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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Great Collection of Arnold Jacobs Master Class Notes

Andrew Hitz

Yesterday while surfing the web in search of brass knowledge I came across a great find.  Julia Rose's website, Julia's Horn Page, is a great resource for horn players and brass players in general.  One of her posts is a wonderful collection of quotes from some Arnold Jacobs master classes she attended in 1993.  You have to read all of them yourself for sure.  You can find them here. Below are a few of the notes that really jumped out at me.  That being said, you really want to read all of them on Julia's site.  The more Arnold Jacobs the better in my books!

  • You can’t use the sensory system primarily when embarking on a motor activity.
  • Be a storyteller of sound.
  • The horn in the hand must be a mirror of your thoughts.
  • Accuracy comes from the brain, not the chops.
  • 15% of thought on respiration, 85% on music.
  • Don’t fight old habits, replace them with new ones.
  • Whether long or short tones, always play with the same quality of tone.
  • It’s the buzz that plays the horn, not the air.
  • Match tone qualities when slurring octaves.
  • High notes are nothing but a fast vibration.  Low notes are nothing but a slow vibration.
  • Take music you know and put it in the high register.  It will take a little time, but it will develop with more practice.
  • Song and wind are very simplifying concepts.  The only challenge in playing is musical.

Did I mention that you should read all of the notes? You can find all of the quotes on Julia's website here.  The quotes above are less than 5% of the notes she has in her post.  Like I said before, you can't have too much Arnold Jacobs!