Three Things You Should Practice Every Day
By James Boldin
Although you might not be required to perform each of these techniques every day, it is essential that you keep them in good shape so that they are ready to go when you do need them. I’ve found that even just five minutes or so of dedicated practice in each area helps to maintain proficiency. If your regular daily routine doesn’t already include patterns for developing the following skills, you can choose from among the many excellent resources already out there, or create your own.
To Teach or Not to Teach?
That is the Question.
by Richard Williams
One perplexing decision faced by high-school students on the verge of entering collegiate music programs is whether to teach or perform. Period. Black and white. Will you spend the rest of your life in an elementary-school music classroom playing Orff instruments and chanting the “ta’s” and “ti-ti’s” of Kodály rhythms, or will you spend your time playing standard concerti and meticulously preparing for orchestral auditions?
Effective Practice Strategies
by Dr. Eldon Matlick, Proffesor of Horn, University of Oklahoma
The first step in making the most of preparation time is to develop a plan. It is essential for the aspiring musician to maximize effective problem-solving techniques in order to utilize available practice time wisely. Planning ahead means prioritizing the preparation of materials while keeping a watchful eye on overall progress.
With students, it is good to set goals of varying length. Short-term goals consist of the successful completion of weekly lesson materials and nagging problems/figures in ensemble or solo music. Medium term goals would be identifying needs for later in the semester. This could be the preparation specific material for concert ensembles or looking ahead at specific literature requirements within the applied studio. Finally, there should be long-range goals. These can address specific performance preparation such as a jury, recital, or competition. Also, this can address a special need such as range development, improvement of technical facility, or ensemble placement. It is important that goals be realistic, especially on the short and medium categories. Once expectations are met and success is achieved, this positive reinforcement gives the impetus for further, and more adventuresome, goals.
A hero’s life?
by Jonathan Stoneman
The Salome 6, L-R: Georg, Fergus,
Klaus, Stefan J, Sarah, Stefan D
It might be reasonable to expect that playing in an orchestra as consistently good as the Berlin Philharmonic would breed in its players either arrogance and complacency, or enough relentless pressure that only superhuman players would survive. When seen in close up, on and off duty, the Berlin Philharmoniker horn section isn’t in either category. Why not? The answer is both simpler, and more complicated than you might expect.
An Interview with John Clark
By Kyra Sims
I sat with John Clark in a coffee shop on New York City's Upper West Side on a rainy day in February. We chatted about playing horn in the city, getting into jazz on the horn, and about his book Exercises for Jazz French Horn.
The Italian School of Horn Playing
By Luca Benucci
The success of the Italian School of horn playing and teaching is due to the contribution of great soloists whose playing and teaching culminated in a special school and style of playing. These players include Rossari, Belloli, Righini, De Angelis, Baccelli, Samson, and Bartolini. Today, the Italian School is divided into many technical philosophies but all converge into one musical ideal.
One philosophy, represented by a leading international hornist, Allesio Allegrini, is based on beauty of tone and virtuosity inspired by the greats of the past and present such as Luciano Giuliani and Domenico Ceccarossi.
My philosophy and approach distinguishes me from these greats – it is a combination of American tradition and techniques, European-style mentality (especially German), and Italian pathos, bel canto, plus a Latin temperament. My teaching philosophy can be summed up in three letters: A (air), B (buzz and blow), and C (canta/sing). Over the past two decades, thanks to Dale Clevenger and others, the technical level of horn players and other brass players in Italy has evolved greatly.
A Note from the Road:
by Eric Reed
January 19, 2011
In three months since joining the Canadian Brass, I've learned so much! It has been an amazing experience, and it's an incredible honor to be a part of a group with such a storied place in the history of chamber music. Since September, we've been to the east and west coasts of North America and everywhere in between. We spent a week in Venezuela, and are headed to China in less than a week! It's tough to keep up with this schedule, and to maintain some sort of a normal life when I'm at home in New York City. But like I said, I've gained a lot from the experience so far, and would love to share some of this perspective on chamber music, the Canadian Brass and life as a musician with the HornZone readers!