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Kyle Hayes, Editor

Items of interest by and for young horn players. Those interested in contributing to the HornZone should contact Kyle Hayes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Musician, Heal Thyself

An Interview with Author Dr. Kristy M. Morrellmorrell

In October 2014, Glen Lyon Books released Musician, Heal Thyself, a book by Dr. Kristy M. Morrell of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and professor at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Tagged as a “self-help guide for hornists”, this book is written to empower the horn player, help them reevaluate the way they approach the horn, and identify potential issues holding them back. Many of us spent our college years looking for the hypothetical “golden teacher”, the one that would lead us to success, but this book affirms that you are your most important teacher and shows you how to make every practice session the best lesson you will ever have. On October 24th, I met with Dr. Morrell outside of her office on the USC campus for the following interview.

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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.

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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!


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Etude Talk

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."

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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?

Read more: How to Survive Music School