Stephen Fishwick: “The Teacher Must Try and Inspire the Student to Get Into Serious Listening to the Music. Unless This Happens, There Is No Real Way to Progress”
Music teacher in public conservatories in Andalusia, Spain.
This interview with accomplished trumpeter Stephen Fishwick provides an insightful exploration of his musical journey, encompassing his upbringing in Manchester, pivotal teachers such as John Crosdale and Steve Waterman, and his education at the Royal Academy of Music. Fishwick reflects on his diverse professional experiences within the jazz realm and discusses his pedagogical evolution, emphasizing the impact of teachers like Lew Soloff and Terell Stafford on his technical and breathing practices.
The interview delves into Fishwick’s methodological preferences for teaching and practicing, focusing on the significance of breathing, sound conceptualization, and the integration of Cichowicz long tones and scale patterns. His emphasis on the subconscious flow in improvisation aligns with the broader musical process, mirroring the imperative of technical mastery for jazz musicians.
Furthermore, Fishwick details his daily trumpet routine, highlighting exercises ranging from mouthpiece buzzing to improvisation on chord sequences. The discussion extends to his choice of equipment, featuring a Schilke HC1 trumpet and a Monette B2S3 Prana Resonance mouthpiece, emphasizing their contributions to sound quality and technical refinement.
Potential students seeking Fishwick’s guidance can locate him in Leeds, London, and Birmingham, with options for Skype lessons. Fishwick outlines his expectations for students—hard work, commitment to prescribed exercises, and a dedication to listening, an essential element in jazz education.
Conclusively, Fishwick addresses common challenges faced by aspiring musicians, underscoring the importance of active listening and a clear musical vision. He advocates for an immersive engagement with the jazz genre, drawing parallels to learning a language through attentive listening. The interview concludes with Fishwick graciously sharing scale patterns inspired by Art Farmer’s work and Gary Campbell’s “Expansions,” exemplifying his commitment to passing on valuable pedagogical insights to the next generation of trumpeters.