Thoughts on Teaching and Playing the Horn

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The Road to Recovery: An Interview with Bruce Atwell

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May 2, 2014

In the world of horn playing, Bruce Atwell has done it all. He’s performed in high level professional ensembles – the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Milwaukee Symphony, to name a few – recorded multiple solo CDs, performed at numerous workshops and conferences, and taught at the college level. He is currently Professor of… Read More ›

Video: Lip Trill and Range Development Exercise by Douglas Hill

Here’s a short video demonstration of a great exercise for working on lip trills and range development. The exercise can be found in two publications by Douglas Hill, Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player, and High Range for the Horn Player. Both books are highly recommended, and I have used them regularly for… Read More ›

Do you use The Balanced Embouchure?

Recently this question has come up in a couple of places in reference to my recordings of several Kopprasch etudes on YouTube.  Rather than address questions individually, I decided to write a blog post.  In short, the answer is no, I do not use any exercises from The Balanced Embouchure, although I am seeing this… Read More ›

Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Part 2, Listening with your Eyes

In  Part 1 of this series on Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book Blink, we touched on some of the parallels that could be drawn between professional tennis players and brass musicians – namely the concept that even professionals in both fields might not always be aware of what they are doing physically to achieve high-quality results…. Read More ›

Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Part 1, The Locked Door

If you’re a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book Outliers, I highly recommend Blink, also by Gladwell.  Where Outliers deals with extraordinary people who seem to defy the normal limits of human achievement, Blink attempts to explain how we arrive at split-second decisions.  In an early chapter in Blink titled “The Locked Door,” Gladwell discusses… Read More ›

Another Reason to Join the International Horn Society

As if you needed another reason to join this wonderful organization – which is made up of horn players from around the world – the IHS has recently made available Two Surveys of European Horn Playing Styles, one completed in 1964/65 by Wendell (Pete) Exline, and the other in 2010 by Dan Phillips (IHS webmaster… Read More ›

Is Playing the Horn Natural?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading a series of posts by Bruce Hembd at Horn Matters on his own personal study of embouchure function.  You can read all the posts by following the links below. Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV As an analyzer myself I found Bruce’s posts insightful and… Read More ›

A Short Bibliography of Resources for Beginning Horn Players

In a previous post on horn syllabi I mentioned that one item often included on a college-level horn syllabus is a bibliography of resources.  These lists usually include a number of “must-haves,” as well as several other optional publications.  One project I have been working on is compiling a bibliography of resources directed at beginning… Read More ›

Simplifying Things (Post-Recital Reflections 2)

A few days after my August 31 faculty recital, I wrote a short post summing up some positive things as well as some areas where I felt I needed to improve.  Part of that post is included below. Now, as for areas of improvement, I have a couple of ideas which I took away from… Read More ›

Articles from the Brass Anthology

Most instrumental music educators are familiar with The Instrumentalist magazine, a national publication geared primarily towards band and orchestra directors. In addition to monthly issues, The Instrumentalist also publishes collections of previous articles in anthologies: brass, string, woodwind, and percussion.  According to their website, the most recent edition of the Brass Anthology “includes over 500… Read More ›

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