Making Music by John T. Partington

By John T. Partington

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Example text

You can't imagine how lucky I feel to have studied with him, because he's one of those rare individuals who really loves the instrument. He is one of the most respected timpanists anywhere in North America or Europe. He and I developed a father-son relationship and got along like a house on fire. There are a lot of timpanists that I hear playing for big orchestras in the United States. They are good players. They can play in tune. But they were brought up playing in marching bands. So when I, as a professional, listen closely to them, I can tell that is their heritage.

Playing a string instrument is a sucker's bet, on top of which the instrument costs a fortune, which you spend the rest of your life paying. My teacher in university never gave any direct technical advice. He had great experience since having played from the early '20s with T chaikovsky and Toscanini and all of those people. He knew all sorts of things in orchestra work because that is what he did. I'd play with him in the orchestra. That's the way we all learned from him, sort of on-thejob training.

I've had a number of teachers like this, and they all had different qualities to offer, radically different qualities, and different questions. That is something you have to learn. You have to be ready and somehow your paths have to cross. MENTAL IMAGING Trumpet B Mr. Jacobs taugh~ me about the importance of the output/ input, sending/receiving orientations. To illustrate these orientationsstudents approach everything in a questioning way. They go to a lesson, play, and then ask the teacher, "Is this okay?

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