Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 23:18:09 EST
From: "Matthew J. Graves" <>
Subject: Re: Great Teachers


Welcome back.  I believe this is the first time that I have ever "spoken" directly to you.  I studied with Claude Gordon from 1983 through 1990.  I also completed his brass teaching course.  I don't want to be too long winded here.  I have written an article which Ole Utnes has posted and is linked to my homepage listed below.

Claude was a very humourous and practical man.  He used all the standard method books and etude books combined with his own books to handwrite his perscription for his students' practice routine. I have a binder full of every handwritten routine that he wrote for me.  Far from being a crackpot high note teacher that some have accused him of being, Claude perscribed for the individual student's needs with the goal of building a strong foundation and the all-around chops that are prerequisite for almost any style of playing.  In fact, Claude never pushed range but strongly cautioned his students to gradually develop and to eventually be able to really play "up there" and not just squeel.

He teaching approach was very much a common sense approach and he shunned many of the theories regarding how and what actually helps us to play the instrument.  I really enjoyed studying with and knowing Claude.  He was a wonderful person and I miss him.

Matt Graves
Author of Fundamental Flexibility Studies

For details visit the homepage at

"Hit it Hard, and Wish It Well!" - Claude Gordon