I found BE courtesy of Andrew Joy, principal horn of the Cologne Radio Orchestra. Andrew contacted me after watching some of my Youtube videos. He contacted me through Youtube and asked me if I was familiar with Jeff Smiley and The Balanced Embouchure book. He said that I looked like I used the concepts found in Jeff's book in my playing. I became curious when he said that he had added an octave to his range and improved his endurance by 70% after using the BE exercises. He also said it really improved his understanding of how to play a brass instrument. So I contacted Jeff Smiley to order his book. I sent Jeff a link to one of my Youtube videos. He agreed with Andrew that I looked like I was already doing many of the things that he talks about in his books. He referred me to Valerie Wells. He told me that she was the expert on BE for French horn and that she had modified the trumpet exercises for horn.Thanks, Steve Park, Andrew Joy and so many others for sharing testimonials & lending support.
I contacted Val and ordered the book. When it came, I looked through it briefly and set it aside. That might have been the end of it, except that Val and her husband came to Utah and while they were here they stopped by my home and Val gave me a BE lesson. I was amazed at her range and what she could do. This was in April of 2010. On June 8, 2010 I had emergency brain surgery and was out of commission for about a month. When I started playing again, I started practicing the BE exercises. I found that they validated and re-enforced most of what I was already doing.
When school started last fall, I started teaching BE to my horn students. This is when I really got excited. Several of my students had reached a plateau and weren't really getting any better. After I started BE with them, everyone of them began making excellent progress. This was very motivating to all of us. Every single student I teach has improved their range and their confidence substantially. To me, this has been the most rewarding and satisfying part of my BE experience.
Steve playing Dukas Villanelle.
Go back home.