Practicing strategies, exercises and their pedagogical usefulness

David Pérez Sánchez

KC number 3249956
Classical department. Trumpet
Main teacher: Erwin ter Bogt
15th April 2021
Royal Conservatoire The Hague
Research supervisor: Stefan Petrovic
Format of documentation : Exposition

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction and context

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Brief context on wind band orchestras

1.3 Brief context about the auditions nowadays

Chapter 2: How to prepare an audition

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The basis for a good preparation

2.3 Strategies for technical and musical study of orchestral excerpts

2.4 Resources for psychological and emotional preparation

2.4.1 Optimization and visualization

2.4.2. Centering: a technique from sports psychology

2.4.3. Other resources

2.5 A brief reflection on the impact of this knowledge on my preparation strategies

Chapter 3: Excerpts and excercises:

Chapter 4: Conclusions

4.1 Conclusions


Appendix 1. Mental exercises book

Appendix 2. Excerpts book

Appendix 3. Interviews

Appendix 4. Other famous excerpts


1.1 Introduction

My research has been focused on exploring the repertoire for Wind Band and the best preparation strategies for performers wanting to do orchestral auditions. It is well known that professional music auditions are becoming more specific, looking for different trumpet roles. We can find cases as differentiated as symphony orchestras that require natural trumpet or music bands that require jazz excerpts, with the obligation to play the flugelhorn. In this research I therefore wanted to focus specifically on wind band repertoire and find strategies that can help myself and other trumpet players prepare for auditions. This was my main motivation to choose this topic for my research.

I had two well-defined objectives: the first was to make a good catalogue of trumpet excerpts with focus on original works for a wind band. I have looked for information in different archives of professional music bands, contacted trumpet players from different countries and listened to many hours of music for wind band. The second was to create a method with relatively simple exercises to help those who want to prepare these excerpts for an audition. At this point, I think it is necessary to clarify that I am not talking about structural changes in the way of playing the instrument, but about finding the best utilization of the existing resources of each performer in order to obtain the best or optimal performance. The two main questions that led my research were therefore focused on discovering the most common repertoire in auditions for wind band orchestra and what aspects or technical and /or interpretive difficulties are what make them special.

As I have mentioned above, the process began with a wide search for works and repertoire for wind band. I was surprised not to find any book or website with this type of information. Although I must emphasize that in early 2021 a US military band opened a YouTube channel [1] in which it aims to publicize the most famous passages for a military band. This was a great motivation for me since I understood that things are changing in the world of music today. In the first stage, I have talked with experienced wind band soloists. I wanted to find out what are the best-known original music excerpts for Wind band orchestra and what are the most demanded excerpts for marching band auditions. From these interviews I compiled a list of more than sixty. Out of all of the excerpts that I found, I chose nine. I choose excerpts with different characteristics, some virtuosic others slow, and in different styles. I analyzed these excerpts in order to identify the main technical difficulties and create or chose fitting technical, rhythmic as well as mental exercises to help improve the performance.

Once all the data was collected, I made a book (see Appendix 2) with the nine excerpts in order to contribute to the music educational community and create new ways to prepare the repertoire of wind bands. Since I wanted to test whether and to what extent these exercises are helpful to trumpet players and what impact technical exercises have on improving student’s performance, I organized workshops with three conservatory students. In preparation for the workshops I had a discussion with Erwin ter Bogt and Gertjan Loot (trumpet teachers at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague), and we thought that it would be good to have three excerpts per workshop and have them played by three students of different levels Bachelor and Master.

The three students that participated in the workshops were Tim Meulenbeld [2],Abigail Rowland,[3] and Francesco Siri[4], all from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and currently studying from 3rd year of Bachelor, to 1st year of Master studies. In preparation to these workshops I also sent the book with excerpts to the students. In addition to this, I performed exercises, both technical and rhythmic based on my experiences as a teacher in Spain.

The three workshops were held between December 2020 and February 2021. And the division of excerpts per workshop was as follows:

1st session:

2nd session:

3rd session

After conducting the workshops and analyzing the data, I was able to conclude that the results was generally positive since in many cases the exercises achieved almost instantaneous results. The students could improve their playing in just three workshops of thirty minutes each. This process was documented through recording workshops and subsequent interviews, with which I was also able to receive feedback from the students, which was positive. Ultimately this is my contribution to the original music for wind band and to help readers who want to investigate or learn about a topic that is becoming increasingly important.

In the texts below (1.2 and 1.3), we will first see a brief explanation about how wind bands have evolved so fast from the end of the 19th century to the present day, and this has affected auditions, a topic that has triggered the reason for this research.

Then I will discuss how to prepare an audition in chapter 2. At this point I will talk in a simple way about how to analyze a stressful situation for musicians, and how to try to turn it into one more exercise. And finally, in chapter three, I will talk about the 9 excerpts and how to work them from my point of view, mixing specific technical exercises for the trumpet, with mental exercises that will help the student to improve easily and quickly each one of the solo trumpets that we have in the repertoire.

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1.2 Brief context on Wind Band Orchestras

Throughout the history of music, wind and percussion instruments have played an important role in many formations and in many styles of music, from the Renaissance to pop music. With this chapter, I want to make a summary of the hectic life of music bands, and how quickly they evolved especially from the late 18th century to the present day, leading to the professionalization of this formation.

Wind bands have served for centuries to put sound to the history of the different civilizations of the world. Wind bands have their origin in military acts of both strategy and ceremonies. And although at that time they were almost always made up of wind instruments, the evolution of wind and percussion instruments with movements such as the Harmoniemusik [5] of the 18th century led to a new vision of these formations (Pascual-Vilaplana, 2011). With the evolution of instruments already established in the 19th century, and with the continuous innovation in instruments, famous composers such as H. Berlioz, C. Saint-Saëns, R. Wagner, A. Ponchielli, G. Holst, V. Williams, W. Walton, Gordon Jacob had created great works for the band. This influence would mark a way forward during the 20th century, with the creation of professional wind bands, where in addition to military bands and professional orchestras, wind and percussion musicians had one more opportunity to get a job.

College wind bands would also be created in the United States, creating a much more prolific school on this continent to this day. In Europe, today, there is a wide variety of wind bands, both amateurs, semi-professionals and professionals, that help their members with the idea of ​​becoming professional musicians. This boom with this formation led to the creation of a specific repertoire for wind band with authors of the stature of A. Copland, E. Bozza, E. Bernstein, H. Villalobos, M. Gould, Ch. Ives, K. Penderecki, V. Persichetti, H. Hanson,…(De la Fonte, 2006; Hansen, 2005).

That is why today we can find an infinity of music written for a wind band, with different roles such as the military, or the wind band symphony (with string instruments such as cellos and double basses), which expand the catalogue of positions work that can be applied, and that causes specialization in this area.

Hence my idea for this research, compiling wind band repertoire and showing some suggestions on how to prepare for auditions.

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1.3 Brief context about the auditions nowadays

The auditions of wind bands these days are very specific or particular in their requirements since depending on the formation, you can find repertoire for military band, you can find repertoire for cornet or flugelhorn, or you can find specific jazz repertoire if the band dedicates a large part of its annual programming to this type of repertoire.

That is, they are demanding specific fragments, with music originally written for this type of training. For example, in the Netherlands, two auditions were held for the Marinierskapel der Koninklijke Marine in 2020 (August and December) and the required repertoire included 4 excerpts for orchestral music and 9 excerpts for original music for wind band.

That a military wind band demands most of the original music solos for band, with styles such as modern music, jazz and pop music and only 4 excerpts of orchestral music, helps me to consolidate my idea of ​​why this research, and why it is designed to try to visualize that more and more trumpeters must seek new areas of specification, and try to be experts in this matter.

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How to prepare an audition

2.1. Introduction

One of the main reasons I want to focus on auditions is that this is an important part of the professional life of wind musicians. Auditions are also stressful, demanding, and quite particular events, requiring careful preparation. In this research, I wanted to study the practice of strategies that provide different tools to the musician, and that can help him in his preparation.

If you are a classical musician, you will surely have to do some auditions in your professional life. In many cases, it is not enough to spend hours in the study room repeating the passages, but it is necessary to find a way to make your study efficient and respond to the main things that are required in these auditions. The main qualities that are usually judged are: being able to project the sound in the room in a convincing way, rhythmic ability, great tuning and being able to differentiate between different styles or composers. And all this, to be able to transmit it to the audience and make it clear.

In well-organized auditions, it is often the case that musicians are dismissed for things as basic as rhythm and tuning. Everything is audible to the jury of orchestra musicians who usually know the required repertory by heart. Therefore, people auditioning must be impeccable, and for this, they must be prepared in the best possible way. There are two main pillars of good preparation: technical-musical work and psychological preparation.

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2.2. The basis for a good preparation

To prepare orchestral auditions in the best way, is not enough just to study. The fact of spending more hours than anyone in an enclosed cabin and alone will not provide in itself the security and capabilities necessary to cope with the pressure. It is necessary to find efficient study techniques that make the most of the time dedicated to the repertoire of auditions, without going crazy. It is known that audition repertoire is often the same, and it is easy to fall into the monotonous and careless repetition, which can consolidate mistakes.

The first step in an efficient study is to set goals and have a compact schedule, which must always be flexible and reviewable. In the case of professional auditions, the repertoire usually consists of one or two concertos and a selection of orchestral passages. The general objective for the technical and musical study of all these pieces is that the interpretation is perfect in terms of rhythm and tuning, and played with a natural sound.

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2.3. Strategies for technical and musical study of orchestral excerpts

How can wind players work to improve tuning, rhythm and sound when playing excerpts? Each excerpt has a specific difficulty, which is also the reason why it was chosen. In a way, an excerpt is a challenge where a performer can demonstrate musical skills such as rhythmic precision, control of dynamics, tuning, articulation, intonation, phrasing, character and style. Each of these characteristics can be isolated and studied separately. And once the detailed work is done, it is important to re-integrate these elements in the overall context of the piece or passage, so that it acquires a musical meaning and does not become merely a mechanic study.

In the case of rhythm, it is important to study with a metronome, but always in a way that helps to improve the feeling of an internal pulse. For example by reducing the frequency of clicks, spacing them over time, making them coincide with different subdivisions. [6]. In the case of tuning, it is good to spend time playing each note slowly, forgetting the other elements (rhythm, articulation) and focus on blending the played notes with the present harmony. I use the Tunning tactics (Sanborn,2007) [7] book, which includes musical tracks with which I can play in different keys.

A helpful strategy can be also to mark the important moments and desired phrasing in the score. In case of dynamics one can also assign different colours for different dynamics. For example, we can use intense colours for a forte, a crescendo, for a musical phrase where there is harmonic tension, on the one hand. And on the other hand, use soft colours for calmer dynamics, for inconclusive phrase resolutions. One can also indicate some fingering where we are not sure and confident. Studying slowly is an important method, but what is the correct way to do it? For a slow study to be truly effective, it is important to have a clear idea of what you want to do when playing this passage at normal speed in terms of articulation, breathing, body movements, breathing, tonguing or slurs and play it exactly in slow motion. Muscle memory remembers the position of the body when executing a certain action, and not the speed at which it is performed (Del Olmo, 2016). [8] Ideally, find a tempo where you can maintain stability and consistency despite the difficulty, and that allows you to have enough time to think about how the next note should sound and prepare it. Then you can gradually increase the speed.

One of the most common mistakes during the study is to stop every time there is a failure and repeat the whole piece until it works. A smarter the technique is to divide the pieces into shorter fragments (which can be from a few notes or a bar to a concert presentation) and play them without stopping, think about what could be improved on them and correct them. In this way, you not only train a focused and distraction-free interpretation, but you also manage to calm inner self-criticism and assign it a specific task with positive self-dialogue. Practicing can be combined with recording. A recording is the most objective way to check if the study result is really what you want. While you are playing, no matter how hard you try, it is difficult to analyze in detail what is playing. The recordings show exactly the weak points that need to be improved, and also serve to be aware of the progress made so far. The best way to record yourself is in small short pieces since this way it is easier to stay focused both when playing and when listening and evaluating. In my experience, it is also important to start recording, even at a slow tempo, to listen and correct the errors before increasing the speed of the passages.

In chapter 3 we will discuss many of these strategies in more detail when looking at examples from workshops that were held as a part of this research.

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2.4. Resources for psychological and emotional preparation

2.4.1. Optimization and visualization

Once all the elements discussed above are integrated into the study, the the psychological part of the preparation comes into play, especially in the moment of performance. Here it would be helpful to get acquainted with the concept of “optimal performance” [9] (Dalia, 2004, p.46). It is necessary to assume that in a stressful situation, such as an audition to enter a professional orchestra, there are a number of factors that will affect the performance: nerves, the opinion of those who listen, the possible consequences and the importance of the moment. And one needs to find a way to deal with all of these factors internally.

One should not seek perfection in a performance but rather optimization. Or in other words, the best that can be offered at that time under the circumstances. The goal here is to train so that even the worst version of this optimal performance is better than the best versions of the other test applicants, or simply good enough. Firstly, it must be understood that the nerves associated with a test or the concert are a perfectly normal reaction and can manifest itself in various physiological and psychological ways, depending on the level of activation that is experienced at that time. It is important to know and positively assess the excitement that accompanies the test, and use it to obtain a better interpretation, since being too nervous or too relaxed can cause the same result, so it is interesting to use that emotion and use it to be focused on everyone the small details that we must face in an adduction.

Secondly, it is important to know what thoughts help to calm us down, in the face of an audition, and how to induce them so as not to fall into destructive self-criticism.

Thirdly, one could use visualization of the performances, which can help in forming a clear idea of what is expected to be obtained. The areas of the brain that intervene when visualizing an action that involves movement, are the same ones that work when performing such movement (Dalia 2004, 72-74). And the more detailed and realistic this mental practice is, the better results it will provide.

2.4.2. Centering: a technique from sports psychology

Centering is developed by sports psychologist Robert Nideffer in 1970, and adapted for musicians and artists by Don Greene, also a sports psychologist. This is a technique that integrates three main resources: reinterpretation of the excitement that accompanies the time of the test, reformulation of the internal dialogue with oneself and visualization. In his book Performance Success (2001), Don Greene recounts his first experiences of working with musicians and proposes a series of steps that can form a good routine before the execution of any work or passage. It begins with the eyes closed, focusing on abdominal breathing, relaxing the parts of the body that are in tension with each exhalation, and thus reducing excessive activation levels. The next step is to locate the centre of the body, called chi or ki in eastern martial arts, which is about two fingers below the navel and into the body. Once located, you have to feel the energy that comes from it and focus on it forgetting all the distractions around you. Next, it is necessary to have specified some words for each piece or passage that serve as a clue or introduction and generate positive feelings about how to start it. The last breaths have to evoke these words and feelings of how the interpretation has to be. Finally, the eyes are opened and the gaze is focused on a point towards which all the energy is directed, beginning to touch. It is a complex process, and the first few times it takes a longer time and several breaths for each step. Therefore, it is interesting to practice it daily until it is part of the routine. In this way, at the time of the audition it will be internalized and with just three breaths (relax, focus and think about the piece) the necessary concentration will be obtained to give the best possible version without causing an excessive waiting, that could make the jury impatient.

2.4.3. Other resources

Other options that can be used to build confidence and get used to playing under pressure are: training for any unforeseen event, asking friends to come and bother you without warning, playing with a mask or earplugs to simulate poor visual or hearing conditions; do a trial auditions (the more the better); get out of the comfort zone, study in different places with uncomfortable acoustics; get used to the surprise factor, choose each day the passages you are going to play at random.

The most important thing, in any case, is to find the balance between study and other activities without becoming obsessed. Playing sports, reading, spending time with friends or family and going to concerts are activities that should not be displaced from the daily routine by preparing for auditions since this unconsciously assigns them an excessive value. Likewise, staying musically active playing something different from the repertoire of tests from time to time also helps.

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2.5. A brief reflection on the impact of this knowledge on my preparation strategies

For me, starting to integrate these techniques and resources into my daily preparation and study has been key. I have managed to feel much better in front of an audience, and although the nerves are still there, each time they manage to throw down the work I have done so far. Also, it’s not just about focusing on the results, and whether I’ve managed to do better on certain tests or not, but about trusting the process. I know that I am evolving musically and developing myself, and although I realize more and more things that I must improve, it is good to be aware that the first step in doing so is knowing it. Until the time I decided to start working and researching on this topic, I didn’t know how much information there was about preparing for auditions. It seemed like something no one had ever written about, so I was surprised to find many interesting and quality sources. However, for me the main source of inspiration and motivation in all aspects of preparing for orchestral auditions, has been and is the blog of Rob Knopper, percussionist of the New York Metropolitan Orchestra [10]. Both in written format and the videos on his YouTube the channel, I think it is the perfect stimulus that today’s musicians need in the digital age to face the reality of efficiently improving our method of preparing for orchestral auditions.

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CHAPTER 3: Excerpts

In this chapter, we will take a closer look at what happened during the workshops and what were the results of the exercises and approaches that I suggested to the students. Before we look into that, here I want to add a few more sentences about the general context of these workshops.

The main idea for the workshops was that in each session, the students play three excerpts of different styles and that in the workshops we look for different exercises and approaches that would help the students improve their performance. In the preparation for the workshops, I have sent a book with the excerpts (November 2020) and the students had two weeks to prepare the first session. All workshop sessions were divided into 3 steps:

While preparing the exercises I decided to create exercises based on the most important technical difficulties in each excerpt. I reviewed several books and videos of main trumpet players in professional orchestras to see what aspects they relied on when they wanted to perform different exercises.

Depending on the nature of a particular trumpet solo, I would suggest to perform exercises more focused on the mental visualization of images, sounds and memories, which would make the student understand and interpret the excerpt with greater accuracy and personality. These exercises are based on the work of various psychologists specialized in music, sports or other areas in which you need to perform at your maximum potential at a given time and when the pressure is high.

As I mentioned earlier in the introduction, some exercises arose spontaneously during the course of the workshops, since each student and each situation was different, so sometimes the exercises that I had prepared were not suitable for improving the initial result. These exercises arose from my experience in this field and the analysis of each situation in real-time, since as we know, each day the sensations that the musician has are different, and therefore, this will tacitly influence the development of the interpretation.


Bert Appermont (Belgium, 1973). Famous and acclaimed composer today, he has written numerous works, including 2 musicals, 2 symphonies, an opera and a oratorio and more than 100 pieces for wind orchestra, choir and Symphonic Orchestra.

He is also one of the most requested conductor by large formations such as the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the Philharmonic of Winds Feroci (Bangkok), The Royal Symphonic Band of The Belgian Air Force, the Willem Friso Military Band and the Danish Concert Band.[11]

This work seeks to pay tribute to the victims of terrorist attacks in the Belgian capital in 2016.The excerpt I have chosen is within the “In Memoriam” movement, and clearly simulates the trumpet calls at state or military funerals. The composer pays homage to innocent lives lost in an emotional center section of the memory, before bringing a passionate sense of hope to the search for a new era of communal understanding.It premiered in 2017 in Austria, but in just a few years it became one of the most acclaimed and performed musical works.

It is the only one of the 9 solos that is “offstage”. I will analyze this later, since it clearly affects the way of interpreting it. It is an easy extract at first, but that the player must take care of the first attacks with a clear articulation on the piano. In order to work on this we will employ visual air exercises to imagine the music that we want to reproduce.

Image 1.1

Listen here

The greatest difficulty of this excerpt is found in the dynamics. It’s a soft solo, which requires great control at the embouchure. It is common that when the trumpet player plays softly, he stops using the air column and closes his lips. Here we can hear Tim’s first example:


From the beginning of the audio, we can hear how the sound is tense, and this causes instability. So we hear how the sound cuts out sometimes.The worst part comes from 0:18 until the end, where all that tension is reflected in the sound and in not being able to finish the solo.

I have also chosen the example of Francesco, who to avoid this problem, decides to use a super soft articulation. This is a technique used by trumpet players so that the air is not cut when playing in a piano dynamic.


Sometimes this works great, but not for this solo, which, as we discussed earlier, is played offstage. This implies a more precise and harder type of articulation, which would cause the same problem Tim had.

That is why I suggedted the following exercises:

1- Play the excerpt without articulation. This exercise is widely used among brass players because it focuses on the flow air being connected all the time. We did this exercise with Tim and Francesco, and they quickly realized that they could not put their attention on the tongue.

2- Mouthpiece.This exercise consists of playing the complete excerpt with only the mouthpiece, which is more difficult for the student because he has to be aware of the sound, the tuning and the articulation, since with the trumpet it is a bit easier. It is also possible to do these exercises with the Buzzard [12] or a similar one.

This moment was great for Tim, as with the first exercise he showed improvement, but we wanted to confirm this improvement and he could understand it in a simple way. So we did the same, but only with the mouthpiece, which forces the trumpet player in a more direct way to interpret singing and blowing.

Here we can hear Tim after the mouthpiece exercises, and we can observe much more confidence in his sound.


3- Being an off-scene excerpt, the dynamics, articulation, and required air volume should be increased. This step is sometimes difficult for the student to understand, since it is difficult to understand how a delicate excerpt and in dynamic piano, it must be interpreted with the same delicacy but with a much higher volume of sound.

We have the example of Francesco below, in which we hear how he manages to combine all these concepts in his final interpretation.


As a conclusion to this solo, and a bit in common with all offstage excerpts, the concept has to be analyzed, and a balance must be found between how the musician wants to perform, and what he must do so that the audience can perceive it. In this type of solos, a good control of the air and a more aggressive articulation, will help for an improvement of the interpretation.

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Egmont is one of Appermont’s most famous and virtuosic pieces for this formation. I chose this trumpet solo for several reasons. I think it is one of the most complete in the repertoire, since it combines different articulations, a complex rhythm, a very virtuosic passage and a high register that is not comfortable for the trumpet player.

As we can hear in the link and we can observe with the score, we have a rhythmic and fingering complexity, since the solo is quite fast. The last part is quite virtuosistic, so we need to practice with different exercises really precise first all the notes.

Listen here

We will use the exercises to adapt to the rhythm, using the same key as in the original, and a lot of attention with no rushing. First, we play the scale of D Major in this way:

Exercise 1:

After that, we have two options: if the student feels the tempo easily, we can skip the exercise number 2. If not, we can play carefully with the metronome getting gradually faster.

Exercise 2:

Exercise 3:

Egmont is probably the most difficult of the nine excerpts. I worked with all of the students from the point of view of calm, firstly playing the solo at a comfortable tempo, without pressure. Even so, it is often difficult to separate from the idiosyncrasies of the music and its character, fury, and it is therefore difficult to interpret it slowly.

That is why I proposed the exercises 2 and 3, that served to adjust fingering, make it easier to play with the hemiolian rhythm, and do that in the key with two sharps.

Abigail 1st time

Abigail last time

We can already discover how her playing was more active, and if you listen both you can understand much better what is happening. She felt more comfortable after doing the exercises. This was possible thanks to the automation of the tonality, rhythmic formulas that I used previously in the exercises. I also added the technique of studying it in parts, since the first part did not create any problem for her, that gave her confidence to play the second part, and the result was favorable.

I find more difficulties for Tim, since I remember that although he is a great trumpet player, he is in his 3rd year of Bachelor. From the first moment he looked tense, scared and with little confidence in himself. We practiced first the solo singing, becuase it helps to the correct intonation when you are playing. After that, we added claps in the accents, and this helped him feel the points where he needed to put more emphasis.

He was finding his sound, so I played with him and he was feeling more and more comfortable. As brass players, we are always afraid of failure, so we feel much calmer and more comfortable when we play with someone.

But the most useful exercise was to break the solo into smaller parts, and we got a great result, but unfortunately we couldn’t implement it by playing the entire passage.

Tim 1st time

We can see in the wave of the image, how Tim was playing with a shy sound, and it is because he was thinking about the most difficult part of the solo which is the last one. And when he played it in parts, we can see how his sound is bigger, and the wave of the image reflects it.

Tim last time

As a conclusion to this excerpt, I think it is important to talk about the importance of slow work, to strengthen the excerpt and give it speed. Another remarkable aspect is that when the musician finds himself with a difficult solo, in which the last 4 bars are really difficult to play as in this case, he mentally blocks himself from the beginning. Hence the idea of playing it in short sections, to be able to express better.

In the end I think we got a better result in all 3 cases, although it would have been great to be able to play the excerpt in its real tempo. This would require some more practice time.

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David R. Holsinger (USA,1945) is a famous composer, conductor, arranger and educator. Twice the recipient of the prestigious Ostwald Composition Prize of the American Bandmasters Association, joined the School of Music faculty at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee, as conductor of the Lee University Wind Ensemble. Holsinger’s duties include teaching advanced instrumental conducting and composition. Over the past ten years, he has become a mirror for all generations to come due to its way of composition, with a remarkable style full of atmospheres and new textures. [13]

To tame the perilous skies is programmatic work by Holsinger wanted to honor all those military aircraft pilots who “in the cause of freedom and human rights” [14]. Holsinger intertwines melodies with a different rhythmic subdivision (triplets against sixteenth notes) and that generates tensions that he masterfully resolves.

This is probably the most demanded work for the trumpet player of the nine that we analyze in this research, since it combines different concepts in their solos: high register, articulation, virtuosity, resistance and lyrical parts that require great lip flexibility. That is why it is one of the most famous excerpts in the auditions for military bands in the United States.


Listen here

We started with a comfortable part (bars 34-41), with which the students gained confidence and could interpret without much technical difficulty. As we can see in the whole excerpt, the greatest difficulty is the intervalic one, since in order to interpret it correctly we must first internalize the melody. We must also explain that this excerpt is for cornet, which gives us a clue on how to interpret it. When an excerpt is for cornet, we are almost always talking about melodic characteristics, with a soft articulation, and with freedom to be more expressive.


In this example, we can hear that Abigail is beginning to have instability in sound and tuning from bar 35. This is because the interval changes, for which the student must be prepared. Francesco is a clear example for this technical problems. In his first performance of this solo, Francesco interprets it with good sound, but it is observed how his articulation and his way of interpreting can be very aggressive for a solo cornet.


During the workshop, we were working on the precise but softer articulation, with exercises such as:

1- Play this exercise with the F major scale, with the same articulation as the excerpt, but without the intervals.

2- This exercise combining articulation with intervals:

3- Play the solo with an extra soft articulation, reaching the opposite that Francesco had done previously. Why? These types of exercises are used to get out of the comfort zone, since it forces the players to fully touch something that they would never do. With the help of these exercises, Francesco changed his mentality and was able to play the solo more freely. In my opinion, it sounds more confident, with a darker sound, less aggressive articulation and a nice vibrato.

Francesco last time

With Tim we worked on this solo from the blowing point of view, since his sound was being unstable due to the combination of intervals and articulation, so I decided to use the blowing exercise. We can hear an improvement over the first time he played it.

Tim first part

Blowing exercise
Tim last time

Cornet2 :

For the second excerpt, it is the same problems as in the first, but with the added difficulty of doing it in the high register. Therefore, we decided to play it first octave down to strengthen the intervals.


But the greatest difficulty of this excerpt is playing it within the ensemble, since the role of second cornet and first trumpet are always with different rhythms (almost always confronting sixteenth notes with triplets). In the example below it was the last time that I played the second cornet part so that Francesco understood the tension that is created. As a preparatory exercise, we both sang our parts, to listen well to the part of the other

Francesco and me

With this exercise, Francesco felt more comfortable, and we can see that he barely makes mistakes and the tuning is better throughout the excerpt. The confidence that playing with another person gave him is something that he must learn to use for an audition, being able to listen to the other instruments while he is playing his part, as this will give more consistency to his performance.

As a conclusion to this excerpt, it should be noted that even though it is one of the most difficult solos in the repertoire, improvements are observed in all 3 students. It is important to find the balance in these excerpts between technique and knowing at what point in the work you are playing, if it is a cornet solo, if it requires more strident sound or, as in this case, a sweeter interpretation.

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Gustav Holst, (1874-1934) was an English composer and music teacher. His music is a combination of English romanticism and the influences of Ravel and Stravinsky. The two suites written for the wind band became a reference for the classical repertoire. Today it is a recurring work among professional and semi-professional bands. With a classical wind band (without bass clarinet, contrabassoon, baritone saxophone) Holst achieves a wide range of colors with a freshness very characteristic of English composers. His first suite in E-flat major, opus 28 is divided into 4 movements. I decided to choose its second movement since we can find one of the most representative cornet solos of the wind bands. [15] It is a single cornet that follows the melody of clarinets and flutes, and plays the entire theme. Technically it is not a difficult solo, although it does require great portamento technique for a good performance.

Listen here

For Tim and Francesco’s first performance, we’ll hear two totally different ways of playing. While Francesco chooses a more active interpretation, with a stronger sound, a more aggressive articulation, Tim chooses a more calm, shy and intimate way of playing. Of course both are valid, but both have aspects which we can investigate and improve.

Francesco 1st time

Tim 1st time

I started asking to the students if they recognized whether the music was in minor or major, and if they were able to recognize the mode (Dorian). Two of them did it quite easily, but one of them had some trouble figuring it out. We asked them if they had thought about it before playing the first time, and none of them had until I told them. Armed with this new knowledge they played the music again, and we could already hear some differences in the way they play.


The next technique we used was visualization. At first, we can think of the excerpt as a lyrical solo, in a comfortable register for the trumpet, so the musician tends to relax and not think too much.But I think it is very important that we also dedicate a little time to it when we practice the small details, such as portamentos, knowing the scale, knowing the mode, knowing the different tensions that music has, articulation, and above all having a musical idea.

Regarding this last point, I asked them to close their eyes, imagine a scene from their childhood in which they felt happy and put this music as a soundtrack, as if it were a video clip, that is, to associate the music with a family memory for them, with which to connect easily.

It was a very interesting moment, since some of them, with their eyes closed, I could observe how they were entering their minds, and you could see in some moments how they smiled shyly, connecting with themselves. The result after this was very satisfactory as you can hear here.

Tim last time

The result with Tim was great in every way, but with Francesco, although it was much more musical than the last one, he probably used his feelings a lot and lost a bit of focus on technique. So I decided to use the buzzard to help him find his technique again, and I could see, and he also, that now everything was much more controlled and that he could express his musical idea with more sound quality.

Francesco last time

As a conclusion, I can see that each one of them needed different tools even though they had the same problem, which was not making proper use of the air flow and not being focused on the portamentos. In Tim’s case we approached it better from an emotional point of view, with a visualization of a place that was pleasant and joyful for him, and in Francesco’s case, we added the use of exercises with the mouthpiece to force him to use the air correctly and sing the whole passage.

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Johann de Meij (1953) composer and conductor from the Netherlands. He received his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, where he studied trombone and conducting. At present, he is considered for its original compositions, symphonic transcriptions and movie film soundtracks have become permanent elements in the repertoire of renowned ensembles throughout the world.

One of his most famous works is his Symphony No. 1 The Lord of the Rings, which received numerous awards and has been recorded by countless ensembles. The best seller written in 1954 by J.R.R. Tolkien is the story this work is based on, and the excerpt I chose is within the “Gandalf, the wizard” movement. [16]

The solo has a slow tempo, with a series of unusual intervals even though it is a cantabile excerpt. The harmony the composer used plays between major and minor chords, causing instability in the listener.

Listen here

During the workshop, we worked with the three students on how to improve initial performance.

We can hear how each of them was at a different starting point:



Abigail, with a more stable sound and with more control in the intervals, was able to offer better sound for this excerpt. Francesco and Tim, on the other hand, had more problems with the solo. They lacked confidence and the intervals were not precise. In Francesco’s case the articulation was not clear.

How to improve this excerpt quickly? This was my question during the entire excerpt selection process, because for trumpet players the most difficult thing to achieve is a clean sound, with a clear articulation in a lyrical excerpt, but still with character.

These are the exercises I proposed: 1- We analyzed the intervals, and all of them were fifths, except the last one that is an augmented fifth.

The students played each interval slowly, seeking clarity and solidifying the feeling in their bodies.

Abigail, who already had a clearer concept the first time she played it, was able to quickly achieve a better result, with a great sound and better control of the intervals.

Abigail last time

2- The next exercise we did with Tim and Francesco. They both knew the movies “The Lord of the Rings”, so they knew the story of “Gandalf the Magician”. We started talking about how to use this in music, and with Tim we concluded that a good advice would be to highlight the sixteenth notes giving them more importance, creating a more enveloping sound.

Tim last time

3- Francesco was in bad shape that day, and his mood was weak. We try to improve his breathing with:

  1. Mouthpiece exercises, without articulation, so that all the attention was on the change of note.
  2. The same exercise but on the trumpet.

We managed to improve the blowing a bit, but the result was still not satisfactory.

Francesco last time

Certainly, for this type of problem I would need more time and more tools to be able to get a good result. I’m not saying that Francesco couldn’t do better, but that day specifically, his mood kept him from moving forward and achieving his goals.

As a conclusion to this excerpt, I can emphasize that no matter how simple a trumpet solo may seem, the fact of preparing it for an audition makes it a very difficult goal, since not being a virtuosic solo, the trumpet player is obliged to have almost perfect technique in the basics. This causes extra pressure that makes interpretation more difficult. More work must be done on these types of mental aspects that create insecurities in students, which will almost certainly be reflected also during an audition.

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Vincent Persichetti, (United States, 1915-1987) composer known for his influence on the current form of composition in military bands such as wind bands, with generally diatonic melodies and a polyphonic style, with a distinctive mix of classical, romantic elements as well as those of modern music.

Divertimento was premiered in 1950, and initially it was going to be a complete orchestral work, but the composer soon rejected that idea, and composed it for wind band. [17]

Nowadays, the Divertimento for Wind Band is one of his most significant works and one of the best known in military wind band auditions in the United States.

I have chosen two excerpts, the Song movement with a great melody, and the Soliloquy movement, that is a piece for solo cornet and wind band. The second excerpt requires great resistance, since it is demanding and you need to have physical control of the air column to maintain an acceptable quality until the end of the solo. Sometimes it is split into two cornets players due to this problem.

Both solos are very expressive, but the first (Song) is simply a cornet solo in a movement where other instruments are also important. By contrast, Soliloquy is considered a soloist piece for cornet and band, so the cornet has more freedom regarding tempo and expressiveness.

It is a beautiful melody, in which we do not find particular technical difficulties.

Listen here Song

In Song, we worked on expression, since technically it is not a complicated solo. We talked about tonality, harmony, we found the musical direction, we wrote down together the notes that generated tension and that solved and we were able to create a great atmosphere.

In Abigail’s example, you can hear her playing it great at first, but musically it was a bit boring. After talking about how she felt, how we could improve it, and doing a musical analysis, she interpreted it in a much more personal way, and in my opinion much more interesting.


Abigail last time

1st cornet:

Listen here Soliloquy

For this discussion, I have chosen Francesco’s interpretation, because I think it gives us a lot of ideas of what he improved during a 4-minute session.

Francesco 1st time until bar 8

He was worried because his sound was dirty and his mood was quite pessimistic at the time. So I told him to put his trumpet on the table, sit down, and close his eyes. We were working on his performance at the time when he was struggling with his technical problems. This caused the mind to feel more comfortable and to recognize the errors so that it could fix them. Once finished, we did the opposite. I invited him to think of a moment when he played really well, that he was happy and proud of that moment, of how his trumpet sounded. We did not do any technique exercises, and the result was this:

Francesco last time until bar 8

His face changed completely, he was surprised by the change in loudness, its register (he was able to play A higher without problems) and its musicality. I wanted to show you that our mind is sometimes our worst enemy because we are focused on all the negative aspects of our playing, but I think it is essential that we work from all points of view, always looking for a positive energy to continue advancing and improving.

In conclusion, in these excerpts we have experienced that the state of mind is very important to strengthen the technique to be able to express what the trumpet player wants. In the examples it is possible to observe how the musical intention changes the sound, the articulation, and that sometimes we are too focused on the technique and in the search for a sound from a technical point of view, and only by changing how we feel internally, we can find solutions faster.

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Pascual Piqueras Cabanillas (Valencia, 1973). He is a composer truly dedicated to introducing and combining Andalusian music and flamenco with others musical styles. He combines them for example with jazz, traditional Spanish music and modern music. I have chosen this excerpt because Pascual Piqueras is a very special composer, whose characteristics are influenced by jazz, flamenco and modern music.

The name of this work from which this excerpt comes is named Cai, based in the city of southern Spain, Cádiz. Cadiz has historically been one of the most important cities for the development of flamenco and Andalusian music, but it was also one of the first European cities to listen to live Jazz concerts. That is why Pascual Piqueras decided to dedicate his famous work to this city. [18]

Listen here

Overall, this is a virtuosic fast solo, which makes it challenging. The main difficulties in this excerpt are many groups of five-sixteenth-notes, divided into 3 + 2, which must be played rhythmically precise. The performer must also feel the percussion section, since it continuously interprets the same rhythm. All of the students in the workshop had trouble feeling the beat and I decided to try different exercises with them. All three students had the same two problems in the first time that they interpreted it. As you can hear in the Francesco´s audio they could not feel the beat after the long notes, which affected the rhythm.


In order to find a solution I proposed the following exercises:

1- Listen to the recording and play together with it. This gives the players an insight into the real tempo, and helps them internalize the rhythm that is present throughout the work.

2- Once the time was discovered, I proposed to follow the music with clapping hands. All three students did this exercise successfully.

3- The next step was to add the singing voice to those claps. They did the clapping exercise and singing at the same time, in which they sang the melody and imitated the rhythmic scheme with their clapping hands.


This last exercise was challenging for them. While Abigail managed to do it naturally and quickly, Tim and Francesco had more problems. In fact, Francesco was unable to complete the exercise. Although this is not significant, it gave me a clue as to why it was difficult to play this solo with a stable internal rhythm. During all the sessions, Francesco always showed difficulties with the rhythm, with the stable tempo, and with a reading of the scores with some mistakes.


I could only get his tempo stable if I played the beat by clapping. Of course, in a concert it is easier to play, because you have the percussion section with you. But in an audition, these types of excerpts are often included precisely because they require precise tempo and rhythm control, and in that situation, there is no rhythm section to support the performer. [19]

In the second part of the solo, (bars 240 to 251) we can see how it is almost an improvisation. We can clearly hear Jazz influences and that they put an extra complication for the trumpet players. Added to the final part, reaching a high C (bar 251), which is a challenge for the trumpet players.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t work it with Abigail and Francesco because they didn’t want to play it because they weren’t sure about playing it. Tim showed courage and as we can hear in the two audio files below, he managed to improve a lot during a short session on this difficult excerpt.


In this audio you can hear that Tim had difficulties with unstable tempo, some mistakes in the highest notes in bars 245 and 251, among other small details. In many ways these are the same problems as in the previous solo (rhythmic difficulties, beat). On top of all that comes an added difficulties of this solo: its improvisation-like character and a high register, which is difficult to play at that speed.

I decided to apply the idea of breaking problems into smaller parts and divide the solo into two parts.


With this Tim began to feel more comfortable and to interpret the solo with more freedom. I continued working with Tim, with the following exercises: 1- Blow into the trumpet, simulating that you play but without emitting any vibration. This causes greater attention to finger coordination. 2- We also practiced Amy Cuddy’s power poses [3]. We used the “superwoman” technique,which consists of adopting an upright position, with legs apart, hands on hips, and eyes looking straight ahead. For two minutes, Tim took slow, deep breaths.

This produced a surprising improvement and he was able to play the solo with great agility, register and sound.

Tim last time

In conclusion, we see that in this type of virtuosic extracts, the mind plays a crucial role. Furtheremore, it is very important that the student rhythmically understands what is happening, as then things become easier. These two aspects (understanding of the rhythm and mindset) can seem easy to fixed. But when one is playing the trumpet, the sensations on the lips are different every day. And this directly affects confidence. If we put the focus of attention only on our lips, trying to do the vibration with lips as optimal as possible that can make us forget the other aspects (musicality, breathing).

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Alfred Reed (United States, 1921-2005). Composer, editor and professor at the University of Miami, Alfred Reed was one of the American composers with the largest repertoire, since he has more than two hundred published works for orchestra, wind band, wind ensemble or choir. Reed’s wind band compositions have been released as CD recordings by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. Regarding his play Othello, it is written for a performance of a Shakespeare play at the University of Miami. This project was a success, and in 1977, he decided to rework the music into an 18 minutes musical for wind band. [20]

When talking about the movement I chose to focus on, the composer Alfred Reed says that : The second movement, Aubade (Cyprus), is a morning song performed by traveling musicians under the window of Othello and Desdemona (act III), titled, appropriately , “Good morning, General.” [21] . And the listener can hear that it is a happy piece, as if wanting to emulate the morning, with a light articulation, a few simple chords without many instruments and with a brilliant melody.

Listen here

The greatest difficulty we can find in this passage is clearly the articulation. We must be aware that for a trumpet player, articulating repeatedly, cleanly and clearly is one of the most difficult aspects. That is why we focused on achieving a clear articulation, with a fresh and joyful musical idea.

Here we can hear the first performances. Tim and Abigail had some difficulties with fast and precise articulation:


Tim had problems as we can hear in the coordination between tonguing and the pitch of the notes,and with an articulation that was not clean.


Abigail showed other problems, since her articulation was cleaner, but the blowing presented insecurities, so the interpretation was not her best version. While Francesco controlled the solo from the beginning, showing confidence and great sound.


I proposed to Tim and Abigail to start working on this excerpt the following exercises:

  1. Play the excerpt only with the mouthpiece, but without articulation.

  2. Play the excerpt only with the mouthpiece, but now with articulation and with the other hand pressing the pistons for a correct coordination.

With these exercises we managed to improve articulation and blowing, which gave them more confidence for the following exercises, that were more focused on music. With Abigail, we did the exercise that helped the most was playing the dynamics in reverse. So when she wanted to make a crescendo she had to make a diminuendo, when she wanted a long legato she had to make it short.

Abigail last part

This exercise was also done by Tim, but we can hear that it didn’t work for him. I think he needed more time with exercises to improve his technique and his articulation.

Tim last time

With Francesco, finding ourselves at a very good starting point, we made a mental representation imagining that he was playing one of the street musicians who played for Othello in the performance Alfred Reed was talking about.

Francesco last time

I think that in the end, all three improved compared to their first time, but it is true that in Francesco’s case he already played the excerpt very well, and that Tim could not improve everything that I thought he could do. This can be due to a lot of external things, but the results are what determine whether or not it worked.

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Robert W. Smith (born 1958) is one of the most popular and prolific composers of music band and musical literature in America.

Most of his works are compositions and arrangements made during his long association with Warner Bros. His original works for wind band and have been represented by a number of military bands, university bands and others. His Symphony No. 1 The Divine Comedy is probably his best known work, for which he has received critical acclaim around the world. [22]

Listen here

This excerpt has several peculiarities:

The first one was the use of the mute, a basic complement for trumpet players, since it helps us to change the sound depending on what the composer is looking for. There are different types of mutes (straight, cup, harmon, plunger), but within each one, we can also choose to find a suitable sound for each moment. That is why we did a straight mute test, with 5 different brands, all of them of great quality, but looking for different colors. Being a passage that, as the title of the movement says, is hell, we were looking for a more metallic sound and with a more aggressive response regarding articulation and character.

Here are a few examples with Abigail, where we can hear differences between the different brands of straight mute.

Denis Wick

Best brass
Marcus Bonna

It may sound vain, but in these cases a mute can be much more important than we think. Abigail felt very comfortable with her mute, since for this moment it was one of the most suitable. On the contrary, Francesco and Tim decided to change their mute for one of the ones I wore that day (they both chose the Best Brass), since their own equipment was not the most appropriate for this excerpt.

Once the mute issue was resolved, we only had to worry about the music, so we did analysis of the intervals. We are talking about the tritone, an interval that was forbidden in the past because it was the “devil’s interval”. And it is no coincidence that the composer used it for this moment within the movement called “The Inferno”.

After analyzing this, I discovered another common flaw in all three students. They weren’t analyzing the excerpt, they weren’t thinking about the acceleration-deceleration at the end, a clear musical idea. They played it without thinking about how they wanted it to sound, so we worked on it from a theoretical point of view, while they sang and decided what their version was.

Once they understood this, none had any problem playing it in a more decisive way than the first time they did.

In the examples below, we can hear Francesco play it for the first and last time.

Francesco first time

Francesco last time

Once worked correctly, we can conclude that in this excerpt we observe that an external aspect such as the mute can greatly influence the way of interpreting.

We can also add that we must put more emphasis on musical ideas, and that when we work on them precisely, this can be played with much more confidence and more clearly for the listener. I have been able to listen and observe that when the idea is clear in the mind of the musician, all technical problems such as articulation or the problem of interval jumps, are easier to solve.

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As I already mentioned at the beginning of this research, I had two clear objectives: collect and give importance to the music for wind band and their auditions in this case for trumpet, and choose some of those excerpts and do some research to see if we can improve instantly with some students.

The compilation of trumpet solos for wind band has been a difficult job, but very satisfying. I have been able to meet many people who are enthusiastic about this topic, I have been able to meet many composers, styles of music and my love for this has increased.

About the workshops, It is surprising to hear these students saying that they did not know almost any piece of music by these composers, and that after doing some work on them, they had not only listened to the entire music, but have also listened to other compositions by them. This was clearly one of the big reasons of this research, to make this fantastic music better known to young musicians, who are studying to one day do an audition and become members of an orchestra or wind band.

It is inspiring to see how the students improved in such short sessions (30-45 minutes). We used simple exercises, and that clearly do not represent a revolution in teaching. However, they are exercises that are tested and proven not only in music, but in other very different fields such as entrepreneurs or people who need to express themselves with clarity in front of an audience.

I proposed different types of exercises that led the students to improvement. The exercises could be divided into 3 types:

  1. Blow exercises: Exercises such as blowing the trumpet without producing sounds, singing the solo or playing it only with the mouthpiece are some examples that we use to acquire a foundation on something very basic but that is easily forgetful when you have to face a difficult excerpt.

  2. Technique: I have used this type of exercise when the excerpt had a certain difficulty, such as the articulation, which was very virtuosic or, on the contrary, it was a slow solo but with difficult intervals for the musician. I created different exercises, always simpler than the excerpt, so that the student could find help in it, and that after the exercises he felt more confident in interpreting the excerpt. The results with this section were optimal, although it is true that for better results I would have needed more sessions specifically to improve the technique of each one of them. This type of exercises had an almost absolute acceptance in the students, and they improved instantly, since it is something that all trumpet players do when we are relaxed, so these exercises do not want to implant anything new, they are more reminders of what we have to do.

  3. Mental: This type of exercise in my opinion is the field where we should work the most with the students for an audition. It is increasingly common for conservatories to have subjects focused on these topics, and it is notable in the preparation of students that they are increasingly mentally prepared. I used different techniques such as mental representations, with which it is easier for the student to connect with the excerpt and express more clearly. We also use techniques to improve your confidence, such as the “power postures”, with which the musician can feel more about his body, his confidence and when everything is connected, the results are optimal. Or finally, meditation exercises, with which the student could remember moments in which his performance made him happy, in which we can recover those sensations and use them in our day to day, or on the contrary, remember a bad moment, and examine why that circumstance occurred, and try to analyze it and get our mind to use it as a tool to improve, not as a fear that occurs in times of more stress.

I think it is important to highlight that one of the most recurrent issues during these 9 sessions has been the lack of self-esteem in students when making decisions. I think that as students, we are always predisposed to listen to our teachers. They always want to help us and demand our maximum, and while they talk about your strengths, they also point out our weaknesses. But in our mind, the weak points are always more important, and when the moment of performance comes, we can feel weak if we cannot solve these problems. What is important to realize is that because of this exaggeration of negative aspects, all of our positive aspects are suppressed. I believe that with these exercises, the students can quickly realize that they are capable of being a better musicians if tey are aware of their weaknesses and strengths. Of course, with this research I do not want to criticize any educational system, nor the pedagogy that is being used today. I just want to emphasize that as students sometimes we need a little more space in which to be independent, to be able to think about different musical situations, to look for our own voice while we play.Although stiriving for perfection and respect for the music we are playing are good things, we must look for our version, either improving small technical aspects, or simply imagining how we want to sound like.

This research has helped me a lot in how to face auditions for a professional orchestra or wind band in the future, since I have been able to investigate much more deeply different techniques, books, videos that talk about this topic and that generates so much concern in trumpet players.

The exercises carried out with the students and their improvements make me continue investigating and recording myself to discover those little details that I have been able to discover in the students, but which of course are also in my way of playing.

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Without a doubt, I do not want this work to remain in a research to finish my master’s degree. The next step is to continue developing this method with a book (online format) with different sales packs, in which to introduce online classes, recordings of some principal trumpet, recordings of these solos, and a minus one [23], so that you can play with everyone the members of a band, and you can perform that trumpet solo.

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Della Fonte, L.(*2003) La banda: oschestra del nuovo millenio, storia della letteratura originale per l’orchestra e l’ensemble di fati. Roma: Animando Ed.

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Dalia, C. G. (2007). Como ser feliz si eres músico o tienes uno cerca. Madrid: Mundimusica ediciones s. l.

Dalia, C. G. (2019). El músico interior. Madrid: Mundimusica ediciones s. l.

Ferrero, A. (2002)., Las bandas de música en el mundo. Valencia: Rivera Editores.

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García, Rafael (2015). Cómo preparar con éxito un concierto o audición. Barcelona:Redbook Ediciones.

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1- What general opinion do you have about the workshops?

Abigail: The workshops were helpful in getting feedback with a new style of playing, since I didn’t have much wind ensemble experience and rarely had to work on wind ensemble excerpts. It was helpful to know how best to practice these excerpts, and what qualifies to bring out. I learned a lot about the different roles - being in the ensemble with a trumpet part, or playing more soloistically with a cornet part.

Tim: I am really enthusiastic about the workshops. They were of great help and with a very nice atmosphere.

Francesco:I think the workshops are really good for a student in this way.

2- Do you think that the exercises proposed would help you in preparation for an audition, or do you think they should be more strict?

Abigail: I think the physical exercises were really helpful in the initial learning phase of preparing music, and the mental exercises could be applied to all stages, even during the performance/audition.

Tim: I think the exercises can help a lot in this way. It also leaves more freedom to whomever is doing the exercise to see what fits them, so I do not think it should be more strict. Working on music in this way can deepen the understanding of the music and increase the musical way of playing of the musician.

Francesco:Definitely yes! This way of thinking helped me to focus more on the music instead of focusing just on technique.

3- Do you think that the exercises carried out to improve our mood, self-confidence, mentalization, visual representations … really help us to play better?

Abigail: The mental exercises helped with allowing more creativity to come through, instead of playing safe. They helped me feel more comfortable and confident, and I allowed myself to reach more of the potential I have. I personally think that playing is about 70% mental, and in my own experience, mental exercises have really improved my ability to perform well.

Tim: Definitely! Self-confidence is vital in having a convincing performance. Also to be able to tell a story is very important. Using personal memories can give a very strong emotional weight/value on the music that you will be able to recall at any time since it is very dear to you.

Francesco:Yes! Referring to what I wrote before, I think all exercise were imprinted to think first about the positive things that you already have, and than they push you to think: what can I do to be better? They help you to become a protagonist.

4- Be as honest as you can, do you think these exercises are easy to do in a study routine? Would you implement them?

Abigail: The exercises that were specific to the piece, improvising and modifying with the phrase, key, and rhythm, also helped loosen the rigidity of playing orchestral excerpts that I had been used to. I think this concept can be applied to any piece. I would definitely implement those exercises into my preparation to encourage myself to play with more freedom and expression, without fear.

Tim: It’s difficult to start doing them when you’re not used to it. But I think they will give so many benefits that it is definitely worth doing them. This is often not taught in school so that does make it more difficult to start doing it in your routine.

Francesco:I will be honest, this way of thinking during my practice routine is really smart because it helps me to make the right questions to my self, the truth is that this doesn’t happen always. This workshops helped me to remind my self about the good habits more and more.

5- Do you think that some exercise did not work for you?**

Abigail: I still struggle with meditation and calming my brain. I don’t know if it helped me immediately during the workshops, but I know that with more practice in meditation and visualizing, it will unlock a very helpful tool for me.

Tim: There was no exercise that really did not work. I do have some exercises that spoke to me more. For instance the connecting of a memory to a section is something I really want to start using in my own practice. This makes it a lot easier for me to tell a story and set a mood. One comment: I think I would have felt a bit more comfortable and I think I could’ve gotten more out of the exercises if I would have prepared better. Beforehand I didn’t know really how well I should’ve prepared. So I felt a bit underprepared in the sessions. (So part of the time had to be spent on me looking at the notes properly).

Francesco: There was no exercise that really did not work, absolutely not.

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1. Trumpet: until 6:40 until 17:50 until 18:30 until 17:25

2. Cornet:

3. Piccolo trumpet:

Libertadores (Navarro, O.)

4. Flugelhorn:

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  1. Military Trumpet Jobs. Last accessed, 05.03.2021. ↩︎

  2. Tim Meulenbeld (2000, The Netherlands). He studies in his 3rd year of the classical trumpet bachelor at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. He started playing the trumpet at 16 after having played the saxophone for several years before that. He has played in several amateur windbands first on saxophone and then also on trumpet. ↩︎

  3. Abigail Rowland, originally from Hong Kong, currently studies for her Masters degree in trumpet performance at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Prior to this, she obtained her bachelor’s degree with a full scholarship at Lynn Conservatory in Florida, the United States. She started playing at age 10, and since then has played in summer music festivals such as Eastern Music Festival and the Hong Kong Festival Orchestra, and professional ensembles such as the Dutch National Ballet Orchestra. ↩︎

  4. Francesco Siri, originally from Italy, currently studies for his Masters degree in trumpet performance at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Prior to this, he obtained his master degree at Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, Italy. He started playing at age 10, and since than has played with Mauro Moruzzi Junior Band and the Orchestra Academy OF IMF (International Musical Friendship) where he can explored the Wind Band and symphony repertoire. He also played with the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, the Bruckner Akademie in Munich and the Orchestra of Theatre Regio of Torino. ↩︎

  5. The Harmoniemusik is the music write for wind players ensemblethat enjoyed a great boom in Europe between the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century. Composers such as J. C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Rosetti, Krommer and Druschetzky, among others, wrote for this group. ↩︎

  6. This is a well-known idea among brass players, but I got to know it thanks to Luis Gonzalez Martí, trumpet teacher in Musikene (Spain) BIO. Last accessed, 01.03.2021. ↩︎

  7. Tunning tactics, Chase Sanborn. Last accessed, 28.02.2021. ↩︎

  8. I have found this information in an article of Rocio del Olmo called Muscle memory How to take advantage of it to achieve a more efficient practice (Spanish) who is a pianist and a music therapist. ( Last accessed, 20.02.2021. ↩︎

  9. Guillermo Dalia speaks of an optimal performance in his book Cómo superar la ansiedad escénica en músicos, when the musician acquires a series of mental abilities (mental representations, concentration, positive energies) and techniques with the instrument (not having technical problems with music, expressing musical ideas understandable to the audience) at an optimal level for interpretation. An important aspect that the writer comments is: “An optimal interpretation is not one in which everything is perfect, but one in which you offer the best version that can be offered under the circumstances" (Dalia 2004, p. 72). ↩︎

  10. Last accessed, 05.05.2020. ↩︎

  11. Last accessed, 18.01.2021. ↩︎

  12. The buzzard is a tool that trumpet players use to perform mouthpiece exercises in a way that is more similar to playing the trumpet. This helps improve airflow, sing more with the instrument, and keep an eye on the mouthpiece. It is advisable to use it, but never in a very continuous way, as it can cause muscle overload. ↩︎

  13. Last accessed,19.07.2020. ↩︎

  14. accessed, 20.01.2021 ↩︎

  15. Last accessed, 18.01.2021. ↩︎

  16. Last accessed, 20.01.2021. ↩︎

  17. Last accessed, 21.01.2021. ↩︎

  18. Last accessed, 18.01.2021. ↩︎

  19. A similar case would be the famous Bolero by Maurice Ravel, which with the help of the snare drum greatly facilitates the stable rhythm within the interpretation of each of the orchestra’s solos. But at least in the trumpet auditions, it is a highly demanded excerpt. ↩︎

  20. Last accessed, 21.01.2021. ↩︎

  21. accessed, 01.03.2021 ↩︎

  22. Last accessed, 20.01.2021. ↩︎

  23. Minus one or Play along: Music digital format for beginner to professional musicians players could solo with a professional orchestra thanks to the high-quality recordings that accompanied each book. ↩︎