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Stephen Burns: “Your Sound Is Your Ultimate Teacher”


This interview with esteemed musician Stephen Burns provides a comprehensive exploration of his musical journey, education, and professional experiences as a trumpet player. From his early inspirations at the Tanglewood Music Festival to formal studies at the Juilliard School, Burns delves into the profound influence of legendary teachers such as Armando Ghitalla, Arnold Jacobs, and Pierre Thibaud. The interview delves into Burns’ diverse career, spanning solo and chamber performances, teaching positions, and his role as the founder of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

Burns shares insights into his daily practice routine, emphasizing the importance of organization and adaptability, especially during extensive periods of travel. The interview delves into Burns’ teaching philosophy, where he underscores the significance of developing a unique sound as the ultimate teacher. Offering practical advice for aspiring musicians, Burns emphasizes the fusion of disciplines, incorporating jazz and natural trumpet studies alongside traditional techniques.

The interview concludes with valuable perspectives on handling criticism, addressing performance anxiety, and preparing for auditions. Burns encourages a holistic approach to music, advocating for the integration of mindfulness meditation into practice to enhance the performer’s connection to the present moment. Overall, this interview provides a rich tapestry of insights, encapsulating Burns’ artistic journey, pedagogical approach, and the broader philosophical aspects of a musician’s life.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music