Dr. Paul Garza is a bass trombonist and teacher based in the South Texas area. A Corpus Christi native, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of music degrees at the University of Houston and his Bachelor of Music degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He currently teaches undergraduate and graduate music theory and musicology courses at the University of Houston and applied low brass lessons at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College in Houston, TX. Additionally, he maintains an active low brass studio for students of all ages throughout the Houston area. Paul has performed with the New World Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Mid-Texas Symphony, and the Corpus Christi Symphony, among others. Paul has also presented lectures at conferences in the United States and Canada on a variety of subjects including musical gesture, semiotic analysis, and popular music analysis. His current research focuses on developing new methods of semiotic analysis for music written for brass instruments.
First and foremost, I have a holistic view of music education. What we do in the theory classroom directly effects how we engage with and interpret our music in our performance. What we understand about playing a composer's music influences how we learn about their lives or their composition techniques. Additionally, all of our personal experiences that make us unique affect our playing and learning in ways that we sometimes don't even realize. I firmly believe that a well-rounded education is critical for success in the field of music.
In the classroom, I love the Socratic method. Asking students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the classroom is as important as asking them to play their instrument. Constant feedback and critical thinking are crucial in developing skills. In the practice room, I believe that the best players are self-taught, but have access to excellent guidance. As students, you need to do your time in the practice room, experimenting with how to play different passages, analyzing the piano score so you know exactly what they're playing at every moment, trying new exercises to further your technical and musical skills. My job is to show you the path to become the musician you want to be, to show you what the best players are doing, to help you understand how professional players and educators approach their craft, and to give you every resource you need to be in charge of your own education.