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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: basics

Hitting the Extremes Early in the Day

Andrew Hitz

A question to ask yourself: Do you play as high as you possibly can, as low as you can, as loudly as you can, and as softly as you can every day before noon? If the answer is no try doing this each day for a week.  The progress in just one week will astound you.

Joe Alessi once commented in a master class that if you are preparing for an audition and don't touch your horn before 1 pm each day you are kidding yourself.  Wise words.

Building a Solid Foundation

Andrew Hitz

It takes a really intelligent person to practice really slowly and say “this is what’s good for me”.

- Joe Alessi


Earlier this week I was the guest of Mike Parker at the Monumental Brass Quintet Tuba Boot Camp.  We led the kids through the first page of the Schlossberg book and it reminded me of the above quote by Joe.

Like anything else in life, playing an instrument well is predicated on a solid foundation of fundamentals.  Many young players, especially the good ones, gravitate towards practicing very difficult and complex music all of the time.  But in actuality, it is the many hours spent practicing the simple things like tone production in the middle register that have produced the finest players in the world throughout history.