J.S. Bergman, R.T. Lee and Dr. David Brown, School of Music
“Peer Recordings” is a pilot project designed to build an archive of student recorded etudes for use as a pedagogical resource to teach style and musicianship. This project provides advanced trumpet students with valuable recording experience as they perform and record etudes at a high level. These peer recordings will be an invaluable tool in motivating other students to perform on similarly high levels.
Etudes differ from solos in that they are short, unaccompanied works that focus on the development of various techniques and musical concepts. Unfortunately, most have not yet been recorded. The few etude books that have been recorded have proven to be of great value to both students and teachers.
We have recorded 16 Contemporary Etudes for Trumpet by Anthony Plog as the initial project for “Peer Recordings.” Following the suggestion of the BYU Copyright Office, we contacted the composer, Anthony Plog, and publisher, Gerald Endsley, for authorization to record these etudes. These etudes were divided equally between Randy and me. We have now successfully recorded all 16 etudes and have completed the initial phase of the “Peer Recordings” archive.
These etudes are extremely difficult and have required much time and effort to prepare and record. An estimated average of 30 hours was spent preparing each etude for recording, thus requiring 480 hours of total combined practice time. Each etude averaged 2 hours to record, edit, and master in the recording studio, requiring about 40 total hours in the studio.
We have gained several important benefits through our efforts in this process. As trumpet players, our ability to perform extremely challenging music has improved greatly. Through self-evaluation and critical analysis of these recordings we were able to more quickly learn and successfully perform technically demanding 20th century music. We have gained valuable experience recording in a professional studio which will greatly benefit our future careers as performers. Finally, these recordings have allowed us to develop a personal archive of quality recordings which will be used for application to graduate schools and in future job applications.
These recordings will allow teachers and students access to new recordings of previously unrecorded works. Students can be motivated to perform at higher levels by listening to these peer performances.
We are in the process of developing a scholarly presentation of our experiences and the outcomes of this project. We plan to give this presentation to other teaching studios at BYU, as well as to the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) in a future annual conference. We are also in the process of preparing a paper on this project for submission and publication in the ITG journal. Furthermore, a BYU trumpet studio website is being developed which will include a link to the “Peer Recordings” archive. We also plan to make these recordings available for public access through a computer in the Harold B. Lee Library. We also plan to locate additional funding for other students to contribute to this project in the future. As the project develops, we conceptually aim to generate submission of juried recordings from an international pool of students, archived on a web site for the benefit of trumpet players worldwide.