tenet (ten' it), noun: a principle, doctrine, or belief held as truth

Welcome to my blog! Here I will share some of my thoughts on horn playing and teaching, which I think about a lot, and maybe some other things, too. Since my job (which thankfully, allows me to do a lot of playing and teaching) keeps me very busy, as does my wonderful family, I may not write frequently. My goal will be quality, not quantity!

Please share your comments.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A World Premiere: "far beyond the dissonance"

     This week I had the opportunity to give the world premiere performance of a piece for solo horn.  The title of the short but challenging work is "far beyond the dissonance," and it was written by Dr. Greg Robin, a colleague of mine at Western Carolina University...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recital Prep, Part 5 - Breathe Deep and Blow Fast!

     The title of this post says it all!  It's time to go on stage and play the music that you've worked so hard on.  You've carefully chosen your program, worked out the details, played some run-throughs and mock performances, and you're mentally and physically prepared to play your best.
     While you're on stage, it's important to keep things simple in your head.  I love this quote from Keith Hill and Marianne Ploger at www.musicalratio.com:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Recital Prep, Part 4 - Visualization and Tapering

     I'm a big believer in visualization: imagining yourself in the performance situation as you practice.  This can really play a role from the early days of preparing your music, but should become an even bigger part of your routine once you can play your pieces start to finish.
     In your mind, picture the performance in vivid detail.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recital Prep, Part 3 - Continuity

"The Incredible Shrinking Recital Program!"

     After you've picked your recital program, and you've learned all the details of the music by hitting the woodshed, then it's time to shift your practice gradually from detail work towards continuity work.  This means playing through longer sections, run-throughs of your pieces, and even entire mock recitals.  There are several benefits to this continuity work:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Recital Prep, Part 2 - Hitting the Woodshed

     So, you have a recital date booked and you've picked your program.  Now it's time to hit the proverbial woodshed and get to work learning and refining all those pieces.  I've already written some about practice techniques, so I'll just follow up here with a few words of caution.
     First and foremost, I want to stress how important it is to get started correctly on a new piece!  All too often, a student comes to their lesson after they've been working on a new solo for a week or more, and they're playing wrong rhythms and/or notes!  At that point,