Greg's Blog

Welcome to the official blog of trombonist, pianist, composer, and educator Greg Strohman. If you have ever found yourself skeptical of how music is often being taught, sold, performed, or otherwise characterized you should follow this blog. With each post Greg challenges conventional thinking and and explores important philosophical issues surrounding this art form we all love so much.

Guest Post: Frank Gulino

By Greg Strohman | May 7, 2014

This month I am opening up my blog to feature a guest post by a good friend and colleague of mine: Frank Gulino. I first met Frank at Temple University when I was premiering one of his compositions with my friend Chris Shiley (watch it here). Since then we have shared many conversations about the…

What Practicing Is Really All About

By Greg Strohman | March 29, 2014

As someone who grew up in a very musical family, I have always been aware that practicing is something that musicians need to constantly do to develop and maintain their skills. Instrumentalists practice, singers practice, conductors practice, and even composers and theorists practice. Skills are built through practice, but what is really going on as…

Is More Resonance Always a Good Thing?

By Greg Strohman | February 14, 2014

As I sit here watching yet another winter storm unleash its snowy furry, I decided to peruse some online brass pedagogy forums. After reading countless posts about how to increase resonance in one’s sound, it occurred to me that many of the people posting comments on the forum unfortunately do not have an accurate understanding…

The Art of Criticism

By Greg Strohman | January 6, 2014

I would like to devote my first blog of 2014 to something which touches nearly everyone in the arts: feedback. Some musicians seem very content to create music for little more than their own enjoyment. In principle there is nothing wrong with this. However, a good many of us prefer to create music for the…

Strategies and Pitfalls for Recording Successfully

By Greg Strohman | November 30, 2013

’Tis the time of year when many of my students, friends, and colleagues are preparing audition recordings for auditions, schools, competitions, and festivals. The whole recording process can be a wonderful learning experience, but also a very honest and real indication of the current state of one’s musicianship. The process essentially consists of three basic…

The Art of Leading and Following

By Greg Strohman | October 12, 2013

After taking a month off from blogging, I would like to devote this month’s post to the topic of musical collaboration. Many of us spend a great deal of time performing in musical ensembles of various sizes. Regardless of stylistic genre, being a good ensemble member requires a certain basic set of skills. All of…

The Power of Language

By Greg Strohman | August 17, 2013

Having spent the better part of the past year working on my doctoral dissertation, I’ve become obsessed with the subtleties of language. Word choices I once regarded as arbitrary have now become obsessive decisions. Ultimately what matters most about language is not what it means to the writer, but rather what it means to that…

The Virtues and Pitfalls of Consistency

By Greg Strohman | July 1, 2013

As soon as many of us began taking music lessons, we were taught about the magic of consistent practice. Our teachers would play recordings of great virtuosi during lessons, proclaiming that the only thing standing between us and them was an intense daily practice regime multiplied by many years. It seemed believable because few of…

Music, Language and Mind Control

By Greg Strohman | May 18, 2013

When many people think about language, they conjure up images of language arts classes in school. They think about conjugating verbs, learning how to spell correctly, eloquently composing a paragraph, etc. However, all of this is predominantly associated with written language. In the entire history of human language, written language has been a relatively recent…