Compendium of Modern Teaching
An interview with David
Mase says the following in the Preface of Trumpet Pedagogy:
For those of
us wrapped up in the world of trumpet performance, study, and teaching,
Trumpet Pedagogy is destined to become the most frequently used book in
our libraries. It is the most complete, modern, “user’s manual” on
trumpet playing, offering an incredible wealth of information presented
clearly, objectively, and concisely.
most books on trumpet technique and study make it a point to illustrate
only the author’s point of view, Professor Hickman has carefully
represented his own, plus many different but widely accepted,
approaches to the instrument. With hundreds of photographs and
illustrations, Trumpet Pedagogy is an encyclopedia of various,
sometimes diametrically opposed, ways of playing and teaching the
think of another individual more qualified to undertake the daunting
task of compiling such a book than David Hickman. He is not only a
superb trumpeter and gifted artist, but is recognized as one of the
finest trumpet teachers of our time. His vast trumpet knowledge,
incredible organizational skills, and inexhaustible energy are simply
unparalleled in the field. My congratulations to him for the great
service he has done for the entire trumpet community with the
publication of Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching
American Brass Quintet
Brass, The Juilliard School
Before we start talking about
the book, could you tell us a bit about your background as a trumpeter
I began teaching
beginners when I was in high school back in the 1960s. I enjoyed it and
continued teaching kids of all ages when I was in college. I
taught as many as 55 students per week while an undergraduate at the
University of Colorado. This made my schooling possible, as my parents
could only afford part of my costs.
In graduate school at Wichita State University, I was made a Graduate
Trumpet Teaching Assistant. I taught an 18 hour load where I gave
15 private lessons per week (all music majors), taught the music
education trumpet methods class, conducted the brass choir, and played
in the faculty brass quintet. Even though I was paid as an
assistant, it was really a full-time faculty position.
Because of my experience as a GTA, I was able to land a job as trumpet
professor at the University of Illinois in 1974. I was the
youngest faculty member on campus, a university of 35,000 students and
800 music majors. I taught there for 8 years (1974-1982). I
then moved to Arizona State University in Tempe (suburb of
Phoenix) in the Fall of 1982 and have now been there for 25 years.
My main focus as a performer was in solo playing. I was under the
auspices of the Joanne Rile Artists Management in Philadelphia
for 25 years. I performed over 2,000 concerts during this time,
mostly as a guest soloist with orchestras. I also played in
the Saint Louis Brass Quintet (11 years) and continue to play with the
Summit Brass (20 years). I released 15 solo albums plus a dozen
more with SLBQ or SB.
did this book project start?
the last 33 years, I have been required to teach a Trumpet
Pedagogy course to all performance trumpet majors. During this
time, I accumulated many notebooks full of clinic notes, quotes,
and other materials. I also own nearly all method and etude books
available. It just seemed like it was time that someone compiled
these various teaching techniques into a textbook. I did a great
deal of research to update my materials and gather sources of
information. I made the decision to include all of the many ways
of playing and teaching that seem popular, even though many of the
systems have opposing concepts.
You have had some valuable assistance
in this project. Could you say something about that?
I commissioned a wonderful illustrator, Holly Nielsen, for 89 original
illustrations. Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski did the many music
examples, and I took nearly all of the 369 photos. Some really
interesting photos of early trumpets were provided by Franz
Streitweiser through the Musikinstrumentenmuseum Schloss Kremsegg.
I utilized the expertise of several world authorities for certain
chapters. The "Psychology" chapter was edited by Dr. Richard Cox,
one of the world's leading sport psychologists and medical
doctors. The chapter "Trumpet Intonation and Acoustics" was
edited by R. Dale Olson, retired Director of Research for the F. E.
Olds & Sons company. Dr. Grady Hallman, a famous heart
surgeon and M. D. for over 45 years (Houston) is the editor of the
chapter on "Medical Conditions That May Adversely Affect Trumpet
The general Editor of the book is Amanda Pepping. Amanda is a
brilliant trumpet soloist and Fulbright Scholar. She studied with
me for six years and was one of my Graduate Teaching Assistants before
studying in Germany with Dr. Edward Tarr and Reinhold Friedrich.
How is the book organised?
The 502 pages of text
include 15 chapters and 10 appendices. The Table of Contents is 6
I take the reader through many subjects, from pedal tones to spit
valves, providing explanations of the problems, possible solutions,
quotes from other authors, and a bibliography of related sources.
It is designed to be a self-help book, or a basis for class discussion
on each topic.
Trumpet Pedagogy is a compendium of many of the leading thoughts and
methods of trumpet playing. Some of these thoughts
and methods are opposing. For example, method A says "use lip buzz",
method B says "never use lip buzz". How do you deal with these
that there are "many roads to Rome" came during my studies at the
University of Colorado with Dr. Frank Baird. His dissertation is
titled "A History and Annotated Bibliography of Tutors for Trumpet and
Cornet." He summarized the main ideas of hundreds of methods,
often sharing some of the more interesting or controversial ones with
me. I was amazed and fascinated with all of the different,
sometimes opposing, ways of playing and teaching the trumpet. I
decided then that I would never laugh at or "put down" any method of
playing just because I didn't use it. By memorizing or referring
to various methods other than my own, I have had a much greater success
in my teaching than I would have had otherwise. Most teachers are
very lucky to have 20-50% success in making their students into fine
professionals. I have been fortunate to have perhaps a 98%
Who would benefit from this book, and how should they use it?
serious trumpet players and teachers will benefit from this book.
I was amazed at how much I, myself, learned while putting it together
and researching more about its hundreds of subjects. It is meant
to be a reference, and I use it every day in my teaching. I show
illustrations or photos, quote various authors, etc. and am able to
convey ideas to students much more effectively than I could without it.
where can people get the book?
quickest and easiest way to purchase the book is through my website:
Several large music dealers carry it, but I have little representation
in stores in Europe. The shipping costs to Europe are usually
only 50-60% of what my computer ordering system charges. So, I
refund the difference to the buyer's credit card. This means that
the book (which weighs about 5 pounds, or 2.2 kilos) typically costs
about $30 to ship by Air Mail to any European country.
The book is available at a special introductory price of US$69 +
shipping. (The regular price is $95.)