Masterclass: Marty Hackleman

This is the first of many frequent posts of its kind: masterclass notes. As the title indicates, this particular masterclass was given by Marty Hackleman, the former Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra. True words of wisdom.

  • – Imagine you’re sixteen and not good at anything. Practice and learn harder than anyway because you are at a disadvantage. 
  • – Orchestral brass is “don’t stick out, don’t be creative”. The better you get the more you stick out. 
  • – Go in there and lay it down with poise, control and pride. It may not be perfect but its you and your sound. 
  • – Don’t ever apologize, don’t be safe. “Wow I stayed in my box of not offending anyone. Guaranteed to be ignored.”
  • – Music is a communication thing. But its beyond words, it touches you and brings out a language of emotion. You are enjoying the expression of feeling. That pride is communication. We are very vulnerable because it is a very personal thing. 
  • – You have to experience everything you can expect to have in a performance, in the practice room. 
  • – Spend quality time, not quantity. Take your ideal, cut it by a third with the same goal. That way you have to concentrate even more. 
  • – Be consistent. You will be inspired and energized with your playing. 
  • – In order to get the quality time, you must train your muscles accordingly. You must learn, apply, and then play. 
  • – You must have a routine. Warming up is a byproduct of a routine. You train to refine your tonguing, articulation,  and endurance. 
  • – Plan out your time. What are you worst at? Practice that most. 
  • – The important thing about a routine is how things are being done, not just that they are being done. If something starts creeping into my playing, that’s where I know it. 
  • – “I love sitting down and doing the same thing everyday and seeing the differences. What is different and how can I do it differently”. 
  • – If you go into the room with only the goal of success, you will never be satisfied. 
  • – When you are practicing and the same problems keep coming up, assess why. Do not let the next time be a repetition. You must figure out why and how to fix it.