Paul Mitchell

Trumpet Teacher and Performer

Paul’s Music Story

Paul grew up in Bury, Lancashire and started playing the cornet in a local brass band at the age of 10. It was not until he was 12 that he took trumpet lessons organised by the Bury Music Service. He was lucky to have a great teacher and gained some great experience in the National Youth Band, which led him to apply to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester for sixth form. This was a fantastic experience with long days and lots of lessons but set him up nicely to apply to the Royal College of Music.

Paul is now a member of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and has performed with the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra and Pete Long’s Echoes of Ellington band. Paul was also a semi-finalist in BBC Radio 2’s Brass Award 2018. In addition to performing, Paul loves to teach.

"As a teacher my first port of call is to try and inspire my students."

What was the Royal College of Music like?

The Royal College of Music was a great training ground for developing my skills as a performer. Through playing with the orchestras and Big bands gave me an opportunity to play in all styles of music. Playing lead trumpet in the college big band helped get me noticed by a guest band leader, leading to my first professional work as a trumpet player. Also, the teachers, masterclasses and performance projects were all second to none.

Where would you suggest people buy a Trumpet from?

If you are a looking to buy an instrument in London both Phil Parker’s and Prozone Music shops stock a large variety of instruments from beginner student instruments, all the way to some of the best professional instruments you could buy.

What age do you recommend starting to play the Trumpet?

I started at the age of ten, but if a student has their adult front teeth and is inspired to play then I believe they can start lessons.

So, what are you like as a teacher?

As a teacher my first port of call is to try and inspire my students. I feel once a student has found something that inspires them, working on playing the trumpet becomes a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable for the student. I always try and stay positive in lessons and always try and tailor styles of music we work on in lessons, to the style of music that engages with the student the most.

What has been your career highlight to date?

One of my career highlights to date is touring to Gibraltar, with the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. Whilst there we performed in the most remarkable concert venue I have ever played in, inside St. Michael’ Cave. The cave was lit incredibly, with stalagmites and stalactites all around the stage and all the seats for the concert were filled. Overall, it was just an incredible experience.

What pieces would you recommend people listen to, to inspire them to play?

Absolutely anything by Louis Armstrong, you just cannot beat it! For example, Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues. Some classical trumpet pieces I would recommend for trumpet players would be:

Bach – Brandenburg Concerto no.2
Arban – Carnival of Venice
Haydn – Trumpet Concerto
And again, any pieces you can listen to by the following trumpet players:
Harry James, Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Derek Watkins, Jerry Hey, Blue Mitchell, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie… I could go on, but they are just some of my favourites.

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