“Punting” on Music Selection Isn’t Always a Total Loss
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1M ago
Earlier this evening I sent the students in one of my low brass ensembles the parts to a couple of pieces we are now going to play on our concert later this spring. I say “now going to play” because these pieces were not part of my original plan; the original plan was to program considerably more difficult works. Having evaluated where we were after our most recent rehearsal and realizing that we had only five rehearsals remaining before the performance, I reluctantly concluded that the more challenging repertoire I had hoped to tackle was not going to be performance-ready in time. So, I decid ..read more
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The Biggest Difference After 20+ Years of Teaching
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
2M ago
I taught my first university trombone lessons almost 23 years ago. I was then a 22-year-old teaching assistant with eight students, a fair amount of knowledge, and a greater amount of uncertainty. On the whole, I think I was an effective teacher then, and increasingly so when I started to move up the higher education “ladder,” first as a part-time adjunct instructor at age 24, a full-time instructor at age 25, and then onto the tenure track at age 26. I was awarded tenure for the first time at age 32, then again at 37 after changing schools, and finally reached full professor at age 44. Age 25 ..read more
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Go to the Practice Room and Sound Bad!
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
6M ago
Yesterday we had auditions for spring performing ensembles here at Ole Miss. As is usually the case with such things, there were some triumphs and some disappointments. A couple of people moved up quite a bit compared to the current seating, and a couple of people moved down, but for the most part things remained about the same. Well, except for one thing: on the whole, I thought that the overall level of playing increased markedly from the auditions for fall ensembles. This is extremely encouraging, and bodes well for the quality of playing we can expect from all of our performing groups next ..read more
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C.S. Lewis on Old…Songs?
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
8M ago
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a brilliant author, scholar, thinker, and apologist for the Christian faith. His Chronicles of Narnia series, with its not-at-all-subtle Christ-figure in the great lion Aslan, is a beloved allegory, even though those “in the know” (myself included) might argue that his Space Trilogy is a far superior work of fiction. His apologetic works such as Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man are truly brilliant; nevertheless, Lewis was not always a careful theologian so he must be read with some care. The end of the Narnia series, for exam ..read more
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Some Thoughts for Low Brass Players Who Want to Major in Music…or Who Just Want to Get Better!
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
A high school band director in my state reached out to me recently and asked if I would contribute to a project compiling advice from university faculty members on what prospective music majors on their instruments should know and be able to do before beginning their degree programs. I think he mainly wanted lists of skills and competencies that such students should have, and I have included those as an appendix to this article, but even more important than these lists are broader ways of thinking about music and music making that lead to success, which I have organized into the following fift ..read more
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Glide!
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
Now that I am just a little bit into my third decade of college low brass teaching, I have long since discovered that my uses of pop culture references to illustrate concepts often fall flat. While at the beginning of my career I was close enough in age to my students that we could identify with a lot of shared references, now that I am much closer to their parents’ age (sometimes older!) I usually have to explain myself when trying to use some pop culture artifact to convey a musical or technical concept. Often I decide that this isn’t worth the time and find some other illustration, but rece ..read more
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The Brass Player as Singer
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
Remington singing while conducting a trombone choir rehearsal. Emory Remington (1891-1971) was one of the twentieth century’s foremost trombone pedagogues. Over the course of several decades as trombone professor at the Eastman School of Music, he built a program that produced dozens of orchestral trombonists, performers in other genres, and university professors, including one of my teachers, Dr. Edward R. Bahr (b. 1941). Remington’s development of the “balanced daily routine” for playing fundamentals practice is so synonymous with his name that countless band directors and students refer reg ..read more
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An Unexpected Apologetic for Adoption
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
I have been a Star Wars fan for really all of my adult life. As part of the “Star Wars Generation,” I grew up with a passing familiarity with and enjoyment of the original trilogy, but became more familiar with it as a teenager, first through video games and even a Dungeons and Dragons-type roleplaying game set in the Star Wars universe, and later through the Special Editions of the original trilogy released in theatres in the mid-90s. Since then, I have found the various Star Wars media—including movies, television, novels, and games—to be a type of easy escapism. They are not great literatur ..read more
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“Due North” Complete Performance Recordings
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
This past March I presented a recital of music for trombone, euphonium, and tuba with piano by Scandinavian composers. Entitled “Due North,” the program highlights some lovely music by composers that are perhaps “off the beaten path” a bit, yet from a part of the world that has produced some very fine low brass music over the years. This was the first complete solo program I had performed since 2019, as pandemic restrictions prevented my doing so for over two years. The program went relatively well and was well-received, the only disappointment being that I did not receive the recordings until ..read more
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On Video Games and Neural Pathways
The Reforming Trombonist
by Micah Everett
1y ago
When I started this blog ten (!) years ago I found it considerably easier to write frequently (usually weekly) than I do now. The change is mainly due to my son, who was two then and family life centered around the home, with my wife staying home with him full time. Now he is twelve and has numerous activities that require our time and attention, and Mrs. Everett has long since returned to teaching music herself. Add to that a steadily increasing slate of responsibilities at church, and my ability to sit and write “for fun” has declined precipitously. Nevertheless, I enjoy writing here and int ..read more
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