Magazine article American Music Teacher

Horn Technique: A New Approach to an Old Instrument

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Horn Technique: A New Approach to an Old Instrument

Article excerpt

Horn Technique: A New Approach to an Old Instrument, by Jeffrey Agrell. Wildwind Editions, 2017. www.amazon.com; 452 pp., $19.99.

As instructors we tend toward laziness when it comes to changing our approach to teaching, simply because we feel safe and comfortable with tradition. After all, we were taught "that way" and it worked out alright for us. Jeffrey Agrell marches forth into the arena of horn instructors and horn players of all ages everywhere with the writing of his book Horn Technique: A New Approach to an Old Instrument.

Agrell's approach to the horn is based on the overtone series and how it applies to teaching the instrument to students, as well as how a more advanced student or professional player might rework his/her warmup and daily maintenance routine.

Throughout the entire book Agrell recommends talking of fingerings as producing different lengths of tubing, or different horns in 12 keys (14 really, but 2 overlap each other) and that each horn has 16 notes. The most obvious advantage to leap forth from this approach is that it establishes the concept of transposition from the very beginning, which every horn player must master to survive reading horn parts written before the invention of the valve. Mere memorization of fingerings is avoided and replaced with the understanding of why that particular fingering belongs to that particular note, which allows the student to problem solve on their own with knowledge and wisdom.

His ability to break a skill into its smallest component to make it more attainable is excellent. …

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