Recital Day Routine

You’ve spent weeks and months preparing for that solo recital, and everything is prepared to the best of your ability. Your dress rehearsal went well, and you feel confident about the big day…now what? The recital day routine, like many other aspects of musical performance, should be contemplated and worked out well in advance. Over the years, I’ve arrived at a plan that helps me feel relaxed and ready to perform. After experimenting with different things, I’ve found something that works for me.

In a perfect world, we would have the freedom to clear our schedules on the day of a big performance or audition, and spend our time in quiet reflection until the appointed time. The reality though is that work and school schedules will proceed as usual, regardless of our own personal performance calendars. Feel free to use any (or none) of the following as you work out your own pre-recital routine!

  • Day Before: Get a “normal” amount of sleep the night before, usually defined as 7 to 9 hours for adults. If my schedule allows, I might sleep in for 10-15 minutes extra, but no more. I generally practice as I normally would, perhaps running the program one final time or spot checking places as necessary. Dinner the night before isn’t restrictive, but I am careful not to overindulge on anything too spicy or salty.
  • Morning: Follow my normal warm-up routine, but with some modifications (see below). Continue with my usual  teaching and/or meeting schedule. I also make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day (which I normally do). Here’s my typical recital day warm-up routine.
    • Breathing/Relaxation exercises (5 minutes)
    • One or two slow studies from Nancy Sullivan’s Flow Studies for Horn, or other similar materials.
    • 15-20 minutes of my normal maintenance routine (currently Douglas Hill’s Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player), then STOP. No more practice for the day. I might play briefly in some lessons if necessary, but in general I avoid too much extra playing throughout the day.
  • Lunch/Afternoon: Lunch as normal, but again avoiding anything too spicy or salty. Keep drinking water! For a 7:30 p.m. recital, I try to leave school by 4:00 p.m. if my schedule permits so that I can relax at home for an hour or so before dinner. Once at home, I “unplug” from work emails, social media, and pretty much anything that might be stress inducing! As an aside, this is my normal practice even on a non-recital day, and I have found it very helpful in sustaining a career without getting burned out. I might read, spend time with family, or simply sit quietly and visualize the upcoming performance. Time doesn’t usually permit going through the entire program in my mind’s ear, but starting each piece or movement internally can be helpful. *If you can’t make it back home from the office or school before recital time, find a quiet place free from distractions and do the same thing. Perhaps a brief phone call to family or a close friend to help settle your mind.
  • Dinner/Evening:  Eat a light dinner or even just a substantial snack, making sure that I eat enough to have energy but not so much that I feel overly full. This might take some experimenting to figure out. A typical recital day dinner for me might be a sandwich or a small helping of whatever is on our dinner menu at home. My go to snacks are fruits, almonds, and peanut butter. Anything that provides energy and doesn’t dry you out is good. I avoid too much caffeine, maybe having a cup of green tea after the meal/snack. Brush my teeth, change into recital clothes, and head to the hall by 6:00 or 6:15 p.m. (I have about a 20 minute commute).
  • At the Hall: I like to get to the hall in plenty of time to do some more relaxation/breathing exercises, and go through the same flow studies with which I began the day. I might add in some light flexibility or longish tones to loosen back up if necessary. By this time it’s close to 7:00 p.m., at which point I put the horn down and read or just sit back and relax. I try to touch base with any collaborators and/or stage hands on the recital, just to make sure they have everything they need from me. The house at my university generally opens at 7:15 p.m., and everything I need for the first half is on stage by this time. A few minutes before going out, I play a few flexibility exercises in the middle register, empty all the water out of my horn, and take several deep, relaxed breaths. Go out and have fun!

All of the above is subject to modification, and I would love to hear from other performers about their pre-recital routines. It’s a fascinating subject, with plenty of room for further study.

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Upcoming Horn Events

There are lots of great horn events coming up as we head into the last month of the semester at ULM. See below for a brief summary of each. If you are in the area we would love to see you!

  • Northeast Louisiana Horn Ensemble Concert: Wednesday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. Now in its 11th season, the NELA Horn Ensemble will present a concert loosely built around a movie theme. In addition to a few traditional horn ensemble works, we will also perform music from several films, including Silverado, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Game of Thrones. Admission is free and open to the public.
  • David Howard, Senior Recital: Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall. Senior Music Education Major David Howard will perform a recital of works by Mozart, Hindemith, and Arnold. Admission is free and open to the public.
  • Low Brass Day (Exhibits by Houghton Horns!) Saturday, April 14, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Biedenharn Hall  Assistant Professor of Low Brass Dr. Jeremy Marks and Adjunct Instructor of Tuba Tracy Bedgood  host this event for trombone, tuba, and euphonium players, featuring Guest Artist Wes Lebo of the Memphis Symphony. Though not a horn event, per se, exhibits will be provided by Houghton Horns. In addition to a selection of S.E. Shires trombones, and lots of accessories, Houghton will also be bringing their new Verus model horns and mouthpieces. If you play the horn or low brass and live anywhere nearby, you don’t want to miss this event! Admission is free and open to the public.
  • Boldin Performs Pele by Brian Balmages with the ULM Wind Ensemble: Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. Brown Auditorium This is the first of two solo performances for me this semester, and I’m really looking forward to it. Balmages writes really well for the horn, and Pele is a lot of fun to perform. If you don’t know this piece be sure to check out the numerous recordings available on YouTube. Admission is free and open to the public.
  • Boldin Performs Mozart, K. 447 with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra: Saturday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. Brown Auditorium Compared to violinists and pianists, horn players rarely get the opportunity to perform in front of an orchestra. I’m excited and honored to perform the Mozart with the Monroe Symphony, conducted by Dr Clay Couturiaux. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.mymso.org/

Descant Horn “Hacks”

I’ve been playing lots of descant horn lately – mostly in preparation for an upcoming recording project, but also for some new music concerts –  and have noted a few tips to improving performance.

Find the Right Mouthpiece: After experimenting with several mouthpiece options on the descant horn, I ultimately found the best results on my regular double horn mouthpiece, a Houser Standley GS12 cup with a Model “E” rim. While models such as the Moosewood BD and Osmun Haydn cup did offer lots of ease in the high register, they just never felt quite right on my face. For me I think it had something to do with not being able to comfortably fit my lips into the very shallow cups on these models. The Standley isn’t a huge mouthpiece either, but slightly larger than the Moosewood or Osmun. However, I would recommend trying out these models (or something similar like a Schilke 29) on a descant to see what you think.

High E-flat Fingerings on the High F Horn: Yes, the descant horn responds easier in the high range, but (at least for me) intonation can be a bit goofy above the staff using conventional high F fingerings. In addition to using a slightly more covered right hand position, I’ve also found that using High E-flat horn fingerings on the High F side works quite well for the A-flat, A, and B-flat above the staff. If you don’t have a high E-flat horn fingering chart handy, the new fingerings would be: T1 for A-flat (instead of T23), T2 for A (instead of T12) and T for B-flat (instead of T1). On the horn I’m using (an earlier model Paxman 40M), these alternate fingerings really sound and feel good. Give them a try yourself.

While these and other tips can certainly improve performance on a descant horn, the best “hack” isn’t a hack at all – lots of practice on the instrument. For practice materials I highly recommend two books: Martin Hackleman’s 21 Characteristic Etudes for High Horn Playing, published by Editions Bim,  and Dr. John Ericson’s Playing Descant and Triple Horns, published by Horn Notes Edition. In addition to etudes and orchestral excerpts, the latter contains lots of helpful hints for high horn playing, including fingering charts for descant (High F and E-flat) and triple horns.

Happy practicing!

Surviving a Three-Service Day

nutcracker_coverDecember is a busy month for musicians, especially brass players. With frequent Holiday Pops concerts, Nutcracker ballets, and church performances, double and even triple service days can and do happen. A “service” is usually defined as a 2.5 hour rehearsal or performance, and while many orchestras and other ensembles have contract language limiting the number of them in a single day, all bets are off if you accept work from multiple organizations. Here’s what my schedule this past weekend looked like:

  • Friday
    • Orchestral Rehearsal, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday:
    • Orchestral Rehearsal, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    • Church Service Rehearsal, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
    • Orchestral Concert, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday
    • Church Service performance, 10:30 a.m.-noon
    • Orchestral Concert, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

I’m happy to report that I made it through the weekend relatively unscathed, with chops intact! However, these being my last professional engagements for the year, I’m looking forward to a few light days of horn playing. If you wind up with some double and triple-service days in your schedule, here are a few recommendations to help deal with them. Some are specifically related to brass playing, while others are more general and pertain to overall well being. If you have any suggestions based on your own experiences, feel free to comment below.

  1. Be in good shape: Going into a busy month like December, I try to make sure that my playing fundamentals are in shape. If you are working through any chop or breathing issues, recovering from a playing-related injury, or coming back from an extended hiatus, I would strongly advise against accepting double or triple services in a single day. Heavy playing sessions with relatively little recovery time between them will only magnify these challenges.
  2. Allow time for a good warm-up and warm-down: Some light, easy playing before and after a heavy day can do wonders to limber up or even prevent a stiff embouchure. Be aware that your lips may feel swollen just after warming up, so make sure you have plenty of time for them to loosen up before rehearsal begins. I personally like to warm up 30-45 minutes before rehearsal begins, and take at least a 5-10 minute break before the rehearsal.
  3. Get adequate sleep: The optimum amount for an individual will of course vary, but the usual recommendation is from 7 to 9 hours per night. For more information, see here.
  4. Drink lots of water: Being properly hydrated will help you stay focused and alert, among many other benefits. For more information, see here.
  5. Alternate Warm/Cool Compresses:  In the case of very stiff and/or swollen chops, alternating heat and cold can be helpful. For more information, see here. Other remedies I have heard of but not had much experience with personally are ibuprofen (for pain and/or swelling – if you have concerns, check with your physician first) and, believe it or not, popsicles.
  6. Know when to say when: Playing through pain or discomfort is NEVER a good idea, and it is  wise to lay out or at least back off on dynamics well before hitting your personal playing limit for the day. You only have one set of lips – take care of it!
  7. Make time for recovery: After all the services are finished, try to take it easy for a couple of days if at all possible. This means different things depending on the individual; for me it means a warm up and brief routine for 20-25 minutes for the next day or so after several days of heavy playing. I rarely take days off, but have found warm-up only days to be very helpful.

On that note, I’ll bring to a close my final post for 2015. Best wishes to everyone for safe and happy holidays, and a great start to the new year. Be sure to check this site in January, as I have several posts planned for 2016: more reviews, thoughts on time management, and an update on Solo Training for Horn, my forthcoming etude book from Mountain Peak Music.

A Recital Practice Plan

Photo by Emerald Harris/ULM Photo Services

Photo by Emerald Harris/ULM Photo Services

So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

As this semester draws to a close, I’m gearing up for several performances in December and during the spring. These include: recruiting concerts and a recital with our faculty brass trio, various orchestral performances, and a recital tour with Trio Mélange, a voice, horn, and piano trio (see image at left). The trio consists of myself and two ULM colleagues, Claire Vangelisti, soprano, and Richard Seiler, piano. We’ve performed together frequently over the past few years, including a contributing artist concert at the 45th International Horn Symposium in Memphis, TN. In addition to a faculty recital here in Monroe, we’ll perform at Centenary College of Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin State University, and The University of Texas at Tyler. Our program will include several lesser known, but high quality, works for voice, horn, and piano.

  • Carl Gottlieb Reissiger, 4 Gesänge, Op.117
  • Eurico Carrapatos, Dois Poemas de Miguel Torga
  • Gina Gillie, To the Seasons
  • Auguste Panseron, Le Cor: Romance

It’s a challenging program (approximately 52 minutes of music), and while it would be nice to have an open practice schedule to devote exclusively to this repertoire, as you can tell from the above I am going to be balancing a lot of different material in my day to day work. During graduate school I would have gone through all of this repertoire, plus etudes, ensemble music, and other materials, every day, averaging three and a half to four hours of practice. At this point in my career, though, I simply do not have the time to devote four hours every day to individual practice. Now, I strive to practice for two hours each day, unless I have a concert or heavy rehearsal schedule. When preparing for multiple programs, I usually create a rotation that allows me to practice everything over a period of several days. This approach seems to work, and it is really the only way I’ve found to make sure I cover everything. Here’s my current rotation for the Trio Mélange program. The numbers beside each work indicate specific movements to be practiced.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Reissiger 1, 3 Reissiger 2, 4 Reissiger 1,2 Reissiger 3,4 Reissiger   3, 1 Reissiger 4, 2 Reissiger 1,4
Carrapatoso Carrapatoso Carrapatoso Carrapatoso Carrapatoso Carrapatoso Carrapatoso
Gillie 1 Gillie 2 Gillie, 3 Gillie 4 Gillie 1 Gillie 2 Gillie 3, 4
Panseron Panseron Panseron Panseron Panseron Panseron Panseron

The Gillie and Reissiger are both lengthy, four movement works (20 and 17 minutes, respectively), and this schedule allows me to address each piece in its entirety multiple times over the course of a seven day period. The Carrapatoso and Panseron are a bit shorter and less technically involved, and won’t require as much time to prepare. Because of intervening commitments like rehearsals and performances, it might take longer than a week to progress through this seven day schedule. However, keeping track of the dates allows me to pick up where I left off  in the rotation after missing a day. After a warm-up/fundamentals session, I work for approximately 10-15 minutes on each piece, depending on the needs of each day. The remainder of the two hours is spent on ensemble music, etudes, and other chamber or solo repertoire. As the date of the performance gets closer, one or more of these days will be replaced with complete runs of the program.

If you’ve not tried such a detailed approach to recital or audition preparation, give it a shot! You will hopefully find yourself more prepared, more confident, and less stressed out even in the face of multiple performing commitments.

 

Notes from a Master Class on Performance Anxiety

To close out this week’s series of master class notes (read Part 1 and Part 2), here are my notes from a talk given by David Sternbach, Research Director of the Center for Arts and Wellness at George Mason University. A former horn player himself, Mr. Sternbach visited a studio class during my time at UW-Madison. Mr. Sternbach has authored numerous articles covering a variety of issues facing musicians and other performing artists.

David Sternbach Master Class, The University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Excellence is a habit.
  • Stage fright has three stages: 1) anticipatory 2) on-stage 3) afterwards
  • To deal with stage fright (performance anxiety) it is necessary to restore your sense of engagement and reexamine your practice room conduct.
  • Visualize what you want to accomplish.
  • Spend at least some time in every practice session playing something you love.
  • Establish a “minimum emotional standard”.
  • Get the body warm before starting a practice session.
  • Take more frequent breaks.
  • Have zero tolerance for tension – it’s not worth learning a passage of music if tension is the result.
  • Act, don’t react.
  • Construct and practice affirmation phrases, and use them to replace the normal stress response. The affirmation has to be more powerful than a habitual negative statement.
  • As in physical exercise, the cycle of challenge and recovery is important in the practice room. Practice should be regular and patterned.
  • Create an environment in which you are happy.
  • Play for your own delight at the beginning and end of a practice session.
  • Physical fitness, especially cardiac fitness, is very important. Good cardiac health allows the body to recover faster from panic.
  • Rehearse the feelings in the music, as well as the notes and rhythms. Train the mind to feel a certain way.
  • We want alertness, not terror.
  • Real Self vs. Performer Self: It is possible to train an emotional state, and replace negative thoughts/emotions with positive ones.
  • Relaxation training: Practice quickly achieving a relaxed state by stopping suddenly in the middle of practicing and forcing yourself to relax. Abdominal breathing can help achieve a relaxed state.

Notes from a Master Class on Auditioning

This week I’ll be posting notes from various master classes I’ve attended over the years, covering such topics as orchestral auditions, college job interviews/applications, and performance anxiety.  Today’s notes come from a class by William VerMeulen given at the Round Top Festival Institute in the summer of 2003. Looking back over these notes I wish I’d either written more or just recorded the entire lecture! However, I think what’s here gives a good overview of the material presented in the class.

Audition Master Class with William VerMeulen, Round Top Festival Institute, 2003

  • The person with the largest “envelope,” and who stays within that envelope, wins the audition.
  • There is tremendous power in the words “I can.”
  • Play with controlled abandon.
  • Adopt a declarative attitude.
  • Audition for the right reasons.
  • Preparation: use penalties, and simulate the performance environment. Never stop at the point of a mistake, but continue through until the end of the excerpt. Stopping at the point of a mistake tells the brain that it is ok to make that mistake. Categorize the excerpts into three different groups based on how much work they need. Play for other people, and simulate the conditions of an actual audition.
  • Mental Preparation: Use positive self talk, and personify your negative side – this makes it easier to get rid of him or her. [My note: some people even have a separate chair for their negative, judgmental selves in the practice room. Thus, one can more easily tell this aspect of your personality to be quiet and get out of your way.]
  • Use affirmation cards. Write short, positive sentences saying what you want to accomplish in the present tense form. Say the phrase(s) ten times in the mirror morning and night. The law of accommodation is stronger than the law of reality.
  • Mental training and visualization are incredibly important.

These ideas have helped me quite a bit in auditions, and in preparing for other performances. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For some more resources on auditioning, check out the online index to The Horn Call: Journal of the International Horn Society, and search by subject for “auditions.”  Other useful publications include The Inner Game of Tennisby W. Timothy Gallwey, Audition Success, by Don Greene, and Horn Playing from the Inside Out, by Eli Epstein.

Preparing for a Recording Session

Earlier this year I mentioned that one major undertaking would be a recording of several works with horn by the Dutch composer Jan Koetsier. With the first of two recording sessions coming up in less than two months, I’ve been working diligently to ensure that I am as prepared as possible. Here are a few details about the August recording session.

1. The producer and engineer for this project is Rich Mays of Sonare Recording in Savannah, GA. Rich came very highly recommended, and I’m looking forward to working with him (image above linked from their website).

2. Repertoire for this session will be:
Sonata for Horn and Harp, Op. 94, Dr. Jaymee Haefner, harp (We performed the piece at IHS 44 in Denton)
Choralfantasie for Horn and Organ, Op. 89, Matt McMahan, organ
5 Selections from 13 Characteristic Etudes

3. Recording venue is First Presbyterian Church of Savannah, GA.

These pieces will constitute about half of the total content of the recording, with a second session covering several horn and piano works taking place later this year (more on this in future posts). For a number of reasons, including the availability of my collaborative pianist, I decided to break this project into two parts. Logistics are more complicated this way, but one benefit is that with plenty of time between sessions I’ve been able to gear my practicing towards those works we’ll be recording first. Speaking of practicing, I’ve been trying some different things over the past few weeks to prepare this music for recording. Recording sessions are very different from normal performance situations, but can be equally if not more demanding of your technique, endurance, and concentration. Here are a few ways I’ve been preparing.

1. Paying special attention to first attacks and articulations in general. Yes, I normally practice first attacks every day, but it’s even more important in recordings that all articulations be as consistent as possible. A flub or mistiming which can go unnoticed in a live performance will be more noticeable on a recording.

2. Practicing in smaller sections. As I get closer to an actual performance, I tend to practice performing a piece all the way through to establish continuity and pacing. After the run through I then go back and fix things. In my experience, recording usually involves the opposite, playing sometimes very brief passages several times in succession. Often this is either to get several “good” takes of a section to choose from later, or to make sure that one particular note, rhythm, or articulation is usable for splicing with another take. To get ready for this kind of playing, I’ve been practicing phrase by phrase, attempting to play each phrase at least two or three times perfectly in a row. This is similar to preparing excerpts for an orchestral audition, and takes a lot of concentration! I normally practice this way, but tend to play longer sections instead of going phrase by phrase.

3. Thinking about splicing. Except in the case of live, unedited performances, splicing is a reality of any professional recording project. Ideally splices should be undetectable in the finished product, but I’ve been told that some engineers can hear them every time. In previous recording sessions, I’ve noticed that as the session goes on, the time between splices gets shorter as concentration and endurance begin to wane. As I practice I am trying to mark several good splice points, either at ends of phrases or sections. These can be adjusted during the session depending on factors such as ensemble, tempo, and reverb.

That’s all I can think of for now, but if you have any suggestions to prepare for a recording session I’d love to hear them. If you’re getting ready to record there are some great resources out there, including this article by Gerald Klickstein at The Musician’s Way Blog, and an article by Dr.Gina Gillie titled “Considerations for Undertaking an Independent Recording Project” in the October, 2011 issue of The Horn Call.

End of Semester Juries: Some Thoughts and Observations

My apologies for being behind in blog posts for last week: in addition to the normal end of semester crunch (grading, juries, etc.), we’ve also been without internet at our new residence. Hopefully the issue will be resolved soon, but for now I will be grabbing some time to blog here and there in the office. I’m headed to Denton this week for the 44th International Horn Symposium, and although I won’t be staying for the entire event I will try to post some updates while there. Today’s post was meant for last Friday, but having a few more days to ruminate on the topic of juries was actually quite nice. If you aren’t familiar with music juries, here is a short article describing them. Procedures and requirements for juries vary widely depending on the school, but here are some observations and thoughts based on my experiences as both a student and teacher.

  • Juries are a performance. Dress and conduct yourself accordingly. If you have any questions about the correct protocol at your school, ask your major professor. There might be numerous rumors and/or anecdotal information floating around about what you may or may not need to prepare for in your jury, but these are only partially reliable at best.
  • Unless a random element of the jury is agreed upon in advance (sight-reading, for example), you should be aware of all the requirements for the jury several days (if not weeks) before the actual exam. I have seen juries where the student apparently didn’t think or realize that a particular solo/etude/excerpt/scale/transposition/clef would be asked, and then disaster ensued. The sad thing about this situation is that it is completely avoidable. Plan ahead, and always ask if you are unsure about repertoire requirements or anything else.
  • It is your job to sort out your schedule. Final exam week is hectic for everyone, and there are only so many hours in the day to schedule juries. As a result, there may be several time slots which conflict with your exam schedule: but you should never skip (or be late to) a final exam in order to play a jury. By being proactive and finding out jury and final exam schedules in advance, you can avoid any unpleasantness with your applied teacher and other instructors when exam time comes.
  • The time to start thinking about and preparing for your jury is at or near the beginning of the semester, not the week (or even two weeks) before exams. Your life will be stressful and busy enough at the end of the semester, and putting in the time on the front end will make your life much easier during exam week. Yes, given enough talent and endurance, a good brass jury can probably be prepared in a limited amount of practice time, but as a teacher and performer I wouldn’t recommend this method unless absolutely unavoidable.

Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on juries?  What about some favorite stories from your jury experiences?  Feel free to comment. [N.B. Curious about the image included at the beginning of this post?  More info here.]

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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