Week 9 means I’m now in the third month of work with Caruso Studies. A little over a week ago I incorporated the Intervals, Noodles, and Spider exercises into my daily routine, playing a set of Intervals and two sets each of Noodles/Spiders on alternating days. There are a few more things to add in the coming weeks, but at this point I’ve encountered most of the exercises found on Julie Landsman’s Caruso website. I would point out that there are lots of variations on the basic Caruso exercises, which allows for growth and adaptation. Here are a few takeaways I recently jotted down regarding my past few months of work with Caruso studies.
- A day of rest between the Interval Studies seems to be working, and for the most part I haven’t experienced any stiffness from these pretty intense workouts. The flexibility exercises (Noodle/Spider/Snake) provide a good balance.
- Following the link from this Horn Matters article, I spent some time perusing the Caruso Forum on trumpetherald.com. There is so much content here that it was tough to know where to begin. I did however find some good advice about the use of a metronome for Caruso work. In general the recommendation seems to be to NOT use the metronome except for periodic reference, and to instead rely on coordinating the physical act of foot tapping with playing. It’s difficult to describe the difference in feel between foot tapping and responding to the metronome, but there is definitely a difference. Proactive playing vs. reactive playing sums it up best, I suppose.
- Julie Landsman’s Caruso Videos have been extremely helpful, and I have been re-watching them periodically as I make my way through the various Caruso patterns. One thing that really stuck with me is her description of support feeling like your belly button is pressing towards your spine. For whatever reason, this concept has really helped with Caruso studies and other stuff too!