36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 063: My first Viennese horn lesson


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 63 — My first Viennese horn lesson
04-October-1971 (Mon.)

2007 Washington DC


Had my first horn lesson today. A lot different than back home. You go into the room and wait while the student has his lesson—you listen. Then it eventually is your turn. And others listen to you. Sort of scary. Good and bad points. Can be similar, in analogy, to that of a factory (assembly line). I, so far on first impressions, don’t like it as much because this arrangement too easily puts the emphasis on just technique—[it] would probably be hard to have a nice, music-type, discussion. We’ll see what happens.

My own progess—somewhat better today. I am, so far, one of the worse, but if I can overcome my problems, then I think that I can place fairly well. My lesson, is going to be extremely rough. So’s the exam.


What's a photo of the Capital in Washington D.C. doing here? Well, in 2007, I'm in Washington for two days. And, there were no pictures of my horn lessons. These photos were taken with my iPhone camera, just 2 megapixels. I did a bit of cropping in iPhoto, especially on this photo above. Cropping
zooms in but also makes the picture grainy (called noise in the digital world).

A horn lesson. At Montclair State, back in the U.S., I would have a private horn lesson in a music studio. You had one lesson a week, you would go into your teacher’s room, sit down and play, and have your lesson. Notice that I said “sit.” Notice that I said “private.”

First Viennese horn lesson. I have my first horn lesson with Professor Frederick Gabler. How cow, I am surprised. What is different about my first horn lesson in Vienna? Several things. (1) It is not private, (2) you play standing up, and (3) it’s not private (I like saying things twice, for emphasis)—people are listening to you play, you are listening to others play.

I didn’t like it this first time. I suspect that I didn’t like other students hearing me make mistakes. Perhaps I wasn’t that bad, but I was not as good as the others. I made some mistakes.

European lessons? Was this the European style? I suspect that this was the “conservatory” approach to playing. Now that I look back, I think it is not a bad idea. It does put a lot of extra pressure on the student having the lesson, but if the student gets used to playing in front of others, then that is a good thing.

My horn exam is coming up soon, now that’s making me nervous. Moral—life is nervous. Don’t worry so much, just do your best. Again, easier as you get older, harder when you’re younger.

2007 Washington National Art Gallery
2007 in Washington D.C. Just to let you know that life in 2007 is not always boring, I am in Washington, D.C., October 4 and 5 on business. Today, we get to take a quick walk through part of the Smithsonian and National Art Gallery, where I saw Whistler’s Mom. er, whatever. She looks lonely, sitting in that chair.


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