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Barbara Butler Routine


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josephus07
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Barbara Butler Routine Reply with quote

Please forgive me for not putting this in the Pedagogy section - it's just that so many of Barbara and Charlie's students have successful careers that I thought most of them would be looking in this forum.

One of Mrs. Butler's former students recently shared her routine with me.

I have a couple of questions that are genuine questions and concerns, not ridicule or accusations, so please don't misunderstand the tone of my quesitons.

My first question is how the heck are you supposed to finish it all within 2 hours? Maybe I took too long for the indicated rests, but after 2.5 hours and only being part way through the Irons excercises, I was mentally exhausted and stopped because I felt like I was getting diminising returns and I didn't want to mess with my chops b/c I had to perform tonight (which went fine). Do you skip keys on the exercises?

Second, what is the value of practicing for such a long chunk of time, especially first thing in the morning? I have heard from many professionals (Will Scarlett, for one) that say that the human brain really has a hard time focusing more than 45 min at a time. These pro's feel that many students do more harm than good (because of mental fatigue leading to bad form) by doing really long sessions.

Wouldn't it be just as helpful to play for 45 min-1 hour, rest for an hour or 2, then finish it off?

How do you know when you should push yourself physically a little more than you're used to so that you force your body to adapt, but not hurt yourself for the rest of the day?

Personally, I like the Michael Sachs warmup routines from his daily fundamentals book, but if Mrs. Butler made all of her freshman do this routine every day, it must have some benefit since so many of her students win jobs.

Thoughts?

Thanks guys, I appreciate it.
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TPM100
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm intrigued. Would you or anyone else care to share the routine?

TPM
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wvtrumpet
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A buddy of mine studies with her at Eastman for a semester and he told me this routine was great, but exhausting at first. I too would like to know more about this. Great topic discussion!
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matzentrpt
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anxiously awaiting the routine to be posted, and some Butler students to comment.

Viva Trumpetherald!
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andrewmccandless
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I studied with Barbara at Eastman for a few years. I think it's important to keep in mind that any book or routine is best used as a guideline. No one can know exactly what your strengths or weaknesses are. Method books or routine books are there to help you find ideas to pinpoint problems you may have in your own playing.

Try the routine in small doses and find what is helpful for you and use those parts. You may find that later in your career other parts of the routine are helpful even though they aren't right now. I think most teachers would agree that in the end we all have to be our own best teachers. After school is finished and you find yourself with your own job you will need the tools that you have developed from lessons, fellow students and books to continue your development as a player and a musician. When I was at Eastman Charlie Geyer told me that he believed you should learn 10% of what you need to know from your teacher, 10% from fellow students and ensembles, and 80% from yourself. That is something I really believe in and that I tell my students on a weekly basis.

I feel certain that if you can find some parts of the routine that are helpful for you Barbara would be thrilled.

Best of luck.

Andrew
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AYates
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings.

I have to agree with Andrew (nice to see you!). I also studied with Barbara and her routine really was meant as an outline or checklist of points that need to remain in our awareness. If I remember correctly, she was reluctant to commit any kind of routine to paper, but had been asked so often to put her routine in ink that she finally gave in. Charlie's words of wisdom are spot on as well.

AY
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like similar thinking to Mr. Adam.

His routine without his teaching, just lots of practice that may or may not work out for you.

With his teaching it's totally different.

I believe Schlossberg is this way.
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YayPR812
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 hours is a general frame- What she does isn't exactly the same everytime- part of the idea is to be able to develop the skill to plan your own routine, change exercises, play higher, lower, articulate... etc. I think her students winning jobs comes from the midset about playing that she gives her students

go N.U.T.S

Carrie
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steve_fenick
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

YayPR812 wrote:
2 hours is a general frame- What she does isn't exactly the same everytime- part of the idea is to be able to develop the skill to plan your own routine, change exercises, play higher, lower, articulate... etc.


If I recall correctly, she even says this in the routine, along with listing the things one should look out for when determining how effectively the routine is working. IMHO, that list of things to check for when determining whether one's routine is working is even more valuable than the routine itself!
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_PhilPicc
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I to assume the routine is secret, or can it be purchased?
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ADziuk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect, although I can't say for sure without seeing it and knowing how Mrs. Butler asks her students to play it, that it is much the way the Bill Adam routine can be.

When I first started playing it, it tired me out, and screwed me up good sometimes. However, once I had it learned well, physically it is very easy for me to play the whole thing and more in my morning session, and I can concentrate on playing it musically now(which I should have been doing from the beginning.)

Also, studying with a Bill Adam student and taking lessons with Mr. Adam himself really helped me figure out exactly what he was trying to accomplish.
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Athos
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The routine is not commercially available. Barbara put it together for her students as a guide and an option for physical development, but acknowledges that such routines should be varied. I found the routine extremely helpful when I arrived at Eastman, since it helped me build myself from a relatively weak physical player into a strong one. I still use it often when my practice/performance schedule is light, because it helps me to keep in shape.

If I remember correctly, it is a routine she developed to get herself in great physical shape for the Cleveland Orchestra principal audition. It works, but it's important to remember not to do more than you physically can, take breaks between things, etc. When I started doing the routine, I could not physically manage it. After a few weeks, things started to work in, and by the end of a year, I found my strength had improved greatly.

Best thing to do is as Andrew suggests, though: figure out what works for you, and do that, since you ultimately will be your own best teacher.
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eb1ch
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADziuk wrote:
I suspect, although I can't say for sure without seeing it and knowing how Mrs. Butler....


careful, there is no "Mr. Bulter", therefore she is simply Ms. Butler.
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retcnihps
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



eb1ch wrote:

careful, there is no "Mr. Bulter", therefore she is simply Ms. Butler.

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UsedToKnowEverything
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADziuk wrote:

careful, there is no "Mr. Bulter", therefore she is simply Ms. Butler.


Yeah, Charlie decided to keep his own last name.
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Mikeytrpt
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah.............So now we know who wears the pants in that family?

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lh
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I guess I won't be posting the rules to Mornington Crescent then....
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Fado
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know how one could acquire this routine.. I am very interested...
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<I think her students winning jobs comes from the midset about playing that she gives her students >

This is the part I would be most interested in.
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Mikeytrpt
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, you need to study with her in person in order to "get it."

A routine won't be as good.
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