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Inside John Haynie's Studio

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"This wonderful collection of essays is a treasure of insight into the mind and heart of one of our great American performers and teachers. If the Arban book is the trumpet player’s 'Bible,' then I'd have to say Inside John Haynie's Studio is the trumpet teacher’s 'Bible.'"--Ronald Romm, founder, Canadian Brass and Professor of Trumpet, University of Illinois "The essays in this remarkable volume go far beyond trumpet pedagogy, providing an exquisite portrait of the studio practices of one of the first full-time single-instrument wind faculty members in an American college or university setting. John's concern for educating the whole person, not just cramming for the job market, emanates from every page. This book showcases a teaching career that has become legendary."--James Scott, Dean of the College of Music, University of North Texas "The principle that pervades my entire educational philosophy did not come from education or psychology classes; it did not come from the many sermons preached by my Dad and hundreds of other pulpiteers. It came from John Haynie’s studio."--Douglas Smith, Mildred and Ernest Hogan Professor of Music, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary "I read a book like this and I come out the other end asking, 'Why didn’t I try this long before now?' All hail to John Haynie and Anne Hardin."--Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

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Embouchure

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THE BIG FOUR: EMBOUCHURE

In the early 1990s, I happened to be in the office of Richard

Jones, M.D., and at the registration desk I picked up a little card on which appeared these words: What the mind conceives and the heart believes, the body achieves. Dr. Jones was a surgeon, and I was there to make a decision about a procedure I needed but didn’t want to have! Just meeting him was an experience all its own. He was an imposing figure, which you would expect of a former linebacker of a major college football team. He was also gentle and kind. Immediately I knew that he was the person I wanted to replace my knees. From the beginning I also knew that “what his mind conceived and his heart believed, my body would achieve.”

The same concept has been in my heart all these years because I’ve watched my students accomplish things they never dreamed possible. Douglas Smith, now a professor of music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, once quoted me as saying, “No matter how well you perform, or how much you know about the trumpet, the best thing you can do for your students is to create an environment where learning is a desirable commodity.”

 

Breathing

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THE BIG FOUR: BREATH

Much has been said about the need to practice long tones in order to develop a good tone. Few teachers would disagree; not many, however, follow through by insisting that long tones be practiced regularly. It is assumed that the student will be encouraged to sit or stand with good posture in order for the breathing apparatus to function properly. The idea of “sitting tall” is sometimes helpful in the effort to foster “sit like we stand” posture.

Not only should the student have good posture and practice long tones, but he should also be aware that the volume of tone should be bold and aggressive. Nothing is accomplished practicing long tones with a weak sound. The student should work for a full, rich tone. Then, as he gains more control of the breathing process, he should reduce the dynamic level. Rarely does a young student play a “soft tone”; it is characteristically a “weak tone.”

Long-tone practice at all dynamic levels should be encouraged as the student progresses.

 

Tonguing

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THE BIG FOUR: TONGUE

When I first started to teach in 1950, I was well aware that it was wrong to ever let the tongue come between the teeth and lips in making an attack. Conventional wisdom stipulated that the tongue must be placed just behind the upper teeth where the teeth and gums meet. In fact, my own tonguing did not follow this rule.

It bothered me that I was doing one thing, but trying to teach another. Then in 1952, a fine baritone player, Lida Oliver

Beasley, became my student. Her tonguing was sensational. After hearing her play, I asked her if she knew how she did that so well. She blushed and said, “Mr. Haynie, I don’t tongue correctly. I tongue between my teeth.”

Well, that did it. No longer was I going to teach something I didn’t follow myself. Since that time I have taught students to let the tongue go where it wants to go. Let the tongue find where it works best. It will take some experimentation and you will know what works best for you.

The misconception of tongue placement stems from the notion that the tongue is in the identical place for every note regardless of whether the tone is high or low. It is inconceivable that all notes could be tongued from the same position when there are so many other obvious physical changes—that is, the arching and flattening of the tongue, the motion of the jaw, and contracting and relaxing the lips.

 

Fingering

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THE BIG FOUR: FINGERS

The use of the fingers completes the quartet of physical functions involved in playing the trumpet. Embouchure, breath, tongue, and fingers must come together as a team in such perfect coordination that we could say the four entities actually become the instrument. When you purchase a piano, you have a musical instrument. Touch a key and a musical sound is there ready to be refined by touch and sensitivity of a performer. Anyone can play that same piano with the same basic sound. On the other hand, when a person purchases a trumpet all he gets is an open-ended piece of tubing coiled here and straight there, a mouthpiece, and a bottle of valve oil. For music to come from this coil of brass tubing, the trumpet player must develop the Big

Four before the pretty horn can make a musical sound. In no way am I making light of the effort that must be made to become an accomplished pianist. Different instruments require different physical actions.

The point must be made that training the embouchure, breath, and tongue cannot be totally separated. Finger training is another matter. Not only are the fingers associated with the other three, they are connected the same way to the brain. Embouchure, breath and tongue are so connected and dependent upon each other that a trained trumpet player rarely even thinks about that part of the team. Not often do the embouchure, breath, and tongue cause you to misplay some notes. As stated previously, the fingers are connected to the brain in such a way as to react to what the eyes see in order to read music. When the fingers misfire, the result is mistakes. This misfiring can be the problem of eyesight and focus, a matter of intelligence, or the careless nature of the player. When it is obvious that “woodshedding” is necessary, the first step is to slow down the tempo.

 

Musicianship

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ON STAGE—THE REASON FOR BEING

There are many reasons for learning to play a trumpet; however, the most important one should be the preparation to play for others. Like it or not you will play for others and, from the beginning, you should be aware that someone is listening to every note you play. That one person you are playing for is yourself, the most critical of all listeners. If you cannot please yourself, then why should anyone else want to hear you?

When you walk out on the stage to play you are bringing along more than your accompanist, trumpet, music, mutes, and a glass of water. The other baggage you are bringing out of the wings is your reputation as a person, as a musician, and as a technician of the instrument. It is good to play for your friends, and the cultivation of their friendship should be a lifetime goal.

True friends will want you to play well. That is why they came, to cheer you on. When Maurice André walked onto the stage in the old Main Auditorium at North Texas in 1970, he received an immediate standing ovation. It was spontaneous, as everyone stood as one, not one here and there. It was electric. How we all would like to carry that “baggage” on stage! Monsieur André told me afterward that it was one of his finest recitals. Was there a connection?

 

Intonation

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TUNE AS YOU PLAY

The Tune As You Play mechanism was invented by Mark

Hindsley at the University of Illinois. It was a trigger device attached to the tuning slide rather than the first valve slide. A double action spring on each side of a fulcrum allowed the player to move the tuning slide either way to raise or lower the pitch of any note. Mr. Hindsley and an engineer designed and installed the mechanisms on the university-owned set of Bach cornets and trumpets in 1951 or thereabout. He had no commercial interest in the mechanism, but he applied for and got a patent for the device. In 1951 or 1952, he showed me the Bach instruments that were equipped with the TAYP trigger, and I was fascinated with how easy it was to tune any note either up or down. Actually, it was easier to tune notes up rather than down, at least on the trumpet, since you had to squeeze with the left thumb to go up and pull back to lower the pitch. I was just getting started using Reynolds instruments, and the company agreed to equip my horns with the device, provided I could borrow a cornet and trumpet from the University of Illinois Bands so the designers could copy and improve upon the Hindsley model. This was all done rather quickly, and I had to learn how to use this trigger device. I spent a lot of time with a StroboConn™ and it was remarkable how easy it was to tune those bad notes that heretofore just had to be lipped.

 

Equipment

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HAYNIE’S HORNS

I had three King cornets as a boy. I got the first one when I was about ten years old. It was plain vanilla rough-finish silverplate that cost about $100.00. The photo of me in my band uniform wearing the cocky cap was that one. My second King was a much better horn, and it had a sterling silver bell. I’m holding this horn in the photo that featured me on the cover of the Texas

Music Educator in February 1941. Shortly after this, I got the third one with a gold-plated, hand-engraved bell. It’s no wonder that people thought I was “just a cornet player.” Truth was, the cornet was all I played, until about 1951, when Colonel Earl Irons set up a deal with Heinrich Roth and the Reynolds Company to provide me with a matching cornet and trumpet. I liked the Reynolds horns, and the trumpet was a real treat. Suddenly, all the trumpet music I’d ever wanted to play was there for the picking—trumpet picking, that is. I played on the Reynolds horns until about 1962, years after Mr. Roth sold the company.

 

Habits

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WARMING UP AND DOWN

When was the last time you dropped in on a band, orchestra, or stage band rehearsal? I feel sure the players know better, but what is usually heard is sheer bedlam. From screaming trumpets to The Downfall of Paris by the entire percussion section, it is not pretty.

I know of one band where the exact opposite was the case—Robert Maddox’s band. He instructed his players to enter the rehearsal room quietly, take their horns from the cases, and assume a relaxed position not too unlike the army’s “parade rest.” Oil the valves, moisten a reed, number the measures in pencil of any new music in the folder, finger the difficult passages without playing, put the music in rehearsal order as observed on the bulletin board, percussion to locate all the proper equipment for the day’s music, and in general “warm up” the mind, body, and attitude for the job at hand. Meanwhile, he might be returning a parent’s call, preparing himself for the rehearsal, or just watching us from his office. Then, when he stood on his podium, it was he who directed the warm-up procedures.

 

Mental Discipline

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JOHN DEWEY’S SPIRIT OF CHANGE

AND OTHER GUIDING PRINCIPLES

When I was a student at the University of Illinois, I took an education class that focused on the philosophies of John Dewey.

Only one of his sayings stayed with me over the years, and it is this: “Without change there is no learning.” There was little, if any, explanation in the classroom of this powerful and positive statement. It haunted me. Therefore, I took the following steps in trying to understand the full impact of that simple directive.

To apply this quotation to various situations, let us make a checklist and find the meaning of the two key words, “change” and “learning.”

Change:

To make different in some particular way

To transform

To give a different position, course, or direction

To reverse

To replace with another

To make a shift from one to another

To become different

To transfer

To alter

To substitute

Learning:

To gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience

To come to be able

To come to realize

 

Miscellaneous

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DEVELOPING A TRUMPET LIBRARY

This specific selection of methods, etudes, and texts was used in the University of North Texas Course of Study featured in the February 1983 ITG Journal. Leonard Candelaria collaborated with me in structuring these materials. If I were still active in the music world I am sure this would be a different list now.

Nevertheless, these materials have stood the test of time, and anyone who owns all these books will have an excellent library.

The Course of Study is not a perfect document and must be adjusted regularly. I allowed flexibility to the point anyone could play and study whatever his or her playing level deserved. But everybody wanted to start with the Jolivet or Tomasi Concerti. No wonder they would have problems with range and endurance!

The Course of Study was designed to keep about seventy-five percent of the load as music the students needed to know and could play comfortably, with work. Save the other twenty-five percent for top-of-the-line goals for the future. So many students want to do the opposite. The Course of Study kept more students on the right track. The music we can play well, not what our ego wants to play, controls much of the success we enjoy.

 

Autobiography

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