Three Valve Music Studios


Thank you for choosing Three Valve Music Studios.  My goal is to help my students have fun

learning to make music.  The following is an outline of what you will need to get started with

trumpet lessons.  The instrument requirements, materials list, practice and tuition policies.




An instrument in good working order is required.  It can be new, a rental or an old family

heirloom.  If it leaks, or the valves are sticky the primary results will be frustration and rapid loss

of interest.  It should be free of major damage such as dents, or oddly bent tubing.  


A new instrument does not necessarily mean no problems.  I have had many new students come

to me in the past with cheap, new instruments purchased on the Internet or at the local mega

warehouse outlet, only to be disappointed by the performance after just a few months.  Sticky or

broken valves, broken water keys, and stuck slides are common among  this group of

instruments.  It seems that most of these instruments do not use standardized parts, and make

no replacement parts available.  If a part breaks, you have a large rather expensive



If you are planning to purchase a new or used instrument, please make an appointment for a

consultation with me to discuss appropriate models.


A rental instrument can be obtained at your local music store.  They may also have some type of

rent-to-own, or buyback option for new trumpets (usually the best option, because you get a

new trumpet as opposed to an already used previously rented one).  Ask them what options

they offer.  


If you choose a rental, ensure that you can exchange it during the rental period should it not

work properly.


A mouthpiece should accompany whichever trumpet you choose.  This too needs to be in good

shape, free from damage (especially on the rim, in the cup, and down the shank).  


Regardless which you choose, a new or used instrument , proper care and maintenance are

required.  Proper maintenance requires little time and almost no effort.  Care takes little time, but

a lot of attention and effort.  Especially for younger students.  I have seen many trumpets with

unexplained dents and damage.  In some cased the damage was such that the trumpet became

unplayable.  Proper attention must be paid to the trumpet at all times.  It should always be in a

safe place; your hand, the case, a table or counter away from the edge, or on a trumpet stand

directly in front of you.  Leaving the trumpet on the seat of your chair, or laying it down on the

floor is not acceptable.


Regular maintenance requires little more than a few minutes at a time.  The valves and slides

must be well (but not overly) lubricated to ensure proper function.  If you have never done this

before, I will demonstrate it during the first few lessons.  The exterior needs an occasional wipe

with a lint/scratch free cloth.  The interior an occasional bath every 30-60 days.


Care requires much more attention.  Most trumpets are robust and can take some damage, but

trumpets in general should be considered fragile.  Sometimes a seemingly insignificant ding or

dent can mean costly repairs or even render the instrument un-repairable.




Cleaning  and maintenance kit.  (Should include; snake, mouthpiece brush, valve brush, valve

oil, slide grease, lint free cloth for brass instruments or polishing cloth for plated instruments.)

Blank manuscript book.  Wire bound preferred.

Various song and exercise books based on the ability level of the student.

Recommendations will be made at the first lesson.

A pencil should always be carried in the case for use during rehearsals and lessons.

A bag to carry the books to and from the lessons.


Practice Policy


All students are required to practice.  The amount of practice time will vary depending on the

level of the student. Beginners are expected to practice at least 1/2 hour per day.  Everyday.  

Intermediate students, 1 hour or more per day.  Advanced students, based on the aspirations of

the student.  Everyday.  Like sports, playing the trumpet requires physical exertion.  Consistent,

ongoing practice is the only way to build and maintain the stamina and technical required to play

the trumpet.  Once some measure of technical proficiency has been achieved, more energy can

be focused on creating music in solo practice, group practice, live performance.  This also

allows the musician to listen and pay more attention to what is going on around him/her during

the practice sessions and live performance.  This is especially important when performing in a

conducted ensemble.  Strict attention must be shown to the tempos, dynamics and body

language of the Conductor in order to perform well as a group.  Additionally, you must listen and

in tune with good tone.  This is not difficult, but it isn't easy.  Especially if you are buried in you

part due to lack of technical skills.


All students should listen to many different types of music regularly.  Including artists that play

other instruments.  Try to find an artist whose sound or style you admire, than try to play that

way.  Listen to the types of music you wish to play, and play that way.


Tuition Policy


Music instruction is most effective when it is consistent and ongoing.  Keeping this in mind,

tuition fees should be considered a reflection of the enrollment of the student in a continuous

instructional program.  I offer two options;


1.  Year round, except for the last two weeks of June and December.  (recommended, regular

lessons mean regular practice and consistent improvement.)


2.  School year, September through the middle of December, January through the middle of

June.  (Additional per lesson fee applies.)


Be advised, should you choose option #1, and subsequently change to option two (or

discontinue lessons during the first 6 months), you will be required to pay a fee equal to the

number of lessons multiplied by the current additional per lesson fee for option 2.


Regardless of which plan you choose, no make up lessons will be provided for

absenteeism.  I cannot be responsible for lessons missed due to events beyond my control.  

Such as (but not limited to) last minute or forgotten athletic events or try-outs, school functions,

instruments, books, etc.  Once the lesson plan for the month has been agreed to, it is your

responsibility to show up on time.  Lessons will end at the scheduled time regardless of when

you arrive.  Tardiness will not extend the lesson time.  If I am running late, lessons may be

extended to ensure a full half-hour lesson.  Should you decide to discontinue lessons, 30 days

notice is required.


If for any reason I need to cancel a lesson you have previously paid for, I will make every effort

to reschedule in an available time slot as soon as possible after the cancellation.  Or, a credit

equal to one lesson will be applied toward the tuition payment for the following month.  



Tuition is due at the first lesson of each month.  Any late payments are subject to a $15.00

fee.  Unless prior arrangements have been made.


Studio Policy


Jim's Bio
Jim's Resume
Three Valve Music Studio Policy
Jim's Photo Gallery
Trumpets, Mouthpieces, Comics and Toys

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