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. 

Published by Andrew Dougherty

Andrew Dougherty is a native of Gainesville, Virginia, and joined the tuba section of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in December of 2020. He previously was a member of the West Point Band, which he joined in November of 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Music from George Mason University, where he studied under Andrew Hitz, and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland, where he studied under David Fedderly. Andrew formerly played with Brass of the Potomac, the ITEA winning tuba and euphonium quartet NOVATEQ, and other band, orchestral, and chamber ensembles around the Washington, D.C. area. As an educator, Andrew has taught masterclasses at the Bard Conservatory of Music, and at the Tanglewood Institute, while maintaining a private studio of dedicated students. Prior to joining the military music field, Andrew was selected to perform as principal tuba with the Disney All-American College Band of 2014 in Anaheim, California, under the direction of Ron McCurdy. As a student, he won the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Mock Band Audition, and was selected for the United States Air Force Band’s Collegiate Symposium.

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