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Progress on Audiation

Daily Steps toward developing intentional audiation

Well, I've been working on a solo and an etude this week and spending much more time off the horn developing the mental picture of what I want the piece to sound like. This has involved clapping the rhythm, conducting, sol-feg alone, sol-feg with singing, sitting still and hearing it clearly in my head, playing the mouthpiece to test my sol-feg in time, using the power lung while clearly hearing the phrase, and using the staccator likewise. Wow, I am seeing the fruit of this, but it is much slower and more intentional than previous preparations.

It is humbling to look at a new piece or section, singing through it in my head while testing pitches throughout with the piano. I am seeing the need to develop this skill over time. I am grateful for the emphasis I am getting on this ability to sing clearly from the brain. This strong musical message is ultimately what the body will follow. As Phil Smith says, "find musical solutions to technical problems." The clearer we can get the mental picture, the easier it will be to achieve through the medium of our instrument.