USC Trumpet Studio
Jennifer Marotta, professor at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, has worked with trumpet students of all ages and ability levels for over 20 years. Prior to USC, she taught at Kennesaw State University (2006-2012) and Emory University in the Atlanta area. She was also a visiting professor at UCLA in 2016 and Illinois State University in 2006.
Jennifer teaches with a musical goal in mind but understands how to address physical issues that may get in the way. She loves teaching young musicians and has guided them to attend many notable schools, including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University’s School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and many other schools and universities.
Jennifer is a board member for the International Women’s Brass Conference and the newsletter editor for that organization. She and Tom Hooten edited the most recent edition of Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet, one of the most widely used books for trumpet players. She regularly judges competitions and has performed at many conferences, including the International Trumpet Guild, International Women’s Brass Conference, and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Cal State Fullterton master class
As a performer and teacher, I believe that having a solid fundamental base, being able to work well with others, and having a disciplined work ethic are necessary elements for a successful career in music. Having studied with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, an incredibly successful teaching team for trumpet, I learned and observed how to run a thriving trumpet studio.
My performance background, in combination with years of teaching experience, gives me the ability to help each unique individual to improve. This allows us to create a studio atmosphere in which the students support, help, and learn to work with each other. These skills are extremely important for students to learn before they enter the real world as a musician, in addition to mastering their skills on the trumpet.
I believe that music plays an integral part in each student’s education and in their own self-expression. It is my responsibility to provide well prepared and quality instruction to help students realize their individual potential. The best educators teach students how to teach themselves, and I always do everything that I can to offer this knowledge and advice to my own students.
Each student is an individual with differing needs. When meeting a trumpet student for the first time, it is important to assess where they are, where they want and need to be, and what tools they need to reach these goals efficiently. One method of practice does not work for every trumpet player. I work hard to devise a program for each individual that fulfills their specific needs, and this program often changes as they grow as performers and as musicians.
Active listening is crucial for any musician to improve and succeed. A student must listen to the best performers in an active manner. I advise using a score or music while listening, taking notes, and being able to vocalize what they are hearing. Students must have a strong and authentic sound model in their head so they always know the intended result. From that point, any technical issues that inhibit how they want to sound can be addressed.
In my growth and development, I had to overcome many obstacles, including an embouchure change with the guidance of John Hagstrom. I have a strong musical sense, and I learned about many physical aspects of playing while going through such a change. Being able to hear and address technical issues within a student, while maintaining a musical goal, is very important. Balance between a musical and technical approach is crucial to advising students in their development as a trumpet player and as a musician.
My primary goal as a teacher is to help my students to become successful in any field of music that they are studying and to achieve their specific goals. I teach them how to be good life-long students. I guide them to be active participants in their own development. I help them to identify what they need to accomplish in their daily disciplined practice that will allow them to be consistent and confident. My job is to guide them through the process while being a positive role model to emulate.