Playing the trombone became even more fun for the eight Maercker School fifth-graders who started playing the instrument in the school’s beginning band for the 2013-14 school year.
None of the trombone-playing students minded spending a little extra time April 28 in a class with Bradley Payne. A band director for nearby Woodridge schools, Payne was invited by band director Peggy Casey.
“I know him as a colleague; I saw him do a clinic, and he teaches beginners,” Casey said. “I knew he was a great trombone player, so I thought it would be great to have him come in and work with our beginning students.”
Casey said she was very impressed with the trombone class presented by Payne.
“It went fantastic,” she said. “I wanted our students to get the idea that a wind instrument needs a lot more air than what we do with everyday breathing. And I thought having him come in would help our trombone players be better ready for our concert.”
Casey said having Payne come in was a way to help students develop good playing habits early.
“The first year is absolutely crucial,” she said. “We’re encouraging and want it to be fun and challenging.”
The eight trombone players — Samuel David, Andrew Johnston, Hari Rao, Piyush Mekla, Brian Jensen, Vanessa Palisoc, Richard Shi and Filip Milanovic — enjoyed the visit.
“The guy was funny, and he taught us a lot,” Piyush said. “He showed us different things to practice breathing.”
Brian said he felt more confident in his playing after the lesson with Payne.
“We learned good things, and it was fun,” he said.
Andrew said he was glad he decided to pursue playing the trombone.
“I originally wanted to play saxophone because I have cousins in New Orleans, and there are a lot of saxophones there,” he said. “I decided on the trombone because it looks fun to play.”
Hari, who has been playing piano since age 6, chose the trombone as a second musical instrument to play.
“I like the low sound of some instruments, like the trombone,” he said. “I like the slide on the trombone, too.