The Gould Standard: An Examination of the Pedagogical Philosophies of Mark Gould
Venneberg, Daniel Ross
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The purpose of this dissertation is to elaborate upon the teaching methods and pedagogical philosophies of renowned trumpeter, Mark Gould. Gould was co-principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1974-2003, and over the course of his nearly forty-year teaching career, he has served as a faculty member at The Juilliard School (1982-2019), Manhattan School of Music (2004-2016), and Mannes School of Music (2016-present). The qualitative data for this project was collected through interviews with Gould, as well as thirteen of his former students, all of whom hold prominent positions in the music field. The pursuit of research inspiring this dissertation was undertaken in order to expand upon both Gould’s pedagogical philosophies and his former students’ beliefs regarding his teaching methods, as well as to explore the comparisons between these respective viewpoints. The themes illuminated within the interviews presented extrapolate upon Gould’s methods as a teacher within the realms of firsthand accounts of his students who benefited directly from the lessons they absorbed. Gould states how his pedagogy centers around individualism, where he gives every student a unique lesson experience suited to the strengths of their learning style and interests as an artist. He ultimately desires his students to continuously morph into better and better musical versions of themselves and to discover their identity on the instrument. The students expressed how Gould promoted individualism and helped them find their voice on the instrument. Additional themes such as diversity, psychology, and making their musical goals more wide ranging are found in the accounts of their experiences with him. Gould’s teaching methods will also be compared against renowned brass pedagogues William Vacchiano and Arnold Jacobs in order to show how aspects of his pedagogy align with tradition, while simultaneously embodying his own unique approach. While Gould’s unique methods may seem untraditional or unconventional, the manner in which these well-respected musicians revere him speaks volumes to his effectiveness as a pedagogue. Gould’s legacy continues to pervade the entire field of music today and will undoubtfully continue to propel the success of music students well into the future.
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