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Teacher Feature - Ben Tucker

music teacher feature - ben tucker

Ben Tucker (he/him/his) has been teaching private students and performing professionally for nearly four decades. A former French horn and baritone/trombonium player as well, he has taught all brass instruments at all levels from beginning through college.

Dr. Tucker holds performance degrees from The University of Arizona, Indiana University, and The University of Toledo and has taught at Pima Community College, The University of Arizona, and Western New Mexico University, where he was Associate Professor and Director of Brass and Jazz Studies. His professional performing experience includes trumpet positions with the El Paso Symphony and the Arizona Opera, as well as appearances with the Tucson Symphony, Tucson Pops, Toledo Symphony, and many others.

He has also appeared as a trumpet soloist with the Tucson Concert Band, the Silver City Community Orchestra, the Sylvania JCC Orchestra, the Pima College Band, and the Western New Mexico University Band. In addition, he has extensive experience as a chamber musician and has composed and arranged numerous works for brass and other ensembles. While a doctoral student at the University of Arizona in the early 1990s, Ben studied trumpet under the tutelage of Professor Richard Peters and Orchestral Conducting under Dr. Leonard Pearlman.

We asked Ben six questions about his life as a music teacher:

How long have you been teaching for?

I’ve been teaching private students since 1986–37 years already!

What instruments do you teach?

I teach all the brass instruments—trumpet, cornet, French horn, trombone, baritone/euphonium, flugelhorn, and tuba (when called upon).

What's your favorite snack between students?

No snacks between lessons. But if there’s time, Oreo cookies are always a tasty treat!

What do you like most about teaching private lessons?

I love to see—and hear—students make a leap in their understanding of a concept or technique. Seeing someone actually learn something they had no idea of—or had a limited understanding of before—is my greatest joy.

Did you take lessons growing up?

Yes, I took lessons on piano, horn, and eventually trumpet.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received might be “You have to grow ‘big ears."


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