Becoming a musician takes hard work and some talent.
Another essential attribute is enthusiasm, which is something Sanfordville Elementary School fourth-grader Addison Hurd showed even before she started to play the trumpet.
“Addison made sure to find me last year to let me know that she was interested in trumpet, that it was her first choice and that she was ‘very excited for it,’” Sanfordville music teacher Ryan Muehlbauer said. “Addison is unique because her enthusiasm just bubbles over and helps get everyone in her lesson group interested in what’s being taught. I’m looking forward to working with her and watching her grow into a leader in the trumpet section.”
Last year, teachers playing on video; this year, in person
In the Warwick Valley School District, students have the opportunity to choose a musical instrument at the end of third grade, usually after an assembly where the band and orchestra perform. Last year, however, students watched a video of music teachers playing the instruments.
“I liked the sound of Mr. Muehlbauer playing, so I picked the trumpet,” said Addison, who was very impressed by the number of instruments that her teacher can play. “I really like the big, loud sound it makes.”
‘Hot Cross Buns’
Addison’s shiny new trumpet arrived late in the summer. As soon as it came, she opened the box and tried to play it. Then she started private lessons and learned a few notes. So far this fall, Addison has had four or five lessons and is learning to play, “Hot Cross Buns.” She’s looking forward to playing in school concerts.
“I practice at home, too,” Addison said. “I have my own music stand and everything.”
Addison said the hardest part at first was learning where her hands should go and making sure she didn’t have puffy cheeks while playing. She now enjoys making big sounds with the trumpet and also likes seeing her friends who play the trumpet at lessons.
Addison’s favorite subjects in school are math and reading. She also plays basketball and softball. Her brother Justin, a senior, is currently on the varsity football team.
‘Quickly get(ting) over the fear of making mistakes’
“The new band students in fourth grade always come in with a special combination of excitement, anxiety, fear, and wonder all rolled into one,” Muehlbauer said. “It’s probably one of the biggest perks of teaching at the beginning level. They quickly get over the fear of making mistakes in front of their friends and realize how much fun it is to play an instrument.”