Doctor Euph (Roger Behrend)
If you have a question relative to playing or teaching the euphonium, the history of the euphonium, or any other topics relative to the euphonium, please contact the good Doctor through his assistant, Roger Behrend at the address you’ll find on page 2 of this issue of the Journal.
Dear Dr. Euph,
I am about to begin my junior year of high school and am very seriously considering music as a career. What are some of the options that I should consider, and are there specific suggestions you have for me?
You have already taken the first step, which is getting started and asking questions early. The first problem I see many aspiring professional musicians make is not remaining focused on their goals and the direction they need to go in order to achieve them. Make wish lists. Where do you want to be in two weeks, a month, six months, a year, three years, five, ten, and so on. Remember the journey enriches your life and makes you a better musician.
My second area of concern is that many young musicians do not give themselves options. If performing is your ultimate goal, “Wonderful!” In addition to practicing hours and hours, get a bachelors degree in Music Education. While you wait for that performing position you can be involved in music as a teacher/ performer. Understanding other instruments and how they relate to your music is the art of education, and gives you a wider range of information and experiences to enrich your performance skills. Get the applied degree later. Perform, perform, and perform. Create performance opportunities anywhere you can. Challenge yourself to perform fifty times a year. Ensemble concerts, recitals, competition, festivals, playing at church, or even in your front yard during a yard sale will work. Another great idea is to perform at your local retirement community. It may even count as a service credit if your school requires them.
In addition to performing, listen to a wide range of recordings. Listen to all types of music. Also, make every effort to attend regional, state, national and intemational music conferences. This is the best to stay up-to-date and understand what is happening on our instruments. It is a great place to make contact with teachers with whom you may want to study.
This leads me to a very important topic. The nurhber one person helping you reach your goals, besides your parents, is your private teacher. Seek out the best you can find. Make sure they challenge and push your abilities. Your mentor can be the difference between successp and failure.
One last question, do you play piano? If not, start now. You may not survive college without basic piano skills. Piano skills always help you make better music on your instrument.
Good luck and keep me informed.