For inquiries, send a note to Tom via the Contact page.
Photo: Los Angeles Philharmonic
My journey as a musician started when I was 12 years old. I played trumpet in band and immediately loved the challenge and joy that came from playing my instrument. I didn’t formally start taking trumpet lessons until I was a senior in high school.
Unfortunately, I developed some bad habits, including a poor embouchure and lots of tension. It became clear to me that I needed major changes in my approach. I started to become very passionate about the idea of improving at something and what that actually meant.
Before grad school, I completely changed my embouchure and started over on the trumpet. I went through a period of 9 months where I could hardly play. It was by far the most challenging and difficult time for me in my development, yet it was also the beginning of a more open-minded and less ego-driven approach to improving.
I learned the most important lesson of my musical life:
I’M NOT A TRUMPET PLAYER.
I’M A MUSICIAN WHO PLAYS THE TRUMPET.
This simple realization allowed me to question everything about my trumpet playing without feeling bad about who I was as a person.
This is one of the reason why I love teaching and helping people through music. If we as musicians can learn to let the music and the challenge of being the best we can on our instrument show us how to improve as people, then we will surely grow and become authentic results of our intentions.
Tom enjoys teaching students from YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles), the L.A. Phil’s program for underserved student musicians.
Please download “New student questionnaire” below and fill form out completely. Scan page and it to Tom prior to your first lesson. If you have questions, please send a note using the form on Contact page. Thanks!
Here is a generic way in which someone can use the practice sheet below. Use it as a starting point and tailor it to your own strengths and weaknesses and how you want to balance it in your daily and weekly practicing.
Masterclass at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London
Tom coaches the brass ensemble at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music