Pick up Your Horn, and Play
by Patrick Godfrey
As musicians, we are all scared of being creatively boxed in. We all strive to use our original ideas to please not only our audience, but ourselves. With today’s technology, and an audience eager to hear new things, there are many ways to improve our musical abilities. By briefly steering away from the textbooks.
The Art of Practicing
by Ashley Cumming
With summer vacation quickly approaching and a big break before lessons resume again, I am reminding my students (and myself!) of a few ways to be our own teachers and keep learning over the summer break. We have many great resources within ourselves to find new life in our music and to improve our practicing habits– believe it or not, dancing, singing, and making up stories for our music are all great ways to break through tough spots. Try new ways to get around obstacles!
Hornzone: How do you know what each etude is trying to teach?
James Boldin: In some cases - Kopprasch, for example - it's pretty obvious what the composer is focusing on in a particular study. It might be arpeggios, scales, various kinds of articulations, or a combination thereof. In others - an extended concert etude, for instance - the focus might be on several different things at once, or the focus might shift during the course of the etude. In that case, it's beneficial to focus on one section at a time, working out the specific difficulties in each one. Looking at the question from a broader perspective, the best way to improve at interpreting a composer's intentions is to study music history and theory as well as take private lessons. This will train your ear and eye to recognize patterns and see the "big picture."
How to Survive Music School
by Matthew Haislip
Imagine this: You are a junior music education major at a small university in Oklahoma with aspirations of one day enjoying a career as a teacher and performer. Your day is filled with strenuous wind band rehearsals, general and music education classes, painfully loud marching band rehearsals, and a quick bite to eat before heading to your part-time job waiting tables at the local Applebee's. Finding the time to recover from rehearsals and actually practice your horn seems impossible. You are becoming more and more frustrated with your obligations and you wonder how you will make it through your senior year with a student teaching internship, final degree recital, and graduate school auditions. Does this sound familiar?
So You Want to Play Chamber Music?
A Brief Guide to Getting Started
By Ashley Cumming
Great high school band programs are fantastic for horns: we can play in the wind ensemble and orchestra, and we have some pretty cool solos for when we go to contest. But one of my favorite kinds of music rarely shows up before college: chamber music! Someone once called chamber music “a conversation between friends,” and I agree. We hornists arguably have the most variety in chamber music than anyone else: we can play in brass or wind quintets, with strings, and in groups of all numbers with wacky combinations of instruments: from horn, tuba and piano to horn, oboe and piano, to horn and harp or marimba! The horn is one of the most versatile instruments, and we have plenty of chances to shine – and performing is so much less scary when you share the stage with your friends!
On Flying With Your Horn
by Eric Grunkemeyer
Although I've only just started graduate school, I've already had to fly, both domestically and internationally, with my horn more than I would have liked. So here are a few simple tips that I have deduced from flying with my instrument, and also some that I have been given by friends.
Ringing in the New Year, Naturally
by Dr. Paul Austin
The horn is perhaps one of the most fascinating musical instruments. With its rough- and-tumble beginnings as an outdoor signaling device played by hunters or war mongers, today it enjoys its role as the heroic soul of the orchestra in concert halls played by professionally-trained musicians.
Currently horn students can get a boost in their training by gaining some knowledge about the natural horn. Perhaps this information can unlock a few mysteries about the valve horn, as well as give the satisfaction and peace of mind in leaving no stone unturned in their musical education.