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Expedient Essentials for Trombone

Middle school directors who teach trombone spend a large amount of time in their
classes doing warmup exercises instead of teaching skills. This is due to modern
exercise books containing exercises that take a long time to perform. My book,
Expedient Essentials, considers the precious limited time directors have to teach young
trombonists by making exercises concise yet effective. The book also includes all
information that beginners must know about the trombone in order to be successful.
Most directors have a 45-minute period to warmup their young trombonists and teach
music literature or skills. I have been in multiple beginner trombone classrooms and it
seems that an average warmup time is about 20 minutes. Although this may not seem
like much by itself, when combined with general class procedures, it is a substantial
amount of time. For example, when students walk into the classroom it typically takes
them about 5 minutes to take their instruments out, put the instruments together, and
set up chairs and stands for the class. Then, the 20-minute warmup occurs. This leaves
the students with a maximum of 20 minutes of instruction because then they must pack
up and go to their next class during the last 5 minutes of their session. Therefore, the
average student is only getting 20 minutes of teaching per class instead of the
perceived 45 minutes of teaching. There is a prevalent need for a trombone exercise
book that makes warming up concise yet effective to allow more time for quality
learning.
With Expedient Essentials, exercises are written to be concise, some written in 3/4
which save plenty of time as shown in the table below.1

Time required for X measures of warmup


2

Measures

Most exercise books* Expedient Essentials** Expedient Essentials***


In 4/4
In 4/4
In 3/4

50 Measures

1 min 40 sec

1 min 23 sec

1 min 15 sec

100 Measures

3 min 20 sec

2 min 47 sec

2 min 30 sec

200 Measures

6 min 40 sec

5 min 33 sec

5 min

400 Measures

13 min 20 sec

11 min 6 sec

10 min

Statistics for most exercise books were taken using the following common exercise books: Essential
Techniques, Studies in Legato, and Tradition of Excellence
* 120 BPM
** 144 BPM
***120 BPM
2

Below is a sample from one of the lip slurs in Expedient Essentials:

Book info
Expedient Essentials is more concise yet as effective as other books out there. This is
done by changing some exercises from 4/4 to 3/4 and from 120 BPM to 144 BPM. As
shown in the previous table, this saves valuable classroom time. Also as shown in the
previous sample, the exercises are still effective and simple enough that the warmup
process for the student will remain about the same. This new warmup process for the
educator, on the other hand, will add time for teaching. In addition to exercises, this
book also contains valuable information about the trombone for a beginner.

Qualifications
I am a multi-instrumentalist specializing in the trombone and euphonium spectra of
music. I am a student at the University of North Texas and I have played in the following
ensembles: concert band, marching band, jazz band, musical pit, and various rock
bands. I have also been offered a contract to tour with the Blue Knights, one of the top
10 world class DCI corps. Ive experienced every level of music difficulty from middle
school up to college and DCI levels. This broad range of ensembles and range of
difficulty that I have been involved in allows me to assess what a beginner really needs
to warmup smart yet concise.

Conclusion
Middle school directors who teach trombone spend a large amount of time in their
classes doing warmup exercises rather than teaching skills. There is an urgent need for
a concise yet effective trombone exercise book. We as music professionals want to give
the next generation of beginners the best music education they can get. There is no
better way of accomplishing this than allowing more time for in depth learning versus
spending too much time in the warm up phase.