- How Donna got into music education
- Why she got out of music education, and how her side trip helped her
- Why Donna left New York for California
- Why this music educator will never stop educating herself
- How students learn music, and why and how they should learn it differently
- How learning music is like learning a foreign language
Please forgive the ambient landscaping noise—we worked around it the best we could! Stay tuned next week for more of our conversation.
About Donna Schwartz
Donna’s musical career can be best described as the “comeback kid.” At age 9 she was not able to produce a sound on the trumpet for three months, but by the age of 11 she became one of the best performers in her elementary school (and in Nassau County). Her dentist forced her to quit trumpet due to her braces, but she was later able to convince her dentist to change his mind. She fought her way back into the junior high band and experienced much success throughout high school, becoming a top trumpeter in her District and County Bands and Jazz Bands, and participating in All State Wind Ensemble and NYS Summer School for the Arts. She suffered another setback in college, when her embouchure “gave out” and she couldn’t play. After studying with some of the best trumpet teachers in NYC, such as Vince Penzarella (NY Philharmonic), Mel Broiles, Ed Treutel, and Laurie Frink (Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra), she fixed the problems she was experiencing, gaining a greater understanding of brass embouchures and became an expert in fixing embouchure problems. Over the years, she studied various ways of producing sound efficiently and is known for helping students fix embouchure problems and for playing effectively with braces.