Online Trumpet Lessons with John Hutchinson
Regular (or even occasional) trumpet lessons are an invaluable part of progressing your playing. Often it is not always easy to find a suitable teacher locally, nor to find a regular time slot each week that you can commit to.
The simple solution to this is online tuition. Through Skype, FaceTime or Zoom, you can easily have a lesson in real time from thousands of miles away – Some current students are in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia!
I have been a professional trumpeter and teacher for over 20 years, after graduating from the Royal College of Music in 1999. I have performed with many of the UK’s top orchestras as well as with jazz, pop and commercial artists such as Joss Stone, Bjork, BBC Big Band, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Brand New Heavies, Ronan Keating and Vanessa Mae. I have taught adults and young people privately for many years and have also held teaching posts at numerous UK schools and colleges. Currently I teach trumpet and ensembles at Shrewsbury School among others.
My focus in lessons is on good fundamental technique, whether the student is a complete beginner or aspiring professional player. Alongside this must go a variety of repertoire and musical styles to keep the student progressing musically as well as enjoying the lessons.
Contact me with any questions or to book a slot.
“Do I need any audio equipment at home?” No, not necessarily. You will need a stable internet connection, but in most cases we can manage with using just the built in microphone and camera in your tablet or computer. A better quality microphone can not hurt though!
“Surely online lessons aren’t as good as in person?” They are different, that is for sure! From a teaching perspective, although you can not hear the intricacies of the student’s sound as clearly as in person, you can tell and diagnose most technical challenges by watching. You can easily tell on camera for example, if a student needs to work more on breathing and support. Likewise, it is straightforward also to demonstrate these techniques to the student. I am also asked frequently about embouchure issues – diagnosing and demonstrating are also perfectly manageable online.
“Is the trumpet the right instrument for my child to start to learn?” This is a pretty easy question to answer. YES!… as long as your child wants to play, understands that they will need to practise at home, and you are prepared to support their practice at home. People often ask about their child’s physiology and suitability for particular instruments. Trumpet is a physical instrument in the way that it is your body that creates the sound to begin with. You breathe in and then use this air to create vibrations past your lips, and then through the trumpet. I have heard people talk about certain mouth shapes or dental setups being incompatible with trumpet playing. I am a firm believer that there are very few physical obstacles that are insurmountable – good air support is the key to setting up a stable and successful embouchure, not necessarily the shape of your face.
“What age can my child start learning the trumpet?” I would never want to put an arbitrary age guidance on when to start as I believe that the biggest factors are your child’s enthusiasm for music and for learning. There is certainly a level of commitment required from both children and parents to make sure that independent practice happens, so from this point of view I tend to suggest that a physical instrument such as the trumpet is not generally suitable for much younger children.
“Does my child need front teeth?” Front teeth are pretty essential to provide a solid base behind the lips so that they can stay stable while playing. Adult teeth do not need to be fully formed at the front, but they really do need to be starting to come through. This is why around age 8 is a very popular starting point. I have started younger children (as young as 5) on trumpet who are really enthusiastic, but you need to be prepared to perhaps take a few months off when the front teeth start to wobble in readiness for the adult teeth coming through. I have spoken to a number of dentists about children playing the trumpet, as this is often a concern from parents that their child’s dental development could be impacted. There is no evidence that this is the case, and the only real reason for avoiding trumpeting when front milk teeth start to wobble is to avoid any discomfort.
“What information can you provide regarding safeguarding?” I am DBS (the UK’s Disclosure & Barring Service) checked as an experienced instrumental teacher in schools. I also ask that an adult is on hand for younger students and aware that the lesson is going on. All correspondence concerning children’s lessons is directed through the parents or carers.
“How much do lessons cost?” I charge a rate of £33 (approx $40 USD) per hour, and generally teach lessons of 30, 40 or 60 minutes. Payment can be made by PayPal or bank transfer.
Contact me with any questions or to book a slot.