Interview with Luis Loubriel
In 2006, Luis
Loubriel published his first book, “Lasting Change for
We had an interview about the book – (see abel.hive.no/trumpet/interview/loubriel/)
Now, in 2013, Luis has published several new books. Here is a
follow up interview:
In our first interview, I asked about your background (see that
interview). Could you tell us what you have been doing since
Yes, since 2006—besides performing and teaching—I have written
four books: Back to Basics for Trumpeters; Brass Singers; Brass
Fundamentals; and Advanced Lip Plyometrics. In addition, I revised
and expanded Lasting Change for Trumpeters: The Pedagogical
Approach of Arnold Jacobs and I am currently editing a new—not yet
released—method book titled Singing Brass (a method book designed
to provide brass players with artistic performance materials
geared toward developing a beautiful tone through artistry).
These books represent my collective effort to bringing forward
effective pedagogical and performance concepts while relating them
to performance materials—as evident in the publications of
Advanced Trumpet Plyometrics and Singing Brass (which are method
books to be used in the practice room for artistic and technical
You have published five books and soon book number six will be
out. Before we talk about that new book, “Singing Brass”,
perhaps we could talk about the other five?
I will be happy to comment on each of the books. Lasting Change
for Trumpeters and Back to Basics for Trumpeters present selected
aspects found in the teaching of Arnold Jacobs and Vincent
Brass Singers is the non-academic version of Lasting Change for
Trumpeters. Brass Singers is written for those brass players who
want to read the instructional portions of Arnold Jacobs’ teaching
that relate to the performance aspects of brass playing. (Lasting
Change for Trumpeters relates closely to the teaching aspects of
Each book is written in narrative form for ease of reading, while
organizing pedagogical and performance concepts to facilitate
their learning. All my books are available through the Scholar
Publications website at: www.scholarpublications.com
and through selected re-sellers.
In “Brass Singers”, you say the following: “Once a century
comes along a brass master whose teaching represent that
century’s collective approach.” Jean Baptiste Arban was this
figure for the Nineteenth Century and Arnold Jacobs for the
Twentieth Century. Could you elaborate on that?
Yes, in retrospect, and after researching relevant methods and
pedagogical materials available during the 19th Century, Arban’s
method is unique in how he organized the technical and artistic
aspects of brass playing. Arban—although we do not have recordings
or extensive first hand accounts of his teaching; so we do not
know how he taught in practice—organized his method by "technical
layers" (from the simple tone production studies to the more
complex multiple tonguing exercises) and by chapters (each chapter
dedicated to specific techniques). It was as if he were
analyzing—or constructing—brass performance techniques one element
at a time. His approach was analytical in terms of the
physical aspects of brass playing but he also balanced this
physical approach with an artistic approach—as evident in the
second half of his method book (I.e., the artistic solos; etudes;
and characteristic studies).
During the second half of the Twentieth Century, Jacobs
was—especially during the last 10-15 years of his teaching
tenure—working with the psychological aspects of brass playing.
This psychological approach was prevalent in other fields—such as
sports training—after the 1970s. Similar to Arban, Jacobs
emphasized the correction of the physical aspects in brass playing
while balancing them with an artistic approach. He was able to
integrate his knowledge of science, music, and teaching into a
simple pedagogical approach. In this way, Jacobs represents the
integration that is possible in modern times.
You are not the only student of Jacobs and Cichowicz who have
written about their teaching. There are several books about the
legacy of Jacobs. Also from Cichowicz there are now books
(with CDs) – “Long Tone Exercises” and “Flow Studies”. Why
did Jacobs and Cichowicz not publish any books or methods?
When we started working on Back to Basics for Trumpeters,
Cichowicz told me that he was excited about this project because
he had never thought of his teaching in abstract form. That is, he
utilized his intuition to find solution for his students’
problems, but he did not set out to create a “method” to be
strictly followed by others as a pedagogical “instruction book.”
Back to Basics for Trumpeters is a presentation of Cichowicz’
pedagogical and artistic ideas—which can be used by other teachers
and performers as a foundation from which one could base one’s own
pedagogical approach. I think the same can be said of Arnold
Are there any difference between the teaching of Jacobs and
Yes, but first we have to remember that Cichowicz was an Arnold
Jacobs student. Cichowicz “custom tailored” some of Jacobs’
teaching concepts—e.g., the mental imaging of sound and the
concept of air support—for trumpet playing. Cichowicz gave the
mental and technical aspects of Jacobs’ teaching more focus so
they would directly apply to the trumpet repertoire.
The fifth book is a music book – “Advanced Lip Plyometrics”.
What is Plyometrics?
Plyometrics means “airborne exercises;” in other words, for
brass players it means interval exercises. This book is designed
to challenge brass players to play artistic materials that require
two-octave runs plus a variety of artistic challenges—the jumping
from register to register and from style to style.
The first part of the book is dedicated to preparatory exercises,
which gradually takes players from a warm up routine and ends with
challenging artistic exercises. At the end of the routine
sequence, players will feel ready to take on further challenges
from the second part of the book; the Artistic Etudes.
Finally, could you tell us about the new book, “Singing Brass”?
Yes, Singing Brass is the practical representation of Brass
Singers. In other words, Brass Singers encourages players to sing
with their lips as they are performing. However, players need the
proper materials to encourage them to sing with their lips.
Singing Brass will provide players selected lyrical works from the
Western Music Tradition repertoire.
The first part of the book is a warm up and developmental sequence
composed to maintain and develop the skills necessary to play the
second part of the book; the lyrical pieces.
As a whole, Singing Brass will give players the opportunity to
play artistic and engaging materials appropriate for developing
artistic phrasing and performing with a beautiful tone.
Where can we get your books?
All of our books are available at: www.scholarpublications.com