“I already know that…”

Many times in the past, I didn’t take advantage of a chance to learn something new or to improve certain things. Instead, I told myself, “I already know that.” This notion is one of the most common ways to prevent learning. Well, that doesn’t happen to me easily anymore, but it does happen from time […]

One cannot not practice

The most essential dynamic in trumpet playing is practicing on a regular basis. German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk wrote,”One cannot not practice.” By that, he means that everything we do can be defined as practice. Think about it this way: you get better at everything you practice. By constantly staring at your smartphone, you get better […]

Mouthpiece Buzzing

Mouthpiece buzzing is a useful method, not only to improve your trumpet playing technique, but also to train the synchronization between inner hearing, airflow, and trumpet. I approach mouthpiece buzzing from two perspectives. 1st perspective: functional Here, the idea is to use mouthpiece buzzing to improve certain movements or processes within your body‒such as airflow, […]

The Concentration Factor

Concentration is a crucial factor for practice or rehearsal efficiency. But also, and especially when performing concerts, a high level of concentration is necessary. What concentration is not As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, I often become aware of things others wouldn’t notice. By that, I mean the smallest changes in muscle tonus and […]

3 important principles for the high register

Let’s look at some principles for playing the trumpet, particularly the high register. By giving you some new input here, I want to inspire you to reflect on your daily practice and strengthen your ability to differentiate. This will lead to smarter practice and faster progress. Principle No.1: Power vs. Skill If you want to […]

How to breathe the natural way

My thesis is this: your system can breathe automatically, “correctly,” as much as you need, and you don’t have to apply a particular breathing technique. You’ll run into problems if you’re interfering with your own natural breathing. Unfortunately, this can happen without you even knowing that, in fact, you’re impeding your own free breathing. The […]

Important questions about a trumpet player’s mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is the connection between musician and trumpet. It’s one of the most often-discussed topics among trumpet players, as it has a significant influence on sound, intonation, high notes, endurance, and precision–just to name a few. However, as the German proverb goes, If the farmer can’t swim, he blames his swimming trunks. Similarly, the […]

5 ways for trumpet players to build endurance

Endurance is often a reathig problem. It can be frustrating when you can only practice 20 minutes or when you worry during a gig that your endurance might not be strong enough to get you through to the last note… Play more economically The most important concept in building endurance is that you learn to […]

Thoughts on the ‘inner hearing’

The hearing of the sound of your trumpet and of the music inside your head, brings about processes in your body. Your conscious mind evolves around the desired outcome and your whole system brings it to the world. So your inner hearing coordinates the functions of your body. The german pianoteacher Beata Ziegler (1885-1959) wrote: “It’s not […]

Interview with Jouko Harjanne

A couple of weeks ago I visited the finnish trumpet soloist Jouko Harjanne (RSO Helsinki). Now the english version of the interview is online. Enjoy: