I have been teaching private lessons for years and have some thoughts on this subject. Many students come to me having been told by well meaning band directors to just blow harder or faster to achieve an upward lip slur. This works up to a point, but the resulting sound is loud and wild or raucous. These students have no concept of aperture corners and can’t begin to play softly. When range is a problem their well meaning teacher will tell them to tighten their lips and they proceed to clamp down at the center and close off the aperture, resulting in a pinched, thin sound. These students often develop throat closure problems, which is difficult to overcome.
I agree with Greg in that the impact of a command can have negative effects on a students development and that is why I appreciate Greg’s well thought out instructional sequence and have been using it in my own teaching. I sometimes don’t understand when others coming from other methodologies disagree so strongly with Greg’s ideas, as I see many similarities in all schools from Bill Adam, James Stamp, Claude Gordon and others. I just see it as different ways of getting at the same result.
Thanks for this reply! To me it just seems so logical and obvious yet people can get riled up by even the smallest reference to lips or tongue let alone what to do with air. Oh well, continue fighting the good fight 🙂