Ryan Gardner: “I’m Just Lucky to Be Able to Work With Such Inspiring Students That Make Every Day a Pleasure”
Assistant Professor of Trumpet at University of Tennessee Knoxville.
This interview with musician Ryan Gardner provides a comprehensive overview of his musical journey, from his early years in California to his current position as a distinguished faculty member at the University of Colorado Boulder. Gardner reflects on the pivotal mentors and teachers who shaped his musical foundation, emphasizing the importance of critical listening and a music-forward approach. The interview delves into Gardner’s transition to academia and his experiences teaching at various institutions.
A significant portion of the discussion revolves around Gardner’s success in arranging for trumpet ensembles, particularly his students’ achievements at the National Trumpet Competition. Gardner shares insights into his arranging process, highlighting his commitment to exposing students to diverse styles and masterworks. The interview also addresses strategies for achieving a balance between highlighting individual strengths and challenging students to grow through the arrangement process.
Gardner’s pedagogical approach comes to the forefront as he discusses his emphasis on sound production, individuality, and the development of fundamental skills. From breathing techniques to a checklist of exercises, Gardner tailors his teaching methods to address the unique strengths and weaknesses of each student, ensuring a comprehensive and personalized educational experience. The interview concludes with Gardner’s upcoming projects and performances, showcasing his continued commitment to education, performance, and the promotion of contemporary trumpet music.