Gregory Strauss

Trumpet Instructor
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

BM, Trumpet Performance, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

MA, Trumpet Pedagogy, Northeastern Illinois University

Significant teachers and mentors: 

William Fielder, Vince Penzarella, Travis Heath

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

Music is a gift and should be approached with enjoyment and relaxation! I emphasize fun ideas to simplify practice goals for my students (and myself). I believe in breathing exercises as well as aural and rhythmic dictation. I have experience teaching solfege and transposition, both of which are very beneficial to musical growth. My main objective in teaching is to develop my students into becoming their own best teachers.

Awards and achievements: 

- Winner of the 2011 Northeastern Illinois University Concerto Competition

- Performing with a trumpet ensemble at the 2014 International Trumpet Guild in Grand Rapids, Michigan

- Member of the Illinois Trumpet Advisory Board with Quinlan and Fabish Music Company

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Greg is an active performer and educator throughout the Chicago-land area and New Jersey. He has worked with ensembles across Chicago including The Chicago Brass Band, Chicago Symphonic Winds, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, Porchlight Theatre and NightBlue Performing Arts Company.  He is also a regular member with the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, and polka-based WunderBrass. Greg has additional private studios at Emerson Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, and Hinsdale South High School.

Interests outside of music: 

Visiting New Jersey and family. Enjoying nature, especially hiking in the mountains, and visiting the ocean. I love watching football and hockey, enjoy poker and have a blue poison-dart frog.

Favorite quote: 

“The trumpet is a mirror of the mind.” — William Fielder


“I can’t accept not trying.” — Michael Jordan

Favorite practice tip: 

If you can’t say it, you can’t play it!

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

J.S. Bach, Gustav Mahler, John Williams

Favorite musical moment: 

It’s a tie: Most recently, winning the 2011 NEIU Concerto Competition. Ten years earlier and just as fresh in my mind, I was selected to perform with a trumpet ensemble on national television at the US Open Women’s Tennis finals with renowned singer/songwriter Diana Ross.