Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Terry Sawchuk

Second Advisor

Laura L.B. Border, PhD.

Third Advisor

Michael Dunn


This dissertation explores a new perspective in teaching trumpet at the collegiate level. I conducted thirty lessons with five junior trumpet performance and education majors from the University of Colorado Boulder. During these research lessons, I combined two cognitive perspectives into teaching trumpet repertoire and concepts. I examined the effects of applying the raw score orders of Kolb Learning Style Inventory for student learning and Border’s adaptation of the model for teacher instruction. Kolb arranges preferred learning styles along two different continua: thinking – feeling and watching - doing. Of course all people learn using all four approaches, but learners generally prefer some approaches more than others. Border’s adaptations make the learning theory more applicable for teacher instruction. To these approaches, I added the methods of brass pedagogues Arnold Jacobs, Vincent Cichowicz, David Hickman and Clint “Pops” McLaughlin as they relate to Kolb’s four poles of learning.

My research highlights the benefits in acknowledging each trumpet student as an individual learner with specific needs. The discussions and results presented highlight the benefits to combining a cognitive perspective with existing trumpet pedagogies. This document acts as a musical adaptation of Kolb and Border’s perspectives in learning and instruction for trumpet at the collegiate level. My research suggests, counter to expectation, that students learn most through their least two preferred areas of learning: they experience the most inspirational “ah-ha” moments when taught to these areas. Furthermore, seven of Border’s salient steps, from aesthetic to questioning, provide students with marked improvement in five significant areas of performance. These were 1) visualization 2) technical facilitation 3) practice techniques 4) listening skills - pitch and interval identification/recognition, and 5) verbal communication between student/teacher. The results and methodologies presented in this thesis can be utilized to augment an overall approach to teaching trumpet, while also providing diverse modes of presentation when teaching repertoire.