|chuck in ny
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Location: New York
|Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:18 am Post subject: gordon approach lessons
|a bit of a review on 3 months of lessons with jeff purtle.
i had resisted any form of lessons for years fearing tedium and got past the inertia by an awakening sense the gordon approach was for me, tongue level breathing and so forth. i had little idea what sort of an experience to expect.
the first surprise is having an enhanced level of well being from the breathing exercises and playing, a feeling of being better oxygenated. on a smaller level, the chops feel really good... most of the time... from the exercises. before lessons, i only had a small idea of when and how to push for endurance and it's cool to be led down a graduated and scientific path.
the funny aspect is that although not playing many tunes any more, the exercises themselves are musically satisfying and very worthy studies. i would attribute this to love of trumpet sound. any dissenters in this crowd? it's like the snake charmer routine.
the trumpet is the ultimate double edged sword or coin with two sides. it's hard enough to play and you can wonder if you would have been better off with a sax or clarinet, and then on the other hand the difficulty is the best part of it. now maybe this is purely a guy thing. i find it immensely satisfying to play exercises that call for force and strength. it's a great release. it's also a great builder of the cardio/pulmonary system, although i can see that if you had a student who was less than 100%, you could cause an aneurism pretty quickly especially with the full emptying of the lungs routine. i suppose teachers understand this and have their cues. in any case the strength and force and samurai effort is immensely satisfying and you wouldn't get that with your whimsical clarinet or cool sax. the trumpet is hard but it isn't all that hard and mainly asks patience and perseverance to get from one level to another.
you have the force and samurai aspect and then you have the subtle and zen. i am slowly getting a feeling for tongue level, it did not come by any startling revelation but mostly by continuing the exercises and the same with using the air stream.
i had also resisted taking skype lessons living in the past and liking person to person business. what was i thinking? using skype is most wonderful, efficient, and businesslike. we're all computer junkies now, and loving it.
anyhow,,, as an overall experience much better than i could have envisioned. the gordon approach suits me personally. there are many different types of people out there with different makeups and there is no one way to do anything, you just have to find out what's for you.
thanks again jeff.. chuck