Approaches for improving accuracy on the horn: A survey project
Accuracy is a tool. It measures the ability, agility, and flexibility of a performer to realize his or her musical intentions. On the horn, there are special acoustic circumstances that provide awkward and embarrassing "clams." While these transient sounds may be undesirable, they are undeniably part of the horn's unique character. This paper addresses three topics of accuracy on the horn: causes of accuracy problems, approaches for improving accuracy, and resources for studying accuracy.
How do horn players learn to play accurately? Consulting published horn-related literature offers valuable insight, but from an individualistic perspective. To analyze the collective opinion of the professional horn-playing population, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to advanced students, college-level horn teachers, and professional players throughout the United States. The statistical results of this questionnaire are categorized into three general "approaches" to playing the horn: Pragmatic, Artistic, and Realistic. The researcher seeks to determine the primary causes of accuracy mistakes amongst horn players, and to identify the best pedagogical solutions. This study serves to enlighten the horn-playing world to the diversity of approaches to learning and teaching accuracy. While methodology is discussed and characterized independently, assuming that a single player (or teacher) is restricted to a solitary approach is impractical. Therefore it is necessary to consider the extent to which each approach is effective as a part of a greater structure. However, this does not lead to conclusive evidence that certain approaches are more successful than others, but rather illuminates additional paths in the inherently individualistic journey of a horn player.
0522: Music education
0641: Performing Arts