I started University 2 months ago and have therefore recently begun having lessons with a new teacher. He seems like a nice enough guy but he's a bit "wishy-washy" with his explanations of things and I'm not sure I agree with everything he says so I just thought I'd post on here to see what other people make of it all. (Note: Please don't mistake this for arrogance; I'm not suggesting for one minute that I might know better, I'm just a little confused because I feel like some of his ideas conflict what I've been told by previous teachers).
In my lesson last week I asked about building a higher register as this is something that I have always had trouble with. However, when I made reference to embouchure and tongue position he suddenly became very dismissive/ evasive and insisted that the only thing I needed to concern myself with was air flow as it is simply the air speed that controls the pitch of the note. "Focus on the air speed", he said, and everything else i.e. tongue position and lip compression would just "sort themselves out". It's a nice thought - the idea of being able to just automatically do what I need to do with my tongue/ lips without thinking about it - but it just seems a bit kind of vague and wishy-washy... If I only think about the air without paying any attention to the embouchure, could this not lead to the formation of bad habits? For example, I suspect I begin to tuck my lower lip underneath the top slightly as I begin to ascend on the trumpet.
Following on from this, when asked about lip slurs/ flexibility exercises, he said he doesn't like the name "lip" flexibilities because it's misleading in that students tend to then try and do everything with just the lips alone. I agreed with him because, I said, "it's more about tongue position" i.e. aa, oo, ee... but, again, he didn't like it! He said he didn't like calling them "lip" flexibility exercises because it's all down to the speed of the air and I shouldn't be trying to use different vowel sounds for different notes...
This contradicts everything I've been taught before - that it's a balancing act between air, lip and tongue. If I hold a long note and then suddenly increase the speed of the air without adjusting anything else, the note just kind of "bulges"... the pitch doesn't change whatsoever. What do you guys think of this concept? He spoke a lot about Arnold Jacobs if this helps put things into context.
P.S. Another thing I find quite unusual is that he never looks at my embouchure during lessons; he "prefers to listen" and says that he can "hear" if there are any problems - he doesn't need to see them. He's just generally very evasive with regards to embouchure or anything 'technical'.
Sorry for the long post!