Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Horn Call and The Instrumentalist

Playing! With Ease

Based on hornist Arthur Krehbiel’s theories on horn playing, tips are offered to students hoping to increase the ease with which they play the horn. His technique is mastered only when the embouchure is able to consistently buzz with little drain on the lips. Krehbiel advises his students to focus first on the music and the technique will effortlessly follow. In regards to minimizing embouchure movement, he suggested simply whistling through the horn instead of shaping each note with the embouchure. Not only will this technique create more ease in playing, but it will also increase the student’s endurance. In addition, this technique will reduce the amount of warm-up and practice time needed by the student. Krehbiel’s teachings encourage creating a musical line with relative ease in playing.

Coping with Stage Fright

Much of the stage fright experienced by performing musicians stems from early or mid-life negative feedback regarding their performances. This negative stress often originates from the disapproval of individuals close to the performer by constantly striving for the elusive “perfection” in playing. It is emphasized that the first and most important step in overcoming stage fright is uncovering the underlying cause for each individual. Before this is completed, little permanent progress can be made for the performer. Also, the visualization of tense performance situations or use of Inderal, a beta blocking drug, is suggested for some. All musicians who have mastered the art of performing are ale to enter a “Zen-like state” while on stage. The conclusions were based on the author’s performance anxiety and his consequent degree researching the physiological and psychological repercussions of stage fright for the individual.

Goode, Michael. “Coping with Stage Fright.” The Instrumentalist. June 2004: 25-27.

Stevens, Paul. “Playing! Wth Ease.” The Horn Call. Feb 2004: 94-95.