It has been over four years since I created the Roy Stevens tribute site back in 2008. It has generated interest all around the world with many questions. So I thought it was time to update the site and add some additional audio content of Roy discussing the Stevens-Costello method while demonstrating what was written in his book. In addition, one of Roy’s long-time pupil, Roy Roman, explains and demonstrates some of the fundamental exercises on video. For the audio and video I provided some descriptions and page references to Roy’s book, Embouchure Self-Analysis, 2nd edition. For wider availability, Amazon’s publishing company, Create Space is offering the book visit http://amzn.com/1469955911 On the Writing section, I added an useful Q&A between Professor Isley and Roy and facial muscle chart from Roy’s book. I hope all these of references will bring further clarity to your understanding of the Stevens-Costello method and be of use for brass players seeking to improve their playing embouchure.
David Hay, NYC
Why a Roy Stevens’ website?
Growing up in NYC in the 70’s, there were many fine trumpet teachers. My logic as a 15 year old was to find a teacher who was not only an excellent teacher, but also a great player. This way I can learn about establishing a correct embouchure and trumpet technique at the same time learn to play music. My criteria in choosing a teacher was to find someone who taught pupils who utilized his method in improving their playing.
At 15 I began my studies with Roy Stevens’ pupil, Roy Roman for about two years. Stevens had helped Roman rebuild his embouchure and confidence. He attributed all of his success to Stevens. At that time Roman was one of the most in demand lead players in the city. Later when he went on the road with Lionel Hampton, I began my studies with Stevens. Roy Stevens’ approach to teaching was an open class setting where guys would sit around awaiting their turn while a pupil was taking their lesson – not a place for the self-conscious player. Roy will relate points where everyone can benefit. Since the Stevens-Costello method is based on physical scientific laws and principles many students shared similar challenges and can learn by the embouchure analysis and correction of their fellow pupils.
I lived only a few blocks from Roy’s studio so it was convenient for me to hang out there even when I wasn’t taking a lesson. Since I was one of his few novice students, he also taught me phrasing approaches and we played duets together.
Besides teaching, Roy was playing in the Roseland Band with the Tony Martell Orchestra. He would play the jazz numbers and sing as well. I also spent time at his home in Larchmont, NY, getting to know his wife, Mary, and his German Shepherd dog, Chops.
My biggest benefit in studying with Roy was having a consistent embouchure setting. A setting where I can’t hurt myself. A setting where the limitation is determined by my physical condition with muscular and air coordination. Embouchure no longer became a mystery. I can do sufficient self-analysis when my chops are not functioning well.
Today, I noticed on various trumpet forums and websites that there is very little information about Roy Stevens – many times more misinformation or secondary hearsay. So I decided to create this tribute site sharing Roy Stevens as a player and teacher.
The purpose of this site is about Roy Stevens. This is not a site to tout or defend the Stevens-Costello trumpet pedagogy. There’s enough banter about embouchure methods and techniques on various blogs and forums if you wish to engage in a discussion.
I’ll add updates as I put together more content. So thanks for visiting and please enjoy the site!