Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Wednesday, February 09, 2022
The good news is that it can be brought to life and made obedient! Consider Frankenstein's monster, springing up after a few powerful jolts of electricity. Pinocchio similarly became a real boy when controlled by his inspired and caring master. Frosty also began to bounce around jovially once all the kids expected that he would. Simple examples but think about it: a few powerful jolts from a caring owner who believed his lifeless puppet could come to life!
Saturday, February 05, 2022
- Be encouraged that you can learn to sound great even if your heart isn't in it.
- Fool your listeners. Act the part.
- Always bring your performance face.
- Don't depend on feeling great.
- Turn boring into "bravo!"
- We all have our 10%. Learn to be convincing on the 90%.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
- Guarantee purity!
- Secure your technique for the purpose of flawless expression.
- Faulty technique will not contribute to great artistry.
- Artistry requires technical control.
- The purpose of great technique is compelling drama.
- When artistry rules, mechanics can obey.
- When mechanics obey, artistry can emerge.
- Passionate drama is well-organized.
- Emotions must be skillfully controlled.
- Accuracy needs artistry. Artistry needs accuracy.
Friday, January 28, 2022
In 1974 John Ware played a two-octave scale up and down for me. That was all I needed to hear. But it was the way he did it, starting pianissimo with a crescendo to fortissimo, and returning to pianissimo. Or it can be done with the reverse dynamics with a variety of articulations. Really quiet and really loud, without forcing or pinching. Always with a fabulous tone!
The rest of that lesson was inspirational for sure, but the details have been forgotten. What I remember today however, is the ease and finesse with which he released a superior sound!
Lesson 2 was watching him play first on the Planets in the Philharmonic. It was the same thing: power and finesse all in one player! Articulations exploded out the bell. We heard exciting dominating trumpet playing from a rather small, mild-mannered gentleman.
Of course, who cannot be amazed at the beauty of his Posthorn Solo in Mahler 3! His gorgeous playing still rings in my mind every time that excerpt comes up. He said very little that day, but his playing said everything I needed to hear!
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
For this to happen, something more powerful than fear must take control. When it does, a successful performance or audition could actually happen. How great would that be!
A public speaker who was known for his effective speaking before large crowds once admitted that were it not for one thing, he would be a nervous wreck every time he approached the podium. Nervousness was an admitted obstacle until he remembered why he was there!
So, what turns hesitancy into confidence, fear into boldness? Answer: a total focus on your message!
When there's much to share, there's no room for self-consciousness. An effective performer concentrates on his music, not on himself. Confidence comes from a sustained passion to deliver a great product. The audience pays to hear the music, not your attempt at an error-free zone. Plunge into the drama and avoid the trauma. How great will that be!
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Imagine a fermata hovering over each line of your music as you play. It dances freely until it stops suddenly over one of your notes that needs your attention. It says, "There, hear that? Now fix it!"
There's no point in ignoring the floating fermata. It's very sensitive and easily provoked. Any of the following will set it off:
- Intonation violations
- Quality malfunctions
- Legato offenses
- Final-note sloppiness
- Blundered entrances, etc.