Thursday, May 20, 2010

Transition Period: The Darkness Before Dawn


BE is going very well for me; I can't exactly describe it, but there is a more positive "feel" to my embouchure, the tone is more substantial.... particular notes that were always thin, stuffy, or unresponsive are sounding much better; arpeggios, both slurred and tongued are much improved, and the endurance and range is improving.
Jonathan has corresponded with me regularly since he began studying BE five months ago. He was so frustrated with his lack of progress a couple months ago, he put his horn down for a few weeks to take a break from the intensity of the situation. He was discouraged having failed with various other embouchure methods in the past and seemed tempted to stop studying BE.

I call a few BE students "fast responders" because improvements come so quickly it seems almost instant. But for the vast majority, it takes months to a year or more consistently practicing the exercises before they realize significant improvements.

The BE path is usually one of gradual and steady improvement, but for some it's not. I've gotten feedback from a few who have experienced a significant period of difficulty as their embouchures began to change.

One particular BE student after three months of seeing few visible signs of progress labeled herself as a "slow learner." While her overall tone continually improved from the very beginning of her BE study, she was frustrated that her endurance and range seemed "stuck" in the same spots they were prior to BE. She never-the-less persisted her BE studies and at the end of month five joyfully reported a breakthrough in both endurance and range.

The transition period challenges the BE student's will to continue. Those who weather the storm and persist find the dawning of a brighter day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Valerie it is Michael again -- just wanted to add a little here: it is a general rule -- whenever you experience emotional crisis -- everything goes haywire, you experience frustration, despair, bout of anger and such like, it is the SIGN OF A NEAR BREAKTHROUGH.

    It is only very difficult to recognize it as such because you are INSIDE the situation. If something like this starts to happen, it is crucial to give yourself a "break", and try to see the things in the correct perspective -- see "bigger picture", so to say. It will give the strength to continue, and break through, after all. In my teenage years I severely suffered from such emotional overloads all the time -- no one was near to give me such an advice, so I quitted what I was trying to accomplish at the moment, and the things were either left not-quite-done or abandoned.