Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Icebergs, Dentists and ....Ramjack?

As I work with a student, I often find some little problem on the surface.
Sometimes that "little problem" is like the tip of the iceberg.

It's like finding a something on the surface of a tooth. As you drill down, you may find that the problem goes deeper than expected.
Maybe the attacks aren't very clean on Hungarian March.
Then you drill deeper...
  • and you find that the slide movement is sloppy
  • and there isn't really much air behind the attacks
And you drill deeper...
  • and you find that even major scales don't have an accurate slide
  • and there is a lot of tension inhibiting the breathing.

Cancel all my appointments, Mildred, this one's going to take a while.

It reminds me of new students who come in all ready to move on to the next super advanced piece. In their minds, they've built this wonderful 5-story "trombone building" and they think we will be moving on the add on the 6th and 7th stories.

Fundamentals? BORING

Instead, I'm more like the building inspector, heading down into the basement with my trusty flashlight. "Well, lookey here at this foundation. I'm afraid this isn't up to code. We could throw on that 6th story but the whole structure is becoming unstable."

Hmmm, maybe long tones are like the RamJack of trombone.