When I was in my second year in the music program at university, a guest clinician came to campus. His name was Roger Behrend, and he was the principal euphonium player for the U.S. Navy Band. A big deal.
Cool. I played euphonium.
Had I heard of him?
That was likely forgivable, considering I was coming from a pretty sheltered band experience in my rural school. But when I was given the amazing experience of a private lesson with him and he asked what professional euphonium players I listened to, I couldn’t name one.
*Up until the previous moment, not even him.*
I don’t remember his exact words, but the gist of it was this: how do you know what a euphonium should sound like, if you have never heard it played skillfully?
That my friends, was a great friggen question.
One that I didn’t have an answer for either.
It’s a good thing that Mr. Behrend was a great, down-to-earth guy, who probably took a bit of pity on me. The lesson was phenomenal. I learned more about my instrument that day than I had in the whole of it before. He gave me a copy of his CD too lol.
But it’s stuck with me.
I muddled my way through years on my instrument without ever having heard its beauty. Its tone. Its capabilities. (It’s not suitable to repeat what the tuba player beside me said when he first played for us…but wow…the man hit notes I hadn’t known existed.)
Hearing him play was inspiring and suddenly I had a new understanding of what I could also do.
If we don’t provide exemplars for our students, how will they know what is possible too? And yes, I’m thinking of writing, but it is no different for empathy, patience, and resilience. Generosity, humility, and kindness. No matter our age, we all need (and can be) important examples.
Sorry this is another short one! New courses, so there was a lot of prep work this weekend. Pretty tired lol. And if you’re feeling it too, you’re probably glad I didn’t ramble on and then have to pretend that you read it when in fact, you didn’t. <raised eyebrow looking at you haha>
Have a great week ahead! Really looking forward to having everyone back together again tomorrow.
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