Date of Graduation

Fall 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music


Music Education - Instrumental Band

Research Sponsor

Dr. James Albrecht

First Reader

Mr. Andrew Feyes

Second Reader

Mrs. Lori Ciulla


The development of strong fundamental skills is essential for success on any instrument. Beginning wind players must be carefully monitored so they can develop the good playing habits and basic skills that form the foundations of strong musicianship. Each instrument presents its own unique challenges. The trombone could be considered the most unique of the beginning band instruments due to size, slide, and technique. These challenges can lead to a number of problems that music educators must be able to recognize and correct. For this project, six music educators with experience teaching beginning trombone students were interviewed about common problems in trombone pedagogy. This paper examines three concepts identified in the interviews that young trombonists struggle with: breathing, slide technique, and the slur. It presents exercises aimed at addressing these issues that may serve as supplemental teaching material. Each section of this paper details the correct technique for these concepts, describes the errors young students often make when learning them, and provides an explanation for the corresponding exercises that appear in this paper’s appendix.