Teaching Philosophy

Where do we begin?

We all begin our exploration into the vast world of music for very different reasons. Some find themselves inspired to learn a favorite tune, some may have been inspired to play an instrument by a role model, and some may have simply wanted to join the band. No matter the reason, the possibilities in music are endless, and each person will travel in many different directions to find their niche. Through thorough practice, seeing live performances of all types, and playing for as many audiences as one is able, this niche can be found.

Honing our craft

No matter the niche we find, quality performance requires vast amounts of time devoted to exploring every facet of our instrument and of our music. While we can spend hours and hours whittling away at the metaphorical chunk of marble that is our own musicianship, we will achieve the best results when we approach practicing with a clear, specific goal in mind. This goal can be as simple as perfecting an etude from a method book or as grand as developing your own sound and image as a musician. This begins with listening. I make an effort to listen to musicians cut from many different blocks every day. This pertains not only to trumpet players, but to players of other instruments, singers, jazz bands, rock bands, world music, and any music that inspires me.

This is a small, eclectic sample of artists of all sorts who inspire me. These artists create sounds that I strive to duplicate, they possess a creativity in phrasing and writing that brings me new ideas, and above all they inspire me to continue to create my own voice and style.

Trumpet players:

  • Thomas Hooten
  • Jennifer Marotta
  • Scott Thornburg
  • Karin Bliznik
  • Douglas Lindsey
  • Chris Martin
  • Philip Smith
  • Alison Balsom
  • Adolph “Bud” Herseth
  • Wiff Rudd
  • Allan Dean
  • Michael Sachs
  • Tine Thing Helseth
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Maurice Andre
  • Allen Vizzutti
  • Anthony Plog
  • Håkan Hardenberger
  • Joey Pero
  • Miles Davis
  • Louis Armstrong
  • Sergei Nakariakov

Brass Ensembles

  • Boston Brass
  • American Brass Quintet
  • Canadian Brass
  • Mnozil Brass
  • Center City Brass Quintet
  • Spectrum Brass
  • Empire Brass
  • Louis Brass Quintet

Orchestral Trumpet Sections

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • New York Philharmonic
  • Chicago Symphony
  • Cleveland Orchestra
  • Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Louis Symphony
  • London Symphony
  • Berlin Philharmonic
  • Atlanta Symphony

Other Musicians

  • Snarky Puppy
  • Gordon Goodwin’s “Big Phat Band”
  • Juilliard String Quartet
  • Dream Theater
  • Incubus
  • Brandon Boyd
  • Coheed and Cambria
  • Karmakanic
  • Robert Henry
  • Summit Piano Trio
  • Sam Skelton


  • Gustav Mahler
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • S. Bach
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Anton Bruckner
  • Béla Bartók
  • Antonín Dvořák
  • Johannes Brahms
  • Philip Glass
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Aaron Copland
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff

These lists could obviously continue for days on end. This is just a short list of artists off all types who have particularly inspired me. These artists inspire me to no end, and many give me goals and aspirations to point my practice toward.