Jeffrey Lang - Horn Study Overview
My overall teaching goal is for my students to be dedicated and passionate about their career in music. I would like them to be artistically intelligent and mature musicians as well as being technically prepared for the demands of a professional horn player. I encourage them to be kind and caring colleagues and to be an engaged musician within their community. I am attentive to the individual needs of my students.
Specific goals on the horn are as follows. I encourage the student to find his or her own voice on the horn with an emphasis on sound quality,phrasing and musical style. I teach a lyrical approach to the horn and strive for complete control of all ranges and dynamics,pitch and rhythm. I encourage a wide knowledge of solo ,chamber and orchestral repertoire and always support live performance of works studied ,and participation in auditions, competitions and music festivals.
In lessons we concentrate on various etude methods and Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites for specific goals. We learn the major horn solo repertoire and orchestral parts for future performances and auditions. Technically speaking, I cover proper warm up and practice techniques,a natural approach to breathing,singing and buzzing exercises. We work on relaxation,pacing,endurance and recovery just to name a few. Proper horn set up and posture are covered. I try to expose my students to other points of view through guest artists,reading material, attending live concerts and sharing my own experiences as a professional musician.
The following is a typical four year program on the horn and is adjusted as to the needs and level of the player.
Year One - Basics
- Proper set up of the horn
- Adjust, clean and repair horn as needed
- Proper playing position and posture
- Hand position
- Correct embouchure
- Correct fingerings and use of the F and B Flat Horns
- Introduction to tone concepts and types of horn sound
- Expand all ranges of the horn
- Expand all dynamics
- Air support
- Playing with a steady sound
- Attention to pitch and rhythm
- Coordination of breath, articulation and fingering
- Evenness of sound through all ranges
- Acoustical challenges of the horn
- Introduce basic concepts of phrasing and musicality
- Discuss different musical styles
- Learn a good warm up and healthy practice discipline
I employ all of the above through the use of the following materials. Pares Scales, Kopprasch 60 Studies, and Concone Lyrical Studies.I emphasize the benefits of non-stop playing of lesson material and thoroughly prepare moderately difficult repertoire. I focus on correct horn playing and musical habits in this year .I avoid spending time on overly difficult works. Solo repertoire examples: Corelli Sonata, Mozart First Horn Concerto, Beethoven Horn Sonata, Gliere short solo horn works, Krol-Laudatio to name a few.
Year Two - Development
-Finish work left over from year one and continue to improve on the basics that need attention.
-Address any bad habits that may form
-Expand technique, endurance, range, dynamics
-Refine concepts in warm up and pacing endurance and recovery
-Sight reading and transposition work.
-More intensive work with a tuner, metronome and drones
-More in depth discussion of musical styles. -Finding your own voice on the horn. -Correct stylistic phrasing. -Appropriate horn sound and style for the period of music. -Expand knowledge of repertoire. In year two we start to put the solid foundation of horn playing learned in year one to more extensive use. The student will become a more mature horn player and developed musician. Repertoire for this year may include Gallay Studies, Fearn Studies,Shoemaker Legato Etudes,Singer Embouchure Building,Haydn Second Concerto, Mozart Concertos 2,3,4, Strauss First & Hindemith Concertos, Persichetti Parable, Brahms Trio, Mozart Quintet, Hindemith Sonata and Hovaness ARTIK.
Year Three - Repertoire and Challenge
-Solo Horn Works
-Musical maturity and knowledge
-Ear training and critical listening
-Advanced level of rhythm and intonation expected
-Work on playing personality, poise, relaxation and performance confidence
-Learn to teach yourself
-More performance experience
In the third year I like to see a reduction of etudes and more time spent on solo repertoire and excerpts. It is assumed by now that technical playing problems of range, speed, dynamics and reading are minimal and the student is ready to be more challenged. The playing is polished, and confidence and musical intelligence are expected. Repertoire for this year may include Schumann Adagio and Allegro, Dukas Villanelle, Ligeti Trio, Haydn First Concerto, Telemann Concerto, Strauss Second Concerto, Weber Concertino,Gliere Concerto, Britten Serenade,Schubert Auf dem Strom, Gallay Studies, Brahms Etudes, F.Strauss Etudes, Bach Cello Suites and all standard orchestral excerpts.
Year Four - Audition Preparation, Performance and Future Goals
-Common Orchestral Ballet and Opera Excerpts
-Audition preparation, techniques and tactics
-Full recital preparation
-Use of Wagner Tuba
-Use of Descant Horn
-Use of Triple Horn
-How to be a good colleague and professional musician
-Freelance work, Entrepreneurship, Music Business
-Discuss future and realistic goals
-Graduate Studies or further study plans
-Teaching and Community engagement
-Attend Professional Auditions
In the fourth year I look forward to an advanced level of horn playing and musicality. The goal of this year is to set a clear course for future study or work as a professional musician. By now audition preparation and increased performance opportunities are the focus. One must maintain a high level of playing by paying close attention to the fundamentals of horn playing, pacing, warm up and preparation. In this year lessons are at performance level with the focus being on excerpts, solo, chamber music, audition, jury and recital preparation. In the year I expect creative artistry and a mature disciplined work ethic.