Friday, September 24, 2010

Beware the 'Careful Valve'

Here's something I see all the time in lessons. I work with a student away from the music. We get the air flowing well - tone production is nice and resonant. For this, I'm usually using glisses or flow patterns...something easy to play without music.

Then we turn to some printed music.

Once the student sees that notation on the page, it seems as if much of that wonderful free-blowing quality in their sound just stops.

They tighten up, almost as if they have a 'careful valve' built into their blowing habits. It goes something like this...

Uh oh, there are notes on the page. I sure don't want to play them wrong. Time to be really careful.

And so they close that valve, the sound tightens up and notes sometimes don't speak.

How ironic that the desire to make it 'right' ends up messing it up.

Keep that valve open...