ALL BRASS INSTRUMENTS
Craig Beattie, a professional trombonist with almost 20 years of experience and mentoring from the finest trombone players and brass musicians in the world, has been noted for his powerful symphonic performances and sectional skills, versatility and precision in contemporary and jazz ensembles and efficiency and focus in recording sessions of all kinds. From jazz to classical to renaissance, progressive rock, opera, choral, chamber ensembles and big bands. From avante-garde underground to the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world. Craig has had the privilege of studying and performing with many of the most prominent and important musical minds of the past century including performances in Europe and America’s most prestigious concert venues. He strives for excellence in education and enjoys a reputation as a clear and concise instructor in the art of playing brass instruments.
What is your education and experience?
I have a Bachelor of Music degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England where I studied with Eric Crees – principal trombone of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York where I studied with Joseph Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic. When it comes to teaching, I was a brass tutor in the legendary band programs of Houston, Texas and an adjunct professor at Lee College and Lonestar College as well as Houston Baptist University. I had the privilege of performing with premier ensembles across Europe and North America including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Ballet Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Hawaii Opera Theater. I have also performed as part of the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, Wagner’s Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall in New York. And I have a small discography, having played in several recording projects including the first album of prog-rock group Haken and various other projects.
What made you decide to study music?
I started playing trombone when I was 8 and can’t remember enjoying anything more than playing in bands and orchestras with my friends. I had the enormous privilege of being able to go to a dedicated music school as a teenager and… I suppose I wanted to see how far I could go!
How are your lessons unique?
I have a fairly unusual approach to brass pedagogy in that I believe the less we do, the better we sound. I work to show students that they are already doing the right things, and to focus on individual control of specific muscle groups and breathing techniques to get out of the way of their own talents and express themselves musically in the best possible way.
What’s your favourite part about teaching?
I love to see the look of enlightenment on student’s faces when they hear and feel the difference in their playing.
What would you say to someone who is interested in studying music?
Whatever your age or ability, in time you will find the most valuable investment you ever made was in your abilities and techniques to express yourself. Music is the ultimate expression of physiology, logic, discipline, mathematics, language and emotional intelligence and has benefits for almost every aspect of our lives, for the duration of our lives.