Re: [Harp-L] Re: Standard embouchures

Can't tell you how many students I've had in which I discovered that a lousy music teacher in their past totally screwed up their desire to play or pursue more.

One may want a more flexible teacher, of course.

However, a teacher that is really an expert at effective teaching and conveying concepts will work as well, without having to have lots of different teaching approaches.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Laughlin <harmonicaman1968@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Warren Bee <wbharptime2@xxxxxxxxx>; Randy Redington <rwredington@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: harp-l <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mon, Sep 1, 2014 7:16 pm
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Re: Standard embouchures

Plus, the fact is that all of our anatomical details aren't precisely the 
same as one another's.

Then, depending upon the individual, we all have unique learning styles.

I had an "old-school" cello teacher, Dutch as I recall,,"Mrs. Tass". I 
learned well, only because of my own talents and effort. However, her 
teaching style impeded my progress, hampered my desire, and eventually, I 
lost any interest in continuing with cello lessons, after 4 years.

During that time, my parents (who sang opera professionally) tried getting 
me to be more interested by: 1) putting me in a youth orchestra; 2)putting 
me in a chamber group

It just didn't stick, as far as my motivation was concerned. Neither my 
parents nor the teacher really knew how to reach me, what I wanted to learn 
most (I really did enjoy cello, and when the teacher brought hers, and we 
did duets, it was a good night).

After my parents finally conceded to my requests to quit lessons, I got 
caught up in the music of the day, Canned Heat, John Mayall, Cream, Hendrix, 
Credence Clearwater, etc. Played guitar mostly, and harmonica.

I regained interest in cello, only when, due to passage of time and a change 
of venue (moved to college), I began to try things on it, and found my own 
liking for the warm tones of the cello hadn't disappeared entirely.

But at that time, I went on an "odyssey", and the cello became victim to the 
circumstances of that trip, sadly.

I can assuredly say that, if the teacher had been less rigid, more adaptable 
to finding out about my likes, and focusing more on what I wanted to learn 
and play (Bach mostly, and Debussy), and IF I'd have been more forthright, 
less shy with my opinions, I'd probably be a concert cellist today, instead 
of spending 25 years in civil service as an electrician.

Or, I could have branched off into jazz on my little 4-string bass.

I mean, I could only take so many little statuettes of Beethoven or other 
composers as rewards. I'd rather have had a pair of swim fins, or a new 

I think it's a good thing when a teacher is flexible, and has more than just 
"one way" to learn.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Warren Bee" <wbharptime2@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Randy Redington" <rwredington@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "harp-l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2014 2:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Re: Standard embouchures

> thanks Randy. we all are built different and learn different. the spice of
> life and all that stuff.
> On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM, Randy Redington <rwredington@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> This makes perfect sense to me Warren.
>> I have discovered that when someone tries to over dissect something to 
>> me,
>> it actually impedes my learning. But when I can take the time to freely
>> explore on my own, I find out how it works by the feel.
>> Otherwise I become too distracted by mechanical explanations and I get
>> lost trying to duplicate the mechanical action.
>> The problem with too detailed of a mechanical explanation (for me) is
>> that, when I try to translate them into action, I tend to over exaggerate
>> the behavior.
>> During my practice time, I generally take some of the time to explore 
>> what
>> happens to the sound when I play around with my mouth and lip shapes and
>> air dynamics.
>> Its amazing the variations of sounds I can produce. I can even make the
>> harmonica growl during a bent draw.... but to explain to someone else how 
>> I
>> do it... I'm not sure I could do that.
>> I just learn by playing around until it happened. (what ever IT is...) I
>> know that some direction needs to happen to teach, but to try to be too
>> precise on the mechanics, usually doesn't help me.
>> I need general directions on how to get there, and at that point, I might
>> just need to feel around a little bit untill I hit that sweet spot.
>> Ive had instructors who were too quick to try and correct me. - and that
>> chokes me up.
>> That's just the way I learn.... I think we all probably learn in 
>> different
>> ways.... that's why there are so many different approaches.
>> On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM, Warren Bee <wbharptime2@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> every subtle movement of the mouth tongue and throat is more dramatic 
>>> with
>>> an airtight heavy fleshy seal over a single hole. each breath can gently
>>> explore the turf for desired results. over thinking impedes progress.
>>> being
>>> told exactly how to do something that is very individual is a formula 
>>> for
>>> frustration and tension. lead the horses to the water and encourage
>>> figuring out how to drink with broad mental concepts. it is when firing 
>>> on
>>> 6 or 7 cylinders that I like to step in and fine tune with my 
>>> methodology.
>>> wb
>> --
>> Randy Redington
>> Surrendered...

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