bobby shew



Lessons Information


Thank you for your interest in taking lesson(s) with me. At the moment because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am forced to do all lessons and master classes online. I am in my 21st year of doing these so it’s NOT a new process for me. It started 21 years ago using iChat (no longer available), then Skype, FACETIME (for iMac users), and now more frequently (and preferably) ZOOM. You DO NOT need to download ZOOM into your computer unless YOU want to HOST the session. The reason to host is if you want to record the lesson for future reference. I recommend this because they become references for looking back. However, you may NOT post them online nor share them with other students except just to WATCH, not to send.


I DO have a one-hour minimum for a lesson, i.e., purchase of 2 X 30 minutes. The reason for this is that I find it next to impossible to accomplish very much that would be meaningful and helpful in clearing up any technical confusions or physical weaknesses in just a brief 30 minute session. The two exceptions to this consideration would be first of all in a case of a previous student who might have a confusion, misunderstanding about part of an action or drill that he or she is working on and needs just a brief session to clarify. The other exception would be a case where someone needed just a short session to ask a question or two regarding future lessons or possibly some brief info regarding an interview or a potential performance. I hope this explains the "rule" about the one hour minimum. I keep my prices much lower than many other teachers in order to make myself accessible to help people play with greater efficiency through understanding how their body and instrument function within the laws of physical science. Science gives predictable results, believe it or not!


What I would like to have from you is a somewhat brief but complete overview of your current playing skills, your problematic areas, and your life intentions as a player. I don’t know what you know of MY teaching approaches but I can assure you that they are NOT the traditional “Arbanizing” process. I have no experience as a classical player so I do not try to concentrate on concertos, etc. I am more of a “science teacher” in that I work basically from the sciences of anatomy-physiology as well as acoustical physics. Don’t let these scare you away!!  My goals have to do with teaching you the underlying principles and mechanics of what is NECESSARY in order to play with maximum efficiency. The sciences are NOT the music which comes from your emotions, your imagination, etc. But Picasso needed to know how to mix paint and to clean brushes. WHAT he painted were his emotions, his ideas. Same goes for music. I LOVE to work on music but not when a player has chops issues. So, we’ll start in by assessing your currents skills, diagnosing problems , if any, and go from there. The more you can tell me about  your playing, the easier and more focused, and more successful our lessons will be. 


Once determined as to what we will focus on, I will likely send you pdfs of various articles that are pertinent to the subjects we will address. It will help you to be prepared for the lesson materials and this saves a lot of time by eliminating my having to explain and define the materials. If you have a printer, I suggest you print them and create a file folder to keep them for possible future referral. Your option.


If you are wanting to concentrate on improvisation, it will be necessary for you to prepare tracks at your end that you can “play-along” with. They can be Aebersold tracks, iRealBook program on your computer, or whatever you can and want to prepare. If I provide tracks, they delay and you won’t be able to play in time with them. So, be prepared. And if possible, please email-send me a copy (pdf) of the lead sheet(s) that you are playing from so I can see the exact changes you are dealing with.


If you want to concentrate on ANY other subject matter such as lead playing, sight-reading, ear training, transcribing, or even notation skills, just let me know well ahead.


I think you’ll find that I am a very dedicated “so-called teacher”. I love the challenge as well as the opportunity to help players find the efficiency factors in developing the highest level of skills as a trumpet (or whatever) player. But, many years ago, I wrote an article called “You Are Your Own Best Teacher”. What I give you are tools to enable you to overcome your problems and achieve your goals. I cannot do the practicing for you but by using the correct tools, you can and will overcome. I feel that becoming a musician is a higher calling than becoming merely an instrumentalist but Charlie Parker said in a classic interview that “one must learn to play the instrument well” in order for the music to come out. I agree with that but it’s a matter of prioritizing based upon WHO you are, WHAT you want to become. Oftentimes we see players with tremendous technical skills but lacking in musicality, playing without an emotional, heartfelt connection, not fully grasping the MEANING of the music they are attempting to play.


Many thanks…….


Bobby Shew

October, 2020

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