Pat Harbison Carmine was a powerful influence on me at a crucial point in my life and career. I came to him in the mids with music in my head and my heart and a frustrating inability to make it audible to others. No matter how bad I thought it was going Carmine made me feel like he had seen this any number of times and convinced me that he knew just the cure. Carmine and the power of his approach to practicing convinced me that I could make a career playing the trumpet at a point when I was considering other options.
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In this article I will explain the philosophy behind the Caruso school, talk about the major exercises that it employs, and compare the various ways it is being taught by major pedagogues and artists today.
First things first, a bit about Carmine Caruso: Carmine Caruso was born on November 2nd, and passed on May 26th He was a saxophonist by trade He taught hundreds of player in New York City for over 50 years By studying with Carmine, you would get custom versions and sequences of the exercises, and this is the real value in this system. The exercises are scalable to every level. I was lucky enough to study with Frink and experience her potent blend of pedagogy.
When working with the Caruso Method, you will deal with the following topics: When talking about the Caruso Method, we first talk about the philosophy of this kind of training. I would stress to not think too much about the quality of your performance in the beginning as this can be destructive.
In the early stages, distorted notes may be all that your body is capable of doing within the constraints of this method. It is important to realize that the body is always in a state of change.
This method is designed to bring about discipline and a coordination between mind and body. A few things to keep in mind: The results of repetitive activity will begin to show gradually, in percentages! The instrument is just a piece of plumbing, it is muscle that does all of the work. Nearly muscles must work to produce a sound on a brass instrument. It is the coordination of these muscles that is directed through this study. It is improvement we are trying to attain, not perfection! Timing determines when muscles start and stop.
As you practice with precision timing a steady tempo , you will condition your muscles to be reflexive. Once your movements are reflexive, they can become more advanced and more efficient. I recommend that you subdivide to become even more precise with the timing. The goal is to get all of the muscles to respond on the final 16th note so that you have a more accurate and reflexive movement.
The Rules The Caruso method also mandates a set of rules for correct form. Their purpose is to eliminate variables so that the repetitive practice can be as consistent as possible. Tap Your Foot This is to establish the timing to which the muscles must move. Use a metronome if you have trouble with this. Keep the mouthpiece in contact with the lips throughout each study long setting Every time you move the mouthpiece you are resetting the embouchure, we wish to eliminate this variable.
The embouchure consists of 5 definite movements, by not resetting we are reducing this to three! Putting the mouthpiece on the lips Putting tension on the lips for the note to be played Positioning the jaw Angling the instrument Blowing into the instrument Contrary to the text, this does NOT mean to hold your lips in playing position during the rests.
This adds tension which is the mortal enemy of brass playing! Keep the blow steady The blow is both muscular and physical in nature. The steadier the blow, the more compact the stream of the air. The more compact the stream of air, the easier it is for the lips to ride that airstream. As the lips become more efficient, making music will become easier. Breathe only through the nose This is to reduce the amount of muscular activity it takes to produce a note.
This helps to develop the embouchure quicker because we are reducing the variables.
Julie Landsman - The Carmine Caruso Method
Carmine Caruso - the master teacher. A conversation with his long time student Charly Raymond. If you ask people: "Have you heard about Caruso? But there was another great Caruso, Carmine Caruso, the brass teacher. Carmine was born on November 2, , lived all his life in New York and died on May 26,