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Teaching Philosophy

I have studied with many teachers, with many different ideas on how to play the trumpet.  The concept that is common to all of them is, “What can I do to make you sound fantastic?” I was very fortunate to have the chance to study with Mr. William "Bill" Adam and have also studied with many of his students. I have found success in his ideas and believe them to be applicable to students of all levels. His concepts and philosophy are the foundation of how I teach. However, as each student is different, I have multiple ways of addressing the needs of any trumpet player. Every student will be introduced to a few concepts that are at the core of my playing and teaching philosophy. Realize, we are not just trumpet players. We are musicians who play trumpet. We cannot become “technique machines” or “exercise monsters”. The musical intent is what is important and should never be neglected. Every exercise, etude, solo, and excerpt must be played with intense musical thought and conviction. 


Key points to my teaching philosophy:

  • Sound - If you cannot produce a beautiful sound, nothing else matters. Having all the technique in the world, a superior high range, or lightning quick articulation cannot cover a poor, thin sound. Give the listener a full, rich sound to listen to and enjoy!

  • Fundamentals - The faster we try to hurry our playing the more we get in our own way. A daily reminder of simple fundamentals will keep your playing rooted and set you up for success. This includes scales, arpeggios, lip slurs, flow studies, and pronunciation exercises all done with a fantastic sound.

  • Music - This is the reason why we do fundamentals to make the music making easier. Every student will constantly be working on a solo, etude, or transcription to develop their musical instincts. Never forget this is fun! Make a statement with your playing!

  • Listening - Each student will be responsible for listening to great musicians, trumpeters, vocalists, violinists, cellists, anyone. The point is to get the sound and musical conviction in your mind. With resources like Youtube, Spotify, and iTunes, there is so much music available right at your fingertips.

Chris Imhoff,
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