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We take a young mind, we take somebody who is just learning something new. We are showing him excellence, not musculatures in terms of activities, but results. Here’s your trumpet, here’s your mouthpiece, and it can sound beautiful. Imitate by trial and error. Be willing to make a mistake.
Arnold Jacobs - Principal Tuba, Chicago Symphony for 44 years
MY PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION
The quote from Arnold Jacobs above is pretty much a microcosm of my beliefs when it comes to pedagogy. It's pretty easy to base your educational philosophy on someone like Jacobs who was arguably the greatest brass pedagogue of the last century. I tend to not try and bore students with technical aspects of the horn. Instead, I like to focus on listening. Trying to get in tune with what you sound like and not what it feels like. Everyone is different. We all have different facial features; different lips.
It amazes me how many teachers focus so much on perfect embouchures and how many liters of air you can take in. In my experience, those are usually the players that find everything to come natural to them and claim to have the "perfect" embouchure. Similarly, they usually have the "perfect" regimen of technical exercises and etudes that will make you sound just like them in no time. Boy do I wish it was that simple. To suggest that there is a single, perfect model for success in return suggests what we do as musicians is science instead of art.
Truth is, you really have to figure out a lot of things for yourself. You have to find what works best for you and your setup. So instead of spitting out my perfect regimen for you to digest, I've compiled articles, videos, my own tips, etc. that have either inspired me or have gotten results for me. Maybe they work for you. Maybe they don't. But in the end, I hope they at least give you some insight into what I do and what keeps me inspired on a regular basis. Maybe it will inspire you too.