We’ll conclude this series on lesser-known warm-ups and routines with the Standley Routine. From 1949 to 1957, Forrest Standley performed as Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and later taught for many years at what is now Carnegie-Mellon University. Two of his former students, son Gene Standley of the Columbus Symphony, and H. Stephen Hager of Southwest Texas State University, have made available a revised and edited version of their teacher’s warm-up and daily routine. Although the Standley Routine is fairly lengthy when compared to other daily routines – one hour and forty minutes according to the original preface – the level of thoroughness and organization is unparalleled. After a brief long tone/articulation exercise, the routine is divided into six sections covering all the major and minor keys. Each section contains four scale studies in two major and minor keys, four arpeggio exercises in two major keys, one endurance study in a major key, and two overtone series patterns in two major keys. Though each section contains essentially the same basic patterns, the key changes provide variety, and the arpeggio and overtone exercises can be practiced with varying articulations. For an even more complete session, players could also include their own favorite stopped horn and lip trill exercises at the end. Gene Standley’s excellent suggestions provide further explanations on how to use the routine. Having spent several weeks working with this routine I can say that it is great for flexibility and also for building a solid traditional technique. The scale patterns are particularly good, as they “revolve” through all the modes in a given key. For example, a scale exercise in the key of C major would begin first with c to c, then continue from d to d, e to e, etc.
If you found this series interesting, be sure to check out the complete article, which should be appearing in the October 2010 issue of The Horn Call. [Updated January 10, 2011 – the article is now scheduled to appear in the May, 2011 issue of The Horn Call]