Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tuning, Squacking and that Singer Stuff

I used to teach at Kinhaven Music School. Still, I believe, just about the nicest place I've ever been. Here's a memory I'd like to share...
As I walked around the camp, I could easily hear musical sounds wafting from practice rooms. As I listened to the violin teachers practicing, here's what struck me: how often they stopped to tune so the instrument would "ring."
A friend of mine once switched from trombone to violin. She made the most interesting comment, "I love the violin. It talks to you. It tells you when it's out of tune."

Think of Jay Friedman's comment that he might describe himself as a "professional seeker of resonance."

Another sound floating across the Kinhaven grounds came from the reed room where the oboes would practice. I noticed how often they would interrupt their practicing, remove their reeds and start squacking and whittling. As I understand it, they were seeking that resonant squack..that perfect reed.

We have a lip reed. How often do we stop to buzz in the middle of our practice sessions, looking to maintain that perfect buzz.

Even singers seem to spend a lot of time singing those descending glisses. Let me guess....seeking resonance?

Stopping often to tune ... to seek resonance. Finding that sweet spot where the instrument really rings.

How often do we trombonists do this?
How often do we just try to muscle the horn?

Observe the pusuit of excellence on other instruments.
Adopt the best habits
Teachers are all around you