Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 23:13:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: ('Pops')
Subject: Subject: Re: Lips, Teeth and Embouchure...any advice?

Two interesting questions; is their a limit to how good I play and can embouchure be taught?

Yes there is a limit to how good you WILL play but there is NO limit to how good you CAN play.

The difference is mental. After years of beating your head against a wall you have set a limit. To improve you have to change your thinking.

I used to just teach embouchure and air. I had some great successes and some great failures. That always bothered me. I finally figured out what the difference was.

Some people showed up and they were already mentally beat up. The little victories didn't perk them up and inspire them to do more. I had to learn how to help them reprogram so that they could accept the fact that they could improve.

It sounds silly. But I could help someone to play better but they would suddenly realize that they had exceeded their limits and they would shutdown. That is one reason I went to multiple day lessons instead of just 1 lesson. I had to reinforce the positive more before I let them leave.

I also learned that if I gave them 2-4 measure exercises as triggers to reinforce ideas then they could continue to help themselves.

I've heard a number of list members play and I don't think any of them are at their limits yet.

Steve Baker wrote a nice post a few days ago talking about his vast improvements. Someone  ;-)  showed him how to stretch his thinking.

Don Jacoby told us to practice the things we could NOT play. 99 out of 100 do the opposite.

Ever wonder why sports records are constantly being broken? Those people train under the eye of someone who doesn't share their feels, past failings... In fact the trainer believes that they WILL improve.

Someone wrote that embouchure can't be taught. (Too physical.) I bet that same person believes that a golf swing, tennis backhand, bowling release, swimming stroke..... CAN be taught. Interesting. Well if you think something can't happen it won't.

Information about my trumpet & embouchure books.
Best wishes
Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin