Thoughts on Blogging, Julia’s Horn Page, and Quotes from Arnold Jacobs

Recently the horn world learned that Julia Rose had taken down her very popular blog and compendium, Julia’s Horn Page.  Julia’s site, which I have long been a fan of, was a great resource for all horn and brass players, and I am sorry that it will no longer be available.  Julia’s reasons for discontinuing her site are posted at the URL, and there has been plenty of discussion on the subject via the “Horn People” Facebook group.  The reasons Julia cites are completely valid (in my opinion), and I sympathize with many of them.  At a certain point, blogging can take on a life of its own, and there are some real dangers associated with writing about one’s career or personal life in a public forum. Though I am sad to see her page go, I trust that Julia has made a healthy decision, and thank her for her many contributions to the art of horn playing. I started reading Julia’s page when I was a college student, and spent hours combing through the audition lists, audition announcements, and master class notes she posted regularly. When she added the blog component to her site, I greatly appreciated her straightforward, no nonsense writing style.  It quickly became one of my favorite reads, and I looked forward to her posts.

Her copious master class notes, including several from Arnold Jacobs, were a tremendous resource. Jacobs actually wrote very little about his teaching philosophy, and these paraphrased or directly quoted thoughts from this master pedagogue made for some fascinating reading. In honor of Julia’s page, and as a brief intro to the next installment in the “Friday Review” series, here are some quotes from Arnold Jacobs taken from Also Sprach Arnold Jacobscompiled by Bruce Nelson and published by Polymnia Press in 2006. Check back on Friday for more about this great book, but for now here are some pearls of wisdom from Arnold Jacobs.

  • “You are a product of the challenges you overcome.” (p. 13)
  • “Strength is your enemy; weakness is your friend.” (p. 15)
  • “Fill your mind with sound.” (p. 23)
  • “Think product, not methodology.” (p. 24)
  • “Play music to develop embouchure, not the other way around.” (p. 31)
  • “Keep breaths full and relaxed.” (p. 40)
  • “Establish good breathing habits through exercises away from the horn.” (p. 47)
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