"Keep your chest high." This instruction from my undergrad teacher Tim Hudson never really made sense to me. This week, however, I was listening to an interview with Peter Bond, trumpet player with the MET. In this episode he mentioned almost being canned, but he reached out to his friend in the section who helped him breathe and playing like a singer. The analogy that he used is to pretend you're blowing out birthday candles (not ideal), and then take a breath and sing note. Notice that your rib cage has radically different functions. He advocates that playing the trumpet is more like singing and less like blowing. This allows for more resonance, and ease of the musical line because the exhale is more natural.
What Tim had been trying to explain to me finally began to make sense. I'm exploring this concept more by playing simple melodies, and keeping the chest high. There is also an exercise that has one breathe in with the arms extending up, and keeping them up on the exhale to help keep the chest elevated. The disparity I still have is maintaining a sense of balance and groundedness while having an elevated upper body, a high chest. Let's keep focusing on the music.
Time to Keep Exploring,
Adam C White
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