I've found for developing all the technical facets of brass playing whilst making it easier and keeping it interesting. This is what i would recommend to someone starting out on trumpet.
Canberra ACT, Australia