Friday, February 22, 2019
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We Are Not What We Eat, But We Are What We Think About!


The following information is from my Trumpeter’s Pedagogical Guide and is at the heart of what you must strive to remember whenever you play the trumpet!

I have always loved the sound of the trumpet and the feel of the instrument on my face!  Somehow, I have always thought it strange that this love of the trumpet could determine the direction of my life, my goals, my work and provide motivation and meaning!

The Basic Idea:

I advocate a “beautiful sound” as the basis for nearly everything learned on the trumpet. Beautiful sound is the greatest measure of correctness!

Always strive for a beautiful sound through ease and correctness. An easy, correct and beautiful sound should help with range and endurance and should be the foundation on which to construct a unique style of playing.

Be careful not to be too anxious for the work to be done. The work of creating art is never done and it is never perfect. We must constantly strive for perfection but we never achieve it!

Art and music are representative of the highest level of man’s existence on this earth. I think art is the most valuable asset man can leave behind for future generations. For me, art is frequently more real than mortar, brick and steel. The emotion of the music is real and yet the specifics of the message elude description. The language of music is primitive in the sense that it can communicate its message through emotion and the senses even if one is not familiar with it!

When I talk of a beautiful sound, I relate to love and a sense of order. Every note must be beautiful and must be melody. I remember being asked to “play that more like a trumpet player and less like a musician”. This insulting statement indicates a lack of sensitivity (in more than one way)! Even the most powerful and poignant statement made musically on the trumpet must show a sense of love and order.


What You Need To Do To Be A Good Student:


  1. Always be positive and enthusiastic with your love for the trumpet and demonstrate this in your playing.
  2. 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. Do not schedule an appointment or a class immediately before or after your lesson.
  3. Begin work on your next lesson the same day you get the assignment and before you forget what to do! Over prepare everything so that you have a good chance to do it all right. Work carefully so that you get things right. Remember what you are working to correct or trying to do. Just playing through an assignment is a waste of time.
  4. Make sure everything you do really counts toward being a better player!
  5. Bring a cassette tape or a mini disc to each lesson and place it in the recorder the teacher provides or bring your own recording equipment to record your lesson.
  6. Write in all appropriate breath marks, practice tempos, and the English translation of all musical terms. (Use pencil only!)
  7. The teacher will probably keep some record of your lessons and assignments. You should also keep your own records of assignments and jot down comments made in your lessons that will help your understanding and your playing.
  8. Be resourceful!

What You Need To Do To Be A Great Player:


  1. Always play great!
  2. Work toward artistic performance always and play with a beautiful sound in every situation from warm-up to warm-down.
  3. Listen to and emulate the music you hear from the greatest artists on many instruments.Play everything on the highest level possible!


What You Need To Do To Get A Job And Make A Living With The Trumpet:


  1. Play well all the time.
  2. Have a special love for the art and for the trumpet.
  3. Play the trumpet for all the right reasons.
  4. Commit yourself to the art and to the trumpet.
  5. Know what the standards are for the trumpeter in all styles.
  6. Make yourself unique and valuable.
  7. Demonstrate your ability to others and share your ability
  8. Convince others of your artistry (use playing, not talking)!
  9. Be a truly wonderful person.
  10. Be in the right place at the right time.



Common Pitfalls For The Student:


  1. Apathy.
  2. Listening the wrong way or to the wrong people (performance).
  3. Taking advice from the wrong people.
  4. Poor planning.
  5. Lack of effective practice.
  6. Being late or ill-prepared.
  7. Not asking questions.
  8. Asking the wrong questions.
  9. Lack of resourcefulness and imagination.



I hope this material will be particularly helpful in the quest for making beautiful music!


Bill Pfund is the author of The Trumpeter’s Pedagogical Guide, Bill Pfund’s Problem Solving Exercises, Bill Pfund’s Beginning Trumpet Method, and Bill Pfund’s Intermediate Trumpet Method.

Mr. Pfund has been an active member of ITG since its beginning and is currently on the Board of Directors. He lives in Greeley, Colorado, where he plays in the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, Rocky Mountain Brass Quintet, and teaches trumpet at the University of Northern Colorado. If you would like to reach Mr. Pfund, you may contact him via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


About the Editor: Lisa Blackmore is Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Adjunct Professor of Trumpet and Horn at East Central College in Union, Missouri where she also teaches Music History and World Music. She is a member of “Cadre” at Missouri Baptist University, teaching trumpet and assisting with the concert band. Lisa earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Trumpet with a minor in Music History at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, where she received the Graduate College Dissertation Award in Musicology. Dr. Blackmore also holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and SUNY-Stony Brook. She previously served on the faculty at Lindenwood University and under her direction, the Lindenwood Trumpet Ensemble performed at the 2007 ITG conference at the University of Massachusetts―Amherst. Her private studio teaching has resulted in students performing in the St. Louis Youth Symphony and various Missouri All-State ensembles.

Lisa is a member of the Stonehenge Brass Trio and Confluence Brass. She was a bugler with the Missouri Military Funeral Honors Program from 2008-2013 and performed Taps at over 350 military services for Missouri Veterans. She performs with the Compton Heights Concert Band, and she is principal trumpet in the St. Louis Wind Symphony. She serves as a trumpet adjudicator for the Missouri All-State groups.

Lisa lives in Wright City, MO with her husband, Mark (also a trumpeter!) and their two cats, Chet and Ella. In her spare time she makes practice mutes and also enjoys reading and traveling.

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