Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pedagogy Master

Attended a wonderful and illuminating lecture, performance, and master class at CU-Boulder last night by Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony/Rice University Professor, William VerMeulen.

He is known as an exceptional pedagogue (if not the best), and has a substantial amount of students that play professionally.

It was enlightening hearing him speak about his unorthodox teaching methods, as it confirmed my feelings about the need for change in traditional teaching practices and how it ties into performance-related injuries.

His teaching is superb and it is such a huge relief to witness. Reminds me a lot of Dr.Tritle actually!! It is refreshing seeing his concepts have resulted in well-rounded, healthy, and highly successful students. This style of teaching and concepts are direly needed in the horn playing world.

If he could just rewrite the horn Bible now, I can die happy!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Phoenix Project: Rise from the Ashes by Ashley Gulbranson (French Horn)

This amazing recital in March was hosted by French horn player Ashley Gulbranson at the University of Colorado Boulder. I really wanted to attend it in person because I travel to Boulder for perforamances almost every year, since it's not that far away.

This recital in particular was significant! It features new works created for musicians recovering from Focal Dystonia. The first compositions of this kind to exist!! I did however get to watch the live stream which I posted below.

Though I don't know anyone from the project directly since it's been years since I was a student at CU-Boulder, I can't explain how exciting and heart warming this initiative is. Having this disorder is a difficult, unnerving, and solitary journey at times, even if you know others who can relate.

I know a lot of blood, sweat, and tears probably went into this substantial DMA work. Please have a listen, especially if you are a horn player with embouchure dystonia.

Link to the video recording of the recital:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Pathways: A French Horn Podcast by Adam Wolf

If you haven't already listened to or come across this amazing and top of the line podcast, you should!!! I think all brass players/instrumentalists can benefit from the interviews with professional horn players where they share details of their life and anything you can imagine.

What I love most about this podcast is that the interviews go into depth and things are really discussed intellectually, while having a sense of humor. There is no stone left unturned. It's all-in-all an amazing job done by Adam Wolf. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. No other podcast out there better than this on horn playing. Cheers!!

Friday, March 1, 2019

The MRI Brass Repository Project March 2019

Please donate this month!!! I spoke with Dr. Iltis last year via skype/phone about the project and we had a long conversation over our experiences. It was one of the best conversations I've had over embouchure dystonia. I really wished to participate, however, the deadline had passed, and neither they or I could afford the flight costs from U.S. to Germany, housing and food.

I'm happy to see they've been granted more time!!! I'm hoping they'll receive the funding needed, as there is not enough research being done on embouchure dystonia in general and I would love to see them get as many scans as possible on this rare piece of equipment.

They are using one of the fastest imaging scanners that exist. It can provide more insight as to what is going on inside while we play; not only in the brain, but physically. It is very high definition. They are comparing the imaging scans from the professional brass players without dystonia to the group of brass players with embouchure dystonia. They are also gaining more insight into how playing varies form individual-to-individual anatomically within. This can help educators and musicians begin to really understand further details as to what is involved in the function of physical performance.

I'm rooting them on and so very supportive of this research!!!