• Trumpet studio at Meaghan Hibbs' recital


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  • Embouchure Builder
    by Lowell Little
  • Complete Conservatory Method
    by J.B. Arban
  • Technical Studies
    by H.L. Clarke
  • Daily Drills and Technical Studies
    by Max Schlossberg


Dr. Erika L. Schafer
Professor of Trumpet
322 Fine Arts Center

D.M.A., Trumpet Performance, The Catholic University of America

M.M., Trumpet Performance, Yale University

B.M., Music Education, The University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Dr. Schafer’s teaching is informed primarily by knowledge of the physics of the trumpet and aligning it with human physiology to make trumpet performance as easy as possible. Her teaching is also greatly informed by knowledge of how the brain learns. She incorporates the research of Gabriele Wulf regarding the affect of focus of attention on motor skill learning. She creates a nurturing, nonjudgmental atmosphere in the trumpet studio where everyone’s unique voice is encouraged and valued. She prioritizes growth and tailors her teaching to each student’s distinctive learning styles, strengths, passions, and goals.

Dr. Schafer has recently been active with the Kansas City-based Fountain City Brass Band. The group was the featured ensemble at the 2023 Brass in Concert festival in Gateshead, England. She has visited Chile to present masterclasses at the University of Chile and Catholic University of Chile. She performs with the Chattanooga Symphony and has been a guest artist and performed recitals at Kansas State University, The University of Arizona, and Eastern Illinois University. As a founding member of the cutting-edge Fuze Trio with Ronda Benson Ford, flute, and Jenny Parker, piano, she performed commissioned world premieres and other modern compositions to arrangements of traditional classical music and popular music, including arrangements by group members themselves. In January 2020 they were an Ensemble-in-Residence at East Carolina University as part of the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative. Other trio performances include the 2019 College Music Society South Central Conference at the University of Texas at Tyler and recitals throughout the Southeast.

Dr. Schafer is the recipient of the 2024 University of Tennessee Alumni Association Public Service award, one of two recipients chosen from across five campuses. She was the host of the 2014 Trumpet Festival of the Southeast which featured guest artists Allan Dean and Tito Carrillo. Other guest artists she has hosted have included Jan Kagarice, Senior Clinician of Musician’s Wellness of North America, Douglas Hedwig, retired trumpeter from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Anthony Plog, composer of solo trumpet and brass chamber music, and Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet of the L.A. Philharmonic.

Prior to her position at UTC, Dr. Schafer was a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. where she was a featured soloist and performed with several chamber ensembles including the U.S. Navy Band Brass Quartet and the Joint Services Brass Quintet. She was also active in several orchestras in the D.C. area including the McLean Symphony Orchestra, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Folger Consort, and the Orchestra of the 17th Century. She has performed under major conductors such as David Zinman and Michael Tilson Thomas. She is a former student of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Her primary teachers include Jan Kagarice, Landon Gray, Chris Gekker, Steven Hendrickson, Allan Dean, Louis Ranger, and Walter Chesnut.