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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Insights on Playing from Mallory Thompson

Andrew Hitz

"I think that….wherever you are in your career, it’s all the same…you’re working on the same things…making good attacks, making good releases, playing musically, showing a wide dynamic range, and not taking anything musical for granted."

-Dr. Mallory Thompson (Director of Bands at Northwestern University)

Dr. Thompson is probably the best conductor I've ever played for in my career. I had the privilege of being in her first band at Northwestern on the heels of being in John Paynter's last band there.

The beauty of her as an educator is that she demands the exact same things of everyone in front of her, like the list above.

Pleasing a set of ears like Mallory Thompson's is not complicated. It's just a lot of work long before you sit down in front of her.