Adam Kowalski – Trombone Teacher

Specializing in Brass Instruments
Advanced Bass/Tenor Trombone and Euphonium
Electric Bass, Tuba, Trumpet, Guitar
Jazz and Classical

kowalski headshotI teach Trombone, Euphonium, Electric Bass, Tuba, Trumpet, and Guitar, and I am a trombonist and educator in Philadelphia. I studied at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, where I earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2016. During my career at Temple I studied both Classical and Jazz trombone under the tutelage of Blair Bollinger of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Mark Patterson, an accomplished jazz recording artist and Broadway musician. I have also had the opportunity to perform in the Grammy-nominated Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band. Outside of Temple, I have performed with various local orchestras, bands and jazz bands. Currently I maintain a varied performance schedule playing trombone in a Philadelphia-based reggae band, as well as playing bass in an Indie Rock band. Through my teaching, I hope to instill in students a passion for learning and developing new skills. I believe in helping students to develop strong foundations in auditory skills (ear training) as well as fundamental facility and technique on their instruments. Through these means, students gain the tools necessary to facilitate new, exciting and rewarding learning opportunities for themselves to become life-long students of music.

Read an interview with Adam below.

When did you begin playing Trombone, and why?
I first began playing the trombone in the third grade. It was sort of an accident, actually. The band director had asked teachers to recommend students who had shown an interest in playing music and, to my surprise, my teacher recommended me. Although I had interest in playing the saxophone, I was given a trombone and never looked back!

What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
In addition to trombone, I play euphonium, tuba and trumpet – all instruments I played and studied throughout my course in high school. Outside of brass instruments, I also play both electric and upright bass. My experience with upright largely comes from high school orchestra as well as several years of playing with Uptown String Band of the Philadelphia Mummers.

What are your personal goals as a musician?
Music, to me, is the ultimate form of expression – a gift. It is my goal to share this gift with as many people as possible through both performance and teaching so that others may appreciate the gift of music as well as learn to create it and share it themselves.

Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
As a member of the Wind Symphony at Temple University, I had the opportunity to perform David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4 for wind band. It was during the performance of this piece that I truly began to feel the intense emotional power of music. Something fell into place inside of me through which I connected and felt everything the composer had to say. I was brought to tears, mid-performance. Music, for me, was different from that day forward.

What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
“You’ve gotta make them feel it. You’ve gotta make them dance.”

What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
My greatest challenge in learning an instrument was figuring out how to make my instrument a true extension of myself; learning how to combine instrumental facility and technique with my thoughts and emotions to create something honest and musical.

What is your biggest musical achievement?
The musical achievement from which I draw the most value is my senior trombone recital. It was an opportunity for me to share my musical self with many friends and family in a way that I never had before.

Favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is the ability to facilitate excitement in others. To cultivate in somebody the knowledge and skills to allow them to pursue their desires in new and productive ways. It’s exciting to help somebody do something they’ve never done before!

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Be patient with yourself. Music is a language in and of itself. Learning that language takes time, practice, dedication, and a whole lot of mistakes along the way!

Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc.
I play with a Reggae band in Philadelphia called Ear Me Now. We play in various venues across Philadelphia performing both covers and original music. I also play electric bass in an original Indie Rock band called The Evergreen Drive. We play a great deal in Philly as well as throughout central PA. We’ve been fortunate enough to record and release two extended plays, “Plans” and “More Than This”.