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Resources for Young Players

I have spent most of my adult life as a teacher of college and conservatory level trombonists, first at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore (1982-1985) , at New England Conservatory of Music (1985-2012), and now as Professor of Trombone at Arizona State University. While I don't have time in my busy schedule to devote myself to teaching younger players - those in elementary, middle and high school - my oldest daughter, Linda Yeo Leonard, has established herself as one of the leading teachers in the Chicago area of young trombone and other low brass instrument players. Linda began teaching while a bass trombone performance major at Wheaton College (Illinois) - a school that happens to be my undergraduate alma mater. After graduation with her Bachelor of Music degree in 2001, she set up her own teaching studio and also developed working relationships with many local high schools where she gives regular master classes, sectionals and lessons. With up to 40 students to teach each week, her experience in working with young players is invaluable. Each year, many of her students place well in various solo and ensemble contests in the state of Illinois and many of her students have gone on to college to major in music, both as performance and education majors.

Because I think it is so important for young players to have good teaching and advice as they embark on their journey to become more accomplished, I asked Linda if she would put together some of the resources and handouts that she uses in her teaching so others could benefit from her insights. Below you will find many resources - most in PDF format - that Linda has developed for use in her teaching. You will also find some particular resources that she has developed for teachers of young players as well as links to a few resources I have here on my website that have young players in mind, and some external links that both young players and their teachers might find helpful.

If you would like to contact Linda Yeo Leonard for trombone lessons or more information, please click HERE for an email form.


Resources for Young Players by Linda Yeo Leonard


LESSON POLICIES

It is important for a teacher to establish clear policies for teaching lessons. Expectations regarding payment, lesson cancellation and rescheduling, and commitment are very important for a successful student/teacher relationship. At the beginning of each school year, I send a copy of this letter home with each student so parents understand how I operate my teaching studio. It is also helpful in letting students know that their progress will be tied to their work.


GUIDELINES FOR A GOOD PRACTICE SESSION

Most students need guidance in learning practice skills. This handout outlines some specific strategies for getting the most out of a practice session.


TROMBONE WARM UP EXERCISES

Several years ago, I prepared a series of warm up exercises for young trombone players that was published by the Online Trombone Journal. A good, productive warm up session is a key to a good practice session. These warm ups are specifically designed for young players who have limited practice time. This resource includes a downloadable PDF file as well as commentary on the OTJ website.


SCALES

Scales are the building blocks of music and of good playing. These scale sheets give one octave major, natural minor, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales and arpeggios.


BREATHING AND ARTICULATION

This is a hand out that I give to students at a master class I give in schools from time to time on the subject of good breathing and articulation.


RECORDINGS AND LISTENING

A key to good playing is developing good listening skills. This hand out, that accompanies a master class I give in schools, lists recommended recordings for all low brass instruments as well as tips on becoming a better listener.


TROMBONES FOR BEGINNERS AND BEYOND

I am often asked for recommendations about what trombone is good to buy. There are many choices but here are a few of my thoughts about instruments you might want to consider.


Resources for Teachers of Young Players by Linda Yeo Leonard


RESUME

When marketing yourself as a teacher, a well-written resume is important. Here is a copy of my resume, written to highlight both my musical teaching and playing experience as well as other jobs I have held that speak to my abilities as an organized, reliable person. There is much more to being a teacher than being a good player, and since competition for teaching positions is strong, showing that you have a variety of skills - and have been successful in using them - will make you a more well-rounded and sought after teacher.


TIPS ON TEACHING TROMBONE

I periodically speak to college students who are taking low brass instrumental techniques as part of their music education curriculum. This handout, that I prepared for a talk I gave to students at Wheaton College (Illinois), gives an outline of the things I think are important to communicate to beginning trombone players.


LETTER TO BAND DIRECTORS

Being a self-employed music teacher means you are always looking to add new students to your studio. Each year, I contact area band directors with this letter and enclose 10-15 business cards they can distribute to their low brass students. Making and keeping good relationships with area band directors is an important part of securing and keeping students in one's studio.


SUMMER POSTCARD TO STUDENTS

While I am always talking to my students about our lesson schedule, it's good to put things in writing as well. At the end of each school year, I send this postcard home to students, reminding them that we won't be having regular lessons over the summer, that they should keep practicing, and that I will contact them in a few weeks to see if they would like to continue taking lessons in the fall. Good communication is one of the keys to a successful teaching studio.


Resources for Young Players by Douglas Yeo


MASTERING THE TROMBONE

Mastering the Trombone is a trombone book written by my teacher, Edward Kleinhammer, and me, to provide players with an overview of the skills needed to become an accomplished trombonist. Mr. Kleinhammer played bass trombone in the Chicago Symphony for 45 years (1940-1985) and our collaboration - of teacher and student - has proven to be helpful to both players and teachers who are looking to improve their skills.


TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

This article, which is part of my FAQ section, speaks of the expectations I believe teachers should have of their students, and that students should have of their teachers. As such, it contains a summary of my philosophy of teaching.


TROMBONE SLIDE POSITION CHARTS

These slide position charts, developed by Chris Waage and Jurgen Faisst, exhibit different ways at looking at trombone positions.


HOW TO PRACTICE

This article explores the subject of how to practice, and includes a practice chart by Galen Zinn that may be helpful in directing a disciplined practice session.


HIGH SCHOOL AUDITIONS

In this article, trombonists Wayne Dyess, Paul Kemp and I offer strategies designed to help high school and other students who are preparing to take auditions for regional, district and all-state groups.


PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

Many players suffer from performance anxiety, or getting nervous before playing. This article offers some suggestions on how to overcome performance anxiety and links to several other resources on the subject.


Other Resources for Young Players

OnLine Trombone Journal - 'Just for Beginners' - This area of the Online Trombone Journal contains resources specifically designed for younger players. Included are articles on how to care for and clean your trombone, playing legato, jazz improvisation, as well as Linda Yeo's warm up exercises. While there, explore the rest of the OTJ for articles, reviews, interviews and other resources for all trombonists, from beginners to professionals.

Hickeys Music Center - The best place to buy trombone music, recordings and accessories including mouthpieces.

Brian Kay's Wesbite - Brian Kay is a free lance trombone player who maintains an active trombone teaching studio in the Boston area. His website offers many valuable resources for young players of all levels. He is also the author of an Intermediate Method for trombone.

How to double tongue - This is a brief article that may be helpful in showing a brass player how to begin to learn how to double tongue.

Toby Oft's Website - Toby Oft is the principal trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His website includes several free, downloadable scale studies, warmups and other resources.


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