You contacted us and you have an appointment. But now what? What should you bring with you and how much should you practice before you get here? This page is meant to help you prepare for that first lesson.
We are as excited about your first lesson as you are. We want you to get as much out of it as possible. You can help make that happen by following a few basic steps as outlined below.
"What should I bring?"
When new students sign up, they often ask us “What should I bring to my first trumpet lesson?” Each student is different, but here is a standard list of things to bring that applies to almost everyone.
If you don’t have an instrument yet, that’s okay. We can talk about that in your lesson. If you are interested, you can even rent a beginner trumpet directly from us.
A Piece of Music to Play
Choose something that is not very difficult.
It’s better to play a piece of music than to play an exercise.
One Inch Ring Binder
You should have a separate binder for all of your lesson materials. Try not to mix school band music with your trumpet lesson music.
What To Expect
1) Musical Introduction
“Play something for me.”
After personal introductions, one of the first things Mr. Lewis will ask you to do in the lesson is to play something on your trumpet for him. We usually prefer that you play a piece of music, like a song, an etude or a trumpet solo. If you have a solo you prepared for a contest or audition, that would be perfect. Or if you prefer, just play something you like to play.
Mr. Lewis can asses your basic level of playing fairly quickly, in just a few seconds. This is important because for him to help you, Mr. Lewis needs to know how far away you are from your current musical goals.
If you are an absolute beginner (someone who has never played the trumpet before), then this part of the first lesson does not apply to you. In fact, we recommend that you avoid “trying” to play the instrument before you get here. There are a great many bad habits that can begin when you try to play the trumpet for the first time. If you wait until the lesson, Mr. Lewis can guide you through that process initial learning process. This small amount of patience will pay off in big dividends in the near future.
2) Your Musical Goals
Typically the next thing Mr. Lewis will ask you is “what are your musical goals?” What do you want to accomplish in your lessons?
Between now and your first lesson, spend a little time thinking about what your goals are as a trumpet player. There’s nothing wrong with having general goals, like “trying to get better at playing the trumpet.” But whether your goals are specific or general, your lessons will always be more gratifying if you know why you want to be here.
We focus on both long and short term goals in the lessons, and we feel it is extremely important to clarify those goals from the very beginning. This eliminates any wasted time in the earlier lessons.
That said, there’s no rule that says you can’t change your mind about your goals along the way. Most students’ goals change as they mature as trumpet players.
3) Reviewing Options
Once Mr Lewis knows where you are as a player and where you want to be (your goals), he will spell out for you what it will take for you to reach those goals. In some lessons, you will begin working towards those goals immediately. There have been some first lessons in the past when Mr. Lewis helped the student solve major problems immediately. However, for most goals, it can take longer. Some people with very high general goals can spend seven or eight years pursuing the level of excellence that they desire for themselves.
4) Getting Started Right Away
When time permits, we can get started working on your goals right away in that first lesson. We can establish a plan and once that is established, we can take those first steps together towards fulfilling those plans.
There is typically very little “wasted time” in lessons with Mr. Lewis. This is partly because of his goal oriented approach to teaching. When you have a goal and a plan to reach that goal, there is no need for second guessing what should be done next in the lessons.
And for that reason, there’s never a reason to dawdle. When we finish the first three steps of the first lesson with enough time left over to get started, we will do precisely that.
5) Closing With a Little Business
We try to take care of most business via email. However, if there are any unresolved issues, we will try to take care of that before the end of the first lesson.
If your first lesson is taking advantage of our offer of a free consultation, then you can let us know your decision to continue at a later time. We will never pressure you to decide during the consultation.