hey manny

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by HeySergei, May 10, 2007.

  1. HeySergei

    HeySergei New Friend

    10
    0
    May 9, 2007
    Here is my very first serious thread. My first order of business is to say hello to you manny.

    My thread concerns development of harmony in american orchestras versus european orchestras.

    For almost 5 years i have lived in the usa and when teaching my students here i am very serious about developing their ears to hear pitch with the most impeccable attention to detail.

    However i have noticed a very drastic difference in how harmony is treated! I listen to orchestras and bands and immedeatley i am shocked to hear how some parts of the chords are just not treated equally, this is true even in top 10 professional orchestras.

    I ask my questions because music affects me very deeply, and when i hear the 3rd or even the 9th of a chord not properly tuned or played with equal confidence it takes so much away from the clarity and emotion of a chord!

    I feel that although we are building more technically proficient musicians today we are missing the ears and hearts of young players.

    Just 2 weeks ago i heard an eleven year old play rustiques, just like a machine played the right notes and rhythms... Just like a machine. The problem that had was not that he played rustiques but that he had no idea what was going on harmonically and proceeded to play out of tune with the chords and with zero emotion!

    I wanted so badly to lend that poor boy my passion just for even a minute. So let me get to the point of all of this. What can we do manny to deprogram the robots in our students' heads to let them hear and feel the true emotion in music?

    I came to the us because first hand this is the finest country on earth bar none, but i feel as of late music teachers in so many institutions are so concerned with turning out technical masters that they forget to sit back and realize how truly beautiful a chord can be when played with extreme care.

    Sergei
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    So, Sergei, let me see if I understand what you mean when you say "harmony".

    Is that a different way of expressing proper intonation? If so, then, yes, intonation is something that seems to develop a bit later in most musician's lives it seems. Unfortunately, trumpeters and players of other instruments begin on those instruments instead of piano and they don't understand right away the problems of playing in tune. They just accept whatever comes out and the band directors tend to cut them slack until they become more technically proficient. When they exhibit the ability to control the instrument, that's when intonation becomes more of a duty to do something about.

    As for the eleven year old player, I'm not surprised. Few players at that age have experienced enough of the world to be able to do more than exhibit technical prowess. It is the very rare talent at that age that has a handle on phrasing. I wouldn't worry about it. If a student has true talent the awakening of musical story telling will happen in time. If it doesn't, they'll become great technicians and be admired by people who don't know anything about music.

    If your question is about balance, I agree wholeheartedly with you. Even a chord that is in tue can sound out of tune if the balance is incorrect. This, however, is the domain of the wo/man with the stick. If the conductor doesn't do anything about it nothing will happen because it is too difficult for young players to know external balances. This is completely the responsibilty of the conductor. A good conductor will take care of it, a bad one won't.

    ML
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,616
    7,965
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Sergei is on to something!
    I remember playing the recorder as an 8 year old (it was called a flutophone). Our method books had duets in it and when we played in tune there were notes in our heads that we weren't playing - the sum and difference tones. We thought that we were doing something wrong, and our teacher didn't know better so we played to AVOID that phenomenon.

    I have just taken 2 beginners on (8 and 9 years old) and when playing long tones at the beginning of a lesson, we try and MAXIMIZE those tones for most resonant playing. The kids don't know what it is about intellectually, but they "have an ear" for it and they do it!
    Playing for maximum resonance can be taught at an early age. Manny is right that BALANCE is the sole property of the conductor though.
    Sergei should not forget, when listening to RECORDINGS of orchestras, that the sound engineer often plays God - destroying any "natural" balance that may have been present in the performance. Recordings with an arsenal of mics is always dangerous in the wrong hands.......
     
  4. talcito

    talcito Piano User

    393
    8
    Feb 18, 2004
    Hi Sergei:

    The idea of musical expression vs. technical development is very interesting.

    A couple of years ago I was taking a group trumpet class with the great jazz trumpet player Donald Byrd. Since there were players of different abilities in the class, he would always ask each player to play something to figure out what level they were at.

    One day, entered a new student. A beautifull young lady in her 20's just here recently from Russia. Dr. Byrd asked her to play something.....she went on to play a short , melodic tune. It was just full of expression and beauty. .....you almost wanted to cry. He then asked her to play a C major scale....she had no idea what that was. She went on to tell us that in the part of Russia she was from, they made her learn only one song the first year on the trumpet....just one.....But it had to be played as beautifully as possible. That is all she worked on her first year.

    Is this type of learning common in Russia? I like the idea of of placing melodic expression over technical at all levels of playing. How many times have we gone to a conferance to hear hundreds of players playing Clarke #2 like robots......few times will you hear someone playing beautifully and with lots of individual personality at these places.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2007
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Age:
    53
    2,259
    11
    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Boy, this is a fascinating subject. I'll probably write a bit more later, as I really should be running now, but my basic thoughts and experiences are this: any student will do what yoou expect. If you have kids play with sterile CD accompaniments all the time, the do not learn how to think for themselves or how to react or cause reactions. Music is a conversation between the players. When I go and adjudicate, I listen in levels 1-2 (those would mostly be 10-12 year olds), I expect to hear a difference between loud and soft; between slurred and not slurred; to have the notes be mostly in tune. I really don't think the average 10-12 year old musician can really understand how to handle the difference between a major third or a minor third, but they should know they are different.

    More later...
     
  6. HeySergei

    HeySergei New Friend

    10
    0
    May 9, 2007
    Manny I believe you hit the nail on the head in some very vital points, rowuk as well, but I wish that I could verbalize my thoughts as well in English, but unfortunately words do not escape me as fluidly as they once did.

    To talcito, this is a very common practise, to learn a melody instead of a technical study first. If you can master the art of phrasing and lyrical singing through your horn you are tought to express and play with a level of great mastery. The first melody I ever learned is called Zimniaya Doroga which translated mean A Winter Road, very beautiful song. I did not work on for a whole year, I've been working on it for about 23 years now. I how ever did learn other music in my first year, and I could read music during that time. This all is dependent on who teaches you. A good teacher will not only have you play a gorgeous melody, but will teach you scales, and patterns. Mine did, but I had no idea I was doing the boring stuff because no one ever told me it was boring. I get pure joy playing ANYTHING on trumpet, and that's very near and dear to me.

    Sergei
     
  7. HeySergei

    HeySergei New Friend

    10
    0
    May 9, 2007
    I also would like to add that we also treat our young musicians a lot differently in Russia than we do here. They are treated as peers and equals from the time they are young until they truly do become colleagues. I have read far too many posts on TM and TH where young players are chastised and told they must pay their dues, instead of being told the things that are really important.


    Sergei
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Sergei,

    Do you live in America? You said "here", so, I assumed you were studying or playing "here". You seem to have a strong knowledge of how teachers and students relate to each other in America. I'd love to know what school you are attending (attended?). I'm sure you wouldn't base your opinions on a couple of internet websites because they don't represent reality, only opinions.

    Thanks,

    ML

    ML
     
  9. HeySergei

    HeySergei New Friend

    10
    0
    May 9, 2007
    I studied at Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory. I do live in America now. I form my statement based only on the things I have seen both online in the trumpet community and in person. I'm not saying that it's our teachers that do the things I say, but peers in the trumpet world who treat our young players with such a lack of compassion.
     
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
    10
    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Okay, then, it's a different perspective because it just hasn't been my experience, Sergei. I find that the overwhelming attitude is one of helping younger ones out. I suppose you find what you look for.

    ML
     

Share This Page