Posted by Elliot on April 30, 2002 at 13:34:59:
In Reply to: Re: Pat Sheridan Clinic last night posted by can you summarize? on April 30, 2002 at 10:00:59:
What I got out of the Sheridan Clinic:
Fundamental equation of a brass instrument: Air Makes Buzz Makes Sound
1) Music is not difficult, just unfamiliar. any teachnique can be learned with enough practice, and by a solid plan of how to get from point a (not being able to do something) to point b (having no trouble doing something 100% of the time
2) Breathing can be simplified by one word: Oh. If you make the correct shape (the shape needed to make "Oh") then you do not need to worry about how relaxed your throat , your chest, your diaphragm, and the rest of your breathing machine is. He had us say "Oh" and then breath in for 3 counts and then breath out for four a couple of times, to practice
3) Also, do not worry about "filling your lungs from the bottom up." the air will go where your body puts it, and expansion from your stomache all the way to your shoulders is completely normal and should happen. all of those muscles are related to the lungs, so all those muscles whould expand.
4) A musician cannot be emotional "from the nose to the hips" without screwing up their breathing machine. to feel an emotion puts your body in a certain position, one which isn'[t completely relaxed, and thus will interfere with your breath. for example, to play an loud, angry passage, you cannot feel as though you're trying any harder, or that you in fact are angry, fromt he nose to the hips, becasue all you are doing is moving your air in larger volumes. you can be angry up in your head and down in your left pinky toe, but anything from your nose to your waist will interfere with your playing
5) Nothing is about muscles. Your embouchure muscles do not build in strength the way that your biceps or abs do. furthermore, three days of not practicing will put your chops in the same shape they were before you ever started playing tuba (ouch). if you're trying to "build up your chops" and they hurt a lot, because your tensing too hard or whatever, all it means is that you're not moving your air correctly, not that the muscles are not strong enough. Also, I found interesting that a professional virtuoso violinist, pianist, reed player or brass players finger are no faster than your average shmoe on the street, they just practice a lot so that they move exactly where they are supposed to go, when they are supposed to go.
I hope I didn't leave anything out, and I hope I accurately portrayed the clinic. If i didn't you can tell me and we'll take this outside. or i'll just change the err of my ways. Anyway, it was really fun, Sheridan is a great guy.