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Bachelor Degree: University of Toronto, Master Degree: Boyer College of Music - Temple University
My name is Collins and I'm a Trombonist passionate about creating beautiful sounds and helping students achieve their own sound. I recently graduated in 2020 from Temple University with a Master of Music in Trombone Performance where I studied with Blair Bollinger. I also completed my Bachelor of Music in 2018 at the University of Toronto; the city I'm originally from. I knew since the ninth grade I wanted to be a professional trombonist because of emotional power of music and I wanted to be able to share that experience with others. While at Temple I had the privilege of performing in Verizon hall with the Temple Symphony Orchestra as well as substituting with the Reading Symphony Orchestra.
I began teaching while in University, beginning with in-person lessons and shifting online to provide and accommodate for the safety precautions of COVID19 , I've had the opportunity to work with all levels of students. I have found that whenever I start working with a new student the best approach to help them is to figure out what the student wants out of the instrument. I ask simple questions such as, "who is your favorite artist?" and "what do you like about the trombone?". My goal as a teacher is not only to help a student prepare a piece of music bar by bar. My goal as a teacher is to give the student the opportunity to gain valuable tools to try to help them attain their artistic goals, and hopefully, goals in life. Being a student under some of the world's best brass musicians has taught me that there is no one perfect way to mastering an instrument, but many ways to tell a story through the art of music!
The beautiful thing about brass pedagogy is that the methods are relatively the sam across the board. Beginners and professionals all work on these five aspects: breathing, tone, slurs, articulations & phrasing/musicality. I explore a lot of breathing exercises derived from the "Breathing Gym" and draw from technique work from the likes of Emory Remington, Brad Edwards, Joe Alessi, Charlie Vernon, Blair Bollinger and many other fantastic brass pedagogues. it is important as musicians to play music and not only our scales! I like to present my students with repertoire options for them to make a choice from. This also encourages them to listen to music, which is an incredibly important part of one's learning of a piece and introduces them to artistic interpretation.
I want to create a space where my students don't have to feel as though they have to perform for me during a lesson. It's my mission as an educator to give a student the space to be free to express their music and to not be afraid to splat a note all over the wall! The lesson should be a treated a lab where students are encouraged to experiment further. I believe lessons should not be treated like a checklist, because where is the fun in that! I often will play with the students during fundamental work and I enjoy playing duets with my more advanced students.
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