Jazz students adjust to new instruments

Nathaniel Curtis

Sophomore Daniel Tenbusch is one of a handful of  musicians who have taken up playing new instruments in the school’s jazz band.

“I have to practice at least three hours a week, and one hour of that is dedicated to learning my new instrument,” said Tenbusch, who switched from playing bassoon to trombone. “The trombone is a brass instrument, so it is essentially the opposite of the double-reed woodwind that I normally play.”

The time taken to practice these new instruments is added to the time it takes students to complete homework and study, which already takes up much of the afternoon following the end of the school day.

“It’s been hard to juggle learning a completely new instrument with all of the homework I have, but I manage,” Tenbusch said.

Tenbusch has been able to learn the basic techniques of his new instrument over the first few weeks at school. He said that it was a challenging at first, but he already knew how to read music which made the experience much easier.

“Reading the music was the only easy part at first. Lucky for me, everyone else in class is really helpful,” Tenbusch said. “I am defiantly improving every day.”

Band teacher Carol Allen has taught many students new instruments in her career as a music teacher and helps students make the transition to a new instrument easier.

“Once you learn the fundamentals on one instrument, there is a quicker learning curve for the next one that you learn,” Allen said.

With many performances scheduled during the school year, these new musicians have a lot of work to do to catch up to some of the students who have been playing their instrument for over four years. Allen is confident that they can meet the challenge.

“They have all adjusted really well,” she said. “I’m very proud of them.”

By Nathaniel Curtis