Three Valve Music Studios
Thank you for choosing Three Valve Music Studios. My goal is to help my students have fun
learning to make music. The following is an outline of what you will need to get started with
trumpet lessons. The instrument requirements, materials list, practice and tuition policies.
An instrument in good working order is required. It can be new, a rental or an old family
heirloom. If it leaks, or the valves are sticky the primary results will be frustration and rapid loss
of interest. It should be free of major damage such as dents, or oddly bent tubing.
A new instrument does not necessarily mean no problems. I have had many new students come
to me in the past with cheap, new instruments purchased on the Internet or at the local mega
warehouse outlet, only to be disappointed by the performance after just a few months. Sticky or
broken valves, broken water keys, and stuck slides are common among this group of
instruments. It seems that most of these instruments do not use standardized parts, and make
no replacement parts available. If a part breaks, you have a large rather expensive
If you are planning to purchase a new or used instrument, please make an appointment for a
consultation with me to discuss appropriate models.
A rental instrument can be obtained at your local music store. They may also have some type of
rent-to-own, or buyback option for new trumpets (usually the best option, because you get a
new trumpet as opposed to an already used previously rented one). Ask them what options
If you choose a rental, ensure that you can exchange it during the rental period should it not
A mouthpiece should accompany whichever trumpet you choose. This too needs to be in good
shape, free from damage (especially on the rim, in the cup, and down the shank).
Regardless which you choose, a new or used instrument , proper care and maintenance are
required. Proper maintenance requires little time and almost no effort. Care takes little time, but
a lot of attention and effort. Especially for younger students. I have seen many trumpets with
unexplained dents and damage. In some cased the damage was such that the trumpet became
unplayable. Proper attention must be paid to the trumpet at all times. It should always be in a
safe place; your hand, the case, a table or counter away from the edge, or on a trumpet stand
directly in front of you. Leaving the trumpet on the seat of your chair, or laying it down on the
floor is not acceptable.
Regular maintenance requires little more than a few minutes at a time. The valves and slides
must be well (but not overly) lubricated to ensure proper function. If you have never done this
before, I will demonstrate it during the first few lessons. The exterior needs an occasional wipe
with a lint/scratch free cloth. The interior an occasional bath every 30-60 days.
Care requires much more attention. Most trumpets are robust and can take some damage, but
trumpets in general should be considered fragile. Sometimes a seemingly insignificant ding or
dent can mean costly repairs or even render the instrument un-repairable.
Cleaning and maintenance kit. (Should include; snake, mouthpiece brush, valve brush, valve
oil, slide grease, lint free cloth for brass instruments or polishing cloth for plated instruments.)
Blank manuscript book. Wire bound preferred.
Various song and exercise books based on the ability level of the student.
Recommendations will be made at the first lesson.
A pencil should always be carried in the case for use during rehearsals and lessons.
A bag to carry the books to and from the lessons.
All students are required to practice. The amount of practice time will vary depending on the
level of the student. Beginners are expected to practice at least 1/2 hour per day. Everyday.
Intermediate students, 1 hour or more per day. Advanced students, based on the aspirations of
the student. Everyday. Like sports, playing the trumpet requires physical exertion. Consistent,
ongoing practice is the only way to build and maintain the stamina and technical required to play
the trumpet. Once some measure of technical proficiency has been achieved, more energy can
be focused on creating music in solo practice, group practice, live performance. This also
allows the musician to listen and pay more attention to what is going on around him/her during
the practice sessions and live performance. This is especially important when performing in a
conducted ensemble. Strict attention must be shown to the tempos, dynamics and body
language of the Conductor in order to perform well as a group. Additionally, you must listen and
in tune with good tone. This is not difficult, but it isn't easy. Especially if you are buried in you
part due to lack of technical skills.
All students should listen to many different types of music regularly. Including artists that play
other instruments. Try to find an artist whose sound or style you admire, than try to play that
way. Listen to the types of music you wish to play, and play that way.
Music instruction is most effective when it is consistent and ongoing. Keeping this in mind,
tuition fees should be considered a reflection of the enrollment of the student in a continuous
instructional program. I offer two options;
1. Year round, except for the last two weeks of June and December. (recommended, regular
lessons mean regular practice and consistent improvement.)
2. School year, September through the middle of December, January through the middle of
June. (Additional per lesson fee applies.)
Be advised, should you choose option #1, and subsequently change to option two (or
discontinue lessons during the first 6 months), you will be required to pay a fee equal to the
number of lessons multiplied by the current additional per lesson fee for option 2.
Regardless of which plan you choose, no make up lessons will be provided for
absenteeism. I cannot be responsible for lessons missed due to events beyond my control.
Such as (but not limited to) last minute or forgotten athletic events or try-outs, school functions,
instruments, books, etc. Once the lesson plan for the month has been agreed to, it is your
responsibility to show up on time. Lessons will end at the scheduled time regardless of when
you arrive. Tardiness will not extend the lesson time. If I am running late, lessons may be
extended to ensure a full half-hour lesson. Should you decide to discontinue lessons, 30 days
notice is required.
If for any reason I need to cancel a lesson you have previously paid for, I will make every effort
to reschedule in an available time slot as soon as possible after the cancellation. Or, a credit
equal to one lesson will be applied toward the tuition payment for the following month.
Tuition is due at the first lesson of each month. Any late payments are subject to a $15.00
fee. Unless prior arrangements have been made.