Student of the Month, May 2022

Trombone Student, Marcus Olson

Marcus has been a student at SMMC for almost six years, and a trombone student for four and a half years. Although he first started out with piano before making the switch to trombone, he has not looked back since. Marcus has shown a dedicated interest in brass, even trying out the trumpet for a bit before returning his focus to trombone. Brass instruments can prove particularly difficult to students starting out. To produce sound, you must engage the muscles around your mouth to do something called “buzzing“. Thinking back on when he first started playing, Marcus noted that his first memory with trombone is when Mr. Cameron taught him how to buzz!

In His Teacher’s Words

Marcus studies trombone with Dr. Cameron Ghahremani. Cameron is a brass instructor with college level coaching experience and years of private teaching experience. Dr. Ghahremani not only plays brass, but also has years of experience playing and teaching piano as well. Some of his piano students have also earned this award, like Joshua.

Cameron writes: “Marcus has always been a very talented student. In the past few years he has begun to shine in his creative approaches to progressing on the trombone. Throughout the time we worked online, he proposed songs to learn when there were few repertoire options from school and he continually developed his range and tone to a level far above many in his age group. He has shown he is committed to his ensembles and is striving to become a leader in the top groups at his school. It has been wonderful as a teacher watching him realize his potential and I look forward to seeing him continue his growth as a musician.”

Marcus During His Lesson

In Marcus’s Words

We asked Marcus a few questions to learn a little bit more about our award winner. Here is what he had to say:

1. How long have you been playing your instrument and what do you like most about playing it?

I have been playing trombone for 4 1/2 years and I like how I have been able to learn and progress in my ability to change my register and expand my range. I also enjoy the variety of music my teacher has been able to transpose for me during Covid-19.

2. How do you make time to practice in your busy schedule?

Since I play baseball year round it has been hard for me to find a lot of time to practice, but I have found time to practice at school during my breaks and I get to play during my concert band class.

3. If any, who are some of the artists you look up to for your instrument? Why do you like them?

I don’t look up to any specific artists, but when I see more experienced trombonists playing on YouTube, I do focus on a how the artist is breathing.

4. What do you like about the piece you chose to perform for the SOTM video?

I like how the piece shows off my range, and has multiple types of rhythms.

5. What do you like to do in your down time?

In my down time usually I will do things to help myself improve at baseball, play video games, or practice trombone.

Many brass students get started with the instrument in a school band program. Although this is a great introduction to the instrument, private trombone lessons can be extremely beneficial for steady progress! Keep SMMC in mind when band season rolls around and you’re in need of trombone lessons or a trombone rental.

Meet the Instructor

Dr. Cameron Ghahremani holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts from the University of Miami, a Master’s in Orchestral Trumpet Performance from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music. At the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, Cameron was awarded a teaching assistantship, conducted private lessons, and coached the Frost Trumpet Ensemble who were awarded Second Place at the National Trumpet Competition in 2015. Since his arrival in Los Angeles, Cameron has performed with the San Diego Symphony, Musical Theatre West, Cupcake Theatre, the Golden State Pops Orchestra and the contemporary chamber orchestra, Kaleidoscope. Dr. Ghahremani began his musical studies first on the piano and received instruction for 13 years. He was also trained in keyboard proficiency, musicianship, and theory at the Eastman School of Music. He is an active brass and piano instructor for all ages and levels.