Alex Serio

alex serioAlexander Serio [send him mail] is a freelance trumpet player and teacher in the Philadelphia area. He is also the founder and director of Ictus International Music Competition, and innovative online music competition and the administrative director of the Nelly Berman School of Music where he serves on the trumpet faculty as well.

You can find him on the web at and


  1. Trust your preparation! (You’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again 🙂
  2. Develop a daily routine in your practice.
  3. Alex incorporates his work as an entrepreneur into refining his performance preparation.


Two weeks before his junior recital, dropped his trumpet. Got it repaired, but at the recital one of the valves kept sticking. Switched horns and played a major work. Didn’t go well to say the least.

A week later, played a major performance. Had over practiced  after the recital and split his lip during the performance.


  • “A daily routine gives me peace of mind while preparing for a performance.”
  • “Be fully ready two weeks prior to a performance, then make adjustments until the day of.”


Q: It’s 5 minutes before you go on stage for an important performance… What are you doing?

A: Thinking about what I have to play, any difficult sections going through my head. Getting the musical message clear and in the forefront of my mind.

Q: What’s the best performance-related advice you’ve ever received?

A: Trust the breath!

Q: Can you share one tip for our listeners to help deal with stage fright? (Physical, mental, etc.)

A: Play in front of people as much as possible. Repetition is important.

Q: What’s a non-musical activity that contributes to your success as a musician?

A: Athletics. Staying in shape helping my lungs have the air power to play. Organizing competitions forces me to schedule my time religiously.

Q: Imagine you’re on stage. It’s the end of the performance and the audience is on its feet, applauding. They don’t want any more and they don’t want any less. Everything is perfect. What have you just done?

A: I’m playing a solo recital with my wife in one of the great halls in Europe. I love that when I’m playing for people who don’t speak English I’m still able to connect with them.

About the author, James Newcomb

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