Trombone Studio Class Quiz

For over a dozen years now, I have taught the trombone studio class on a weekly basis at the University of Maryland at College Park. Each studio within the School of Music meets on a similar basis, and the class is devised as an outlet for the students to perform for each other and faculty. Throughout any given semester, there may also be guest artists, master classes and mock auditions within the studio class. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to mark their progress within the studio as well a reaping the benefits of information hitherto unavailable in a traditional classroom.

In making my own presentations to my students, I find myself frequently quoting or paraphrasing notable musicians from history. During one studio class number of years ago, I found it necessary to quote Arnold Jacobs, former tubist with The Chicago Symphony (1944-’88) and a preeminent brass pedagogue of the 20th century. When one of the underclassmen trombone students raised his hand and asked me who Arnold Jacobs was, I was taken aback. This prompted me to take an informal oral quiz of the class on a few, seemingly simple, trombone-related topics. Again, I was a bit surprised by their lack of exposure to what I viewed as rather common knowledge.

As I reflected upon what had happened that day in class, it dawned on me that a great deal of this information, some of it trivial, might also be generational. The very next day, I sat down and devised a multiple-choice quiz of general trombone-related knowledge for my students. I recall asking my late colleague, Milt Stevens, how many questions would be appropriate for such a quiz. He quickly answered, “It has to be seventy-six, Matt!”

Since that time, I administer this quiz near the beginning of the fall semester each year. The questions are updated and changed each year, but there are always seventy-six of them. I allow the students fifteen minutes to complete the quiz and I go over and expound upon the answers for the remainder of the class. They are allowed to retain it for further review and they are never graded on the results. My graduate students have also found the material to be helpful in their preparations for oral comprehensive exams.

I thought it might be fun to share this with those who might check in on this site. Again, much of this is trombone-related trivia, but I have many have found the quiz to be both a fun and informative exercise. Feel free to print it and share with others.
Just click on the link below to download.

76 Trombone Questions

76 Trombone Questions Key

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