Vespertine Formations

This is a music/education themed blog ran by The Man Octave (

I'm a Senior at Ball State University studying Instrumental/General Music Education, with a primary on trumpet. My musical passions primarily lie in worship, jazz, folk, and chamber music. You can also view my online teaching portfolio by clicking the world icon below.

This blog will serve as a place to express my thoughts and share my love of music throughout my endeavors as a musician. Mostly, you'll just see pictures of instruments, but I like to post education related and personal things about music/education as well. My OC will typically be tagged with #personal. Enjoy!
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I’ve been having difficulties playing anything above high D/Eb on all of my equipment. I don’t have any tension from G-D and I’m not adding any adverse pressure, but for some reason I’m bottoming out in my mouthpieces (Hammond 4S, 4Mb, and 4ML) and closing off my aperture. I don’t seem to have…

I asked this question on my personal blog. Any of my followers here got any suggestions?

But not like with animals or anything.

The local symphony orchestra was hosting an arts appreciation event on my campus, and I was working the “Petting Zoo” table with all the instruments for kids to try out and experiment with. I had everything from toddler’s trying to eat the instruments to 5th/6th graders showing off for their parents. It was a cool experience, and I learned a few tricks from watching my peers teach their primary instruments to the kids. It was interesting to see how differently each kid reacted to the different instruments, and also how my peers and I handled teaching them about instruments that weren’t our primaries.



The real story about how Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey got together. 

Rachel and I got bored practicing and recording real music and decided to improv instead. This was the goofy result.

"This problem extends far beyond the American disinterest for Jazz; it is a problem for music in general. The dominance of words and visuals in the American culture has lead people to believe that listening to Rap or watching music videos is the full extent of what music has to offer. If this goes on, they’ll be missing a huge chunk of what life has to offer."

I think this writer makes a very eloquent point about music in general. As music educators, professional, and amateur musicians, we should be more critical on what we expose ourselves and others to. Personally, I can appreciate the entertainment factor of modern popular music, but I also appreciate music from before my time (which, in their respective generations, were popular) and the progressive changes certain artists are exhibiting today. I think the most important factor in the battle between teaching popular music vs. classical (small ‘c’) or folk music, is that every artist, every piece, and every song has a different intended audience or purpose. It’s easy to dismiss things we dislike or don’t understand, but that does not make those aspects of life unnecessary to the extent that we snuff them out like a dim candle.

One of my biggest pet peeves as a musician is when musicians/teachers who don’t play jazz refer to swung eighths as dotted-eighth-sixteenths rather than triplet eighths.

We’re doing peer teachings focused on lyric dictation, singing, and a musical concept. This one girl who taught today decided to do “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” from Frozen and could barely get through the lesson without someone bursting into song. Since 80% of my class is vocal majors, it was quite a way to start the morning.

Spent a good portion of the morning/afternoon recording a rough take of Cornerstone by Hillsong with the lovely and talented Rachel. It was our first attempt at recording together, and my first attempt recording something more than just instrumental tracks. We’ve been working on a few songs to cover and get experience with the recording/producing/studio process. Hopefully when it’s all said and done and we finally start writing songs together, we will have a better understanding of each other and the different processes.

Anyway, it was a BLAST, but it wore me out and taught me a lot about my playing and singing that I don’t normally realize. I’ll most likely post some of the final products here for you guys in some way or another.


Obligatory practice room selfie from a few days ago from when I had to teach that morning and play a concert later that evening. I’m sorry.