Dr. Maxwell Briggs

Tuba and Euphonium Faculty
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Chamber Music
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 


Doctor of Musical Arts, Northwestern University (ABD)

Master of Music, Northwestern University

Bachelor of Music, Illinois Wesleyan University

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Rex Martin and Ed Risinger

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

As a teacher, I like to think in positives. As we conceptualize music and performance, the greatest results come from having a clear idea of the desired result. This can be achieved by focusing on the inner musician, as opposed to the outer/physical self. In order to train one’s inner musician, one must have a strong concept of sound, technical facility, and musicality, gained through the deliberate practice of fundamental technique. My teaching is rooted in the ideas and concepts championed by Arnold Jacobs and passed down to me through my teachers, Ed Risinger and Rex Martin. Not only was Jacobs a proponent of efficient use of physiology while breathing and playing, but he was also a master of musical phrasing. I firmly believe that the way that we do anything is the way that we do everything. In everything we play, we must hold ourselves to the highest standard. This means giving every note, every entrance, the attention that it deserves. Above all else, quality of tone is paramount. Every student is different. Each one has their own background, abilities, goals, and learning style. Whether they are a beginner, learning their scales, or an advanced student working on auditions and solo repertoire, each student is a joy to teach. The materials I use in lessons begin with the same fundamental principals. These materials expand as the student progresses into more advanced repertoire. However, everyone, beginner to pro, should always continue to improve their fundamentals. In summation, my teaching is focused on tone, accuracy, and musicianship; executed through the inner musician.

Awards and achievements: 

Two time medalist and winner of the 2015 Leonard Falcone International Tuba Solo Competition

Winner of the 2015 Chicago Brass Festival Solo Competition

Competed in the Porcia International Tuba Solo Competition in Pordenone, Italy

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Teaching associate of low brass at Lake Forest College

Tuba and Euphonium teacher at Music Institute of Chicago

Tuba and Euphonium teacher at New Trier High School

Temperance Brass Quintet

Experienced masterclass clinician and recitalist

Interests outside of music: 

I am an avid home chef and love to try out new recipes. Whenever I travel, I'm excited to try new and varied cuisine.

Favorite practice tip: 

Take your time and be intentional with practice. When practicing, you are training your future self.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

My favorite composer is Frederic Chopin and my favorite piece to play is the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto