Bobby Spellman

Bobby S.

Brooklyn, NY
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details

Trombone

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
The trombone is a colorful and exciting instrument played in many styles of music throughout the world, from jazz and classical to funk and soul to reggae, afro-beat, and Latin American music. In addition to covering the basic technical requirements of the instrument, I'm particularly interested in the many genres in which the trombone can be found, and I like to focus on the styles of music that most interest and challenge my students. I began playing soprano trombone over ten years ago, and I have taught tenor trombone privately and in public school programs for several years. I encourage the use of long tones, air support, and brass calisthenics to improve tone, increase range and endurance, and work towards greater flexibility.
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About

Bobby passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Bobby delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 7+ and special needs

Teaching since:
May 2005

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.

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Experience

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.

Education

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

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Spanish
Limited Proficiency

Awards

Member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Iota chapter
May 2012
Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society

Photos & Videos

Performing with Big Mean Sound Machine at Grassroots Festival of Music and Arts in Trumansburg, NY.

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Photo by Bobby S.
Photo by Bobby S.
Photo by Bobby S.
Teaching a brass masterclass in Port Washington, NY.

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Performing an original composition on soprano trombone in Ithaca, NY with Bobby Spellman's Underground Society Band.
Photo by Bobby S.

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Photo by Bobby S.

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Photo by Bobby S.
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18 Reviews

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Michael I. Jul 19, 2017
Trumpet · In 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.

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Xian Z. Jan 27, 2017
Trumpet · In studio

Very patient and knowledgeable.

Alba H. Dec 22, 2016
Trombone · In home

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

Alba H. Dec 22, 2016
Trombone · In home

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

Richard Sep 30, 2016
Trumpet · In home

My son cant wait for next lesson!

Donna Q. Sep 21, 2016
Trumpet · In 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.

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Tom Wanielista Jul 11, 2016
Trumpet · In 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.

David G. Apr 20, 2016
Trombone · In studio

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

Michael Mar 30, 2016
Trumpet · In 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!

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Oliver Mar 16, 2016
Euphonium · In 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.

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Michael I. Dec 19, 2015
Trumpet · In 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.

James Mitaritonna Dec 8, 2015
Trumpet · In studio

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

Rachel I. Oct 22, 2015
Trumpet · In studio

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

Rachel M. Jun 12, 2015
Trumpet · In 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.

steven F. Oct 30, 2014
Trumpet ·

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.

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Ben C. Oct 29, 2014
Trumpet · In 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.

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Leanne C. Oct 27, 2014
Trumpet ·

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.

Dustin H. Oct 27, 2014
Trumpet · In 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.

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