O.J.'s Trumpet Page Interview

Interview with Luis Loubriel

Cover of Singing Brass

In 2006, Luis Loubriel published his first book, “Lasting Change for Trumpeters”.
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 2006?

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 training purposes).

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 Cichowicz (respectively).

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 brass playing).

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 Jacobs.

Are there any difference between the teaching of Jacobs and Cichowicz?

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

o.j. 2013