Upon the invitation of my friend Ab Koster, who has asked me to participate in the pedagogy column of the IHS E-Newsletter, here are a few lines which I hope will be of interest to you.
It is very hard to theorize on pedagogy, which refers more to children, and on didactics, which refers more to teaching, because of their etymology. The music instrument teacher has to master both of these disciplines. If pedagogy is more of a general concept, didactics is specific and concerns a particular discipline.
My experience as horn professor of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (hereafter named CNSMDP) since 1985, 31 years this autumn, makes me think that the psychological relationship established between teacher and student is crucial and decisive in the evolution of the latter.
The consideration of physical, intellectual and mental capacities of each individual should determine a suitable program, as much on the technical as on the musical level. If the mastery of all registers of the instrument were the prerequisite for the training of any future professional horn player, it would be absurd to deny the natural tendency of each individual and not to consider specializing in a specific role and register.
More specifically in my class, with as objective a discourse as possible, we work essentially on the basic technical exercises: Verne Reynolds’ studies – which prepare best for all the atonal intervals ever more frequently used in the contemporary musical language – as well as solo and orchestral repertoire.
There are, in France, two Conservatoires Nationaux Supérieurs de Musique. One is located in Lyon, where David Guerrier is the horn teacher. The other one is in Paris (CNSMDP), where Jacques Deleplancque has a class of six students, and where I am teaching twelve other students. There is alsoa natural horn class at the CNSMDP under Claude Maury, open to students of the modern chromatic horn.
Each year, we invite a leading figure of the horn world for a master class, an even as anticipated by myself as by the students. To end this communication, let me mention some of our last guests (may those I’ve forgotten forgive me!): Ree Wekre, Neunecker,Tuckwell, Baumann, Bloom, Koster, Gaag, Vlatkovic, Dohr, Sommerville, Ruske, Orval, Schneider, Terwilliger, McWilliam, Wittgen, Tapani, Lansky Otto, Zempleni, Barboteu, Garcin Marrou, Dalmasso… and in March 2017, Frank Lloyd.
English translation by Louis-Philippe Marsolais