Bobby Spellman
Ridgewood, NY
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Bobby Spellman

Bobby S.

Ridgewood, NY
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

About Bobby S.

I am a jazz trumpeter, improviser, and composer as well as an avid listener and enthusiastic educator. I maintain an active performance schedule playing improvised music as well as funk, soul, afro-beat, reggae, hip-hop, and American folk music. In addition to trumpet, I have experience performing and recording on slide trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, and french horn. I write and arrange music for my own groups and regularly write and record horn arrangements for folk, pop, and reggae groups. I have attended Berklee College of Music and Ithaca College, and I have a Master's degree in jazz trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

I have over nine years of experience working with students ages 7 to adult. I have worked both from my home studio and though several public and community music school programs including the Hudson Arts Alliance in Hudson, MA, the Kittredge Elementary School in North Andover, MA, and the Performing Arts Center of Metro West in Framingham, MA. I have studied jazz performance with trumpet greats John McNeil and Walter White, improvisation with jazz gurus David Schumacher and Jerry Bergonzi, and George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization with master composer and theorist Ben Schwendener.

As an educator, my aim is to inspire in my students an enthusiasm for the artistic performance of music of any style. I strive to convey my own excitement for the art to young trumpeters and improvisers, and I have worked to encourage self-motivation and a longstanding interest in musical self-expression in elementary through high school students and adults. I have experience performing many styles of music from jazz and experimental improvised music to funk, reggae, and afro-beat, and I use my knowledge of divergent genres to encourage creative experimentation and convey the expressive artistic elements shared by all music. As an improviser I am particularly interested in teaching the theory and philosophy of spontaneous composition and musical communication.


Write a Review
29 Reviews
Jennifer G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby Spellman is a very skilled music teacher. We met him when my son was in the fifth grade and had just started playing the French horn. Bobby came to our house every week and did a truly fantastic job helping my son learn a really tough instrument. He has taught my son for three years--switching to Zoom classes during the pandemic--and established a terrific rapport him which enabled him to improve significantly and develop a real passion for his instrument.

Posted Sep 13, 2021

Bobby is a great teacher, trumpet player and musician. He is the real deal. Look no further. I highly recommend him!

Posted Dec 28, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby is a great teacher. He analyzes the needs of the student very well and he is very patient while correcting and guiding the student. I highly recommend taking lessons from him!

Posted Dec 12, 2019
Atanas F.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby has been a great teacher. I am in my 30s, trumpet beginner and with very limited time due to busy work schedule.Despite those limitations, Bobby has managed to keep every lesson interesting and challenging by mixing music theory, drills, and popular tunes fitted to my personal taste in music. I feel I am making steady progress.

Posted Dec 9, 2019
Isaac J.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Engaging, empowering, knowledgeable.

Posted Feb 1, 2019
Elie K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son really enjoyed his first lesson! Bobby was very supportive and encouraging.

Posted Oct 3, 2018
Walter S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby was very patience,and an excellent instructor .We were on the same page.

Posted Sep 25, 2018
Alice W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My 11 yo son has been taking trumpet lessons with Bobby for about half a year now. We are so glad to have found Bobby, as he is an extremely professional, knowledgeable and dedicated instructor. He is always timely and thorough with his lessons. Bobby finds music pieces which are just challenging enough for my son, and my son seems to enjoy his time with Bobby. I also like his balance between teaching music theory and instrument instruction. Bobby explains concepts clearly, and relates well to my son, with a sense of humor and patience. My son has clearly improved in just a few months, and we cannot be happier!

Posted Jun 13, 2018
Shiya S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby, you are really great, you have the "know how" 100% Thank you

Posted Jan 24, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

The lesson was much much better then expected!

Posted Jan 8, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I had last night my first lesson from Bobby, what should I tell you, he is really great! every thing so nice and clear, Thank you Bobby

Posted Jan 3, 2018
Michael I.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have taken the trumpet lessons with Bobby S. for about two years now. What I really appreciate most about Bobby is his patience. As an older student, it can be very challenging to learn trumpet. Bobby presents his lesson in a way that is easy to understand. He takes the time to explore what my difficulties are. Then he presents me with ways to challenge them. Bobby also has a good understanding of music theory. He explains and demonstrates musical concepts very thoroughly.

Posted Jul 19, 2017
Xian Z.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very patient and knowledgeable.

Posted Jan 27, 2017
Alba H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby was very patient and encouraging. Can't wait for our next session!

Posted Dec 22, 2016
Alba H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby was very patient and encouraging. Can't wait for our next session!

Posted Dec 22, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son cant wait for next lesson!

Posted Sep 30, 2016
Donna Q.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby is a great teacher! During my time taking lessons, he always found a way to explain concepts in a manner that I could relate to. Coming from flute, I knew basic fundamentals of reading music and structure and Bobby took the time to make suggestions that were along the lines of my musical experiences and strengths. If you're looking to learn the trumpet, I'd definitely recommend Bobby because he's able to break down concepts and is very patient. If you've been playing trumpet for awhile and wish to get even better, I'd suggest taking lessons with him because Bobby definitely has the resume, experience and knowledge to help any trumpet player go further.

Posted Sep 21, 2016
Tom Wanielista
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby is personable, fun to chat with, smart, and an all around great teacher! Bobby can customize the lessons for your goals. I can't recommend Bobby enough if you're just starting out fresh or picking up an old talent like I am.

Posted Jul 11, 2016
David G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

All my lessons with Bobby has been great!
Excellent teacher very knowledgeable and makes learning fun.

Posted Apr 20, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby has a great talent for breaking down complicated music theory concepts and explaining precisely why they are important to your progression with the instrument. I started taking lessons with him after having taken a ten-year hiatus from the trumpet. During the first lesson, he was immediately able to identify where my abilities had eroded and gave me exercises to improve my technical skills. He also to helped me improve my sheet music reading skills, even transcribing some of my favorite songs into sheet music that I could memorize. I would highly recommend Bobby as an instructor. His enthusiasm for music and teaching is infectious!

Posted Mar 30, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My seven year old son has now taken three lessons with Bobby, and he and I have both been extremely satisfied. Bobby has an excellent way of breaking down instructions into simple, clear, and enjoyable steps. My son really enjoys his lessons, has been asking for more, and being a complete beginner, has already learned one song! I highly recommend Bobby as an instructor for any brass instrument.

Posted Mar 16, 2016
Michael I.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I really appreciate that Bobby. He was very informative and he was able to answer the questions that I had concerning playing the trumpet. He also shows me that I will be able to learn a lot from him.

Posted Dec 19, 2015
James Mitaritonna
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby was able to cater to my abilities and really tailored each lesson to me. Thank you Bobby!

Posted Dec 8, 2015
Rachel I.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bobby is an amazing teacher. Always prepared to handle and encourage my 8 year old daughter to play trumpet.

Posted Oct 22, 2015
Rachel M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bobby is a very devoted and amazing teacher. Honestly, if you want to be really great he will give you all the tools you need to do that.

Posted Jun 12, 2015
steven F.

My jazz instructor in High School led me to Bobby three years ago. He taught me a lot of things about playing the trumpet and greatly increased my ability as a trumpet player. He is very, and inspired me to want to get better at playing through encouragement and his high quality playing. Every lesson is very personal and fun. I know that sounds cheesy, but I looked forward to every lesson I had with Bobby. Bobby is a very skilled player, and unlike many great players, he can teach just as well as he can play. Bobby and I also spent a lot of time talking about Jazz theory. I am now fairly knowledgeable about theory, one of the best in my school, and I learned it all from Bobby. If you take lessons with Bobby your trumpet skills will vastly improve, and if you want to learn jazz, Bobby teaches jazz theory as well as he teaches trumpet, if not better. The last thing I have to say is something that Bobby told me at our very first lesson, "we will both learn from each other, you will learn trumpet and jazz skills, and I will learn how to effectively teach you." Every lesson with Bobby is extremely personal, and he is constantly improving his already great teaching skills.

Posted Oct 30, 2014
Ben C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took lessons with Bobby for several years throughout middle school and high school and he was by far the best trumpet teacher I've ever had. He is an extremely devoted and hardworking individual and is very passionate about his teachings and music.
He always had a solid lesson plan each week, teaching me technical skills along with improvisation and music theory. What stood out most was his animated and enthusiastic personality, which made me look forward to lessons each week. He taught using a very Socratic method, guiding me along much of the complications of music theory and allowed me to gain my own understanding of musical concepts.

Bobby was easy to communicate with and very willing to help expand my playing in whatever interest I had at the time. I highly recommend lessons with him.

Posted Oct 29, 2014
Leanne C.

Bobby is a wonderful, patient teacher, and is passionate about his work with his students. Bobby really connects with all types of learners, which makes his instruction flawless.

Posted Oct 27, 2014
Dustin H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I completely stumbled onto lessons with Bobby through GS Music. It was the best piece of serendipity ever!
Bobby is one of the rare musicians who is both great at his instrument and also great at teaching. Most lessons started off with a review of the pieces from the previous lesson, areas to improve, followed by new exercises. Bobby was never limited to one technical manual and had numerous exercises and pieces of music at his finger tips to always inspire me. When my motivation was lacking regarding Clarke exercises Bobby even transcribed a few pieces I had chosen that the music did not exist for (Black Eyed Peas on trumpet!!!). Bobby was always on time (early) and completely prepared for the lesson. He knew the hangups with playing the trumpet and how to fix them.
What was even more amazing was I was able to sit in on the lesson before me that Bobby taught to a school aged kid. Bobby was completely adaptive and able to enthuse a kid who was clearly 1/4 my age!

I give Bobby my highest recommendation... something I rarely do.

Posted Oct 27, 2014

Photos & Videos

11 Photos & Videos


Ensemble Director
Oct 2013 - Jun 2014

Performing Arts Center of Metro West

Directed and wrote arrangements for the middle school concert band.

Trumpet and Wagner Tuba Instructor
May 2013 - Jun 2014

GS Music Center

Taught lessons in trumpet and Wagner tuba to students from age 9 to adult.

Trombone Instructor
Nov 2012 - Jun 2014

Kittredge Elementary School

Taught trombone classes to middle school students.

Trumpet Instructor
Sep 2012 - Jun 2014

Hudson Arts Alliance

Taught individual and group trumpet lessons to elementary, middle, and high school students.

Head of Brass
Jan 2008 - Aug 2008

West Newbury School of Music

Taught trumpet lessons to students age 7 to 15.


M.M. Jazz Trumpet Performance
Sep 2010 - May 2012

New England Conservatory of Music

B.A. Philosophy
Aug 2006 - May 2010

Ithaca College

Trumpet Performance
Jan 2008 - Aug 2008

Berklee College of Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


First Prize in the Ithaca College Jazz Composition Competition
May 2019

Ithaca College

Member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Iota chapter
May 2012

Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society


Pi Kappa Lambda
Jun 2012
An American honor society for undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors of music. There are currently 205 active chapters and approximately 64,500 individual members.

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