2012 WRA Summer Programs Trumpet Boot Camp from Western Reserve Academy on Vimeo.
It’s a true test of endurance for the students taking part in the week-long Trumpet Boot Camp as Ed Wiles, a music teacher at Western Reserve Academy, works with the students for three hours a day on solo and ensemble playing, technique and music theory.
Wiles is particularly proud of the middle-school students – Schuyler Dick and Nate Chlysta – in the course, part of WRA’s Summer Enrichment Program curriculum. The length of instruction time is standard for professionals and college students, and the desire of the students in his class to work that long reflects their desire to improve.
“It takes a lot of embouchure power. It really is a marathon,” Wiles said. (Embouchure refers to the position and use of the lips in producing a musical tone on a wind instrument).
Wiles spent class time focusing on the sound produced by the students, working to correct their embouchure and posture to help them achieve a better tone, especially on the notes in the higher register of the instrument.
“We’re working on every aspect that we can,” he said. “They (the students) have solos with piano accompanying them, as well as ensemble work. They are also doing a lot of reading music. We’ve also been watching the PBS Ken Burns’ Jazz series.”
At the end of the week, the students put on a recital for their parents, performing solo pieces, duets and trios. Performance pieces included classical selections, such as Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary and Handel’s First Symphony; songs from Disney’s music library, including Whistle While You Work and Off to Work We Go; and jazz numbers. On some of the selections Wiles accompanied them on piano; on others, he played along on trumpet.
“The (jazz) solos were the best because it’s fun to experiment with them,” Chlysta said.
“Overall, I liked it all,” Dick added. “I liked the jazz part but I really enjoyed the solo lessons.”
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