Hi, everyone!  My name is Chelsey, and I started taking lessons with Mr. Holland during the summer before my seventh-grade year.  I had a really rough start with the trumpet.  My sound was very pinched, and I just could not figure out how to open it up.  Until I met Mr. Holland!  He helped my sound so much, and it grew infinitely better that next year.  I was first chair all throughout seventh grade, and I only kept improving under his teaching.  Then, in eighth grade, I had to go through a brass player’s worst nightmare.  Braces.  It took a humongous toll on me.  I no longer had the caliber of the first chair player that I had been.  In fact, I didn’t even have the caliber of the last chair player.  I was so upset with how much braces had affected my playing.  But Mr. Holland was so supportive, and he definitely knew how to help his students through braces.  He taught me perseverance and determination, and he really helped me to put it in perspective.  It was not the end of the world, and he approached it in a way that was very encouraging.

After I got my braces off a year later, Mr. Holland continued to be an amazing teacher.  He not only taught me how to be a good player; he taught me how I could teach myself to be a good player.  I learned how to figure out problems on my own, so that I could continue to improve even after I graduated in 2011.  He taught me what it took to be a great player, and I truly understood the concepts.  Mr. Holland has such a wonderful philosophy regarding the trumpet and life in general.  My lessons were always great because I felt like they were lessons about life instead of only the trumpet.  He taught life through the trumpet, and I absolutely loved that.  He was such a great mentor to have in my life, and I will forever cherish him as someone who affected my life in more ways than he can imagine.

Love you, Phil!