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Anthony Plog: “I Think the Most Common Problem Is That a Lot of Young Players Tend to Be Too Tense When They Play”


Anthony Plog, a distinguished trumpeter and composer, shares insights into his musical journey and pedagogical approach in this interview. Beginning with his early training under his father, Plog discusses the influential teachers who shaped his musical development, including Irving Bush and Tom Stevens. He traces his professional trajectory, from orchestral positions in San Antonio and Utah to freelancing in Los Angeles and ultimately settling in Europe, where he secured a professorship at the Freiburg Musik Hochschule.

Plog emphasizes the importance of a relaxed and musical approach in both playing and teaching. He advocates for a focus on the basics and encourages students to delve deeply into fundamental elements, highlighting phrases such as “simple things understood deeply” and “caring more and more about less and less.”

The interview delves into Plog’s daily trumpet routine, equipment preferences, and his commitment to using standard instruments throughout his career. Plog also shares his online teaching program and what students can expect from him—a supportive and personalized approach to address individual challenges.

Addressing common issues in young players, Plog identifies tension as a prevalent problem and stresses the significance of foundational work for building a beautiful and efficient sound. He offers three foundational exercises—a warm-up, a vocalise combined with a flow study, and interval studies from the Arban book—and emphasizes the importance of practicing them with an emphasis on air flow and a beautiful sound.

The interview concludes with Plog sharing examples of exercises and warm-ups from the first book of his comprehensive seven-volume method series. Plog’s wealth of experience and pedagogical insights provide valuable guidance for trumpet students and enthusiasts alike.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music