cribed his overall philosophy and approach to trumpet playing. This can be most succinctly expressed by saying that the ultimate goal is music; we should not get caught up in the technical aspects of playing and lose sight of where we are going. Cichowicz maintains that many of the technical flaws can be corrected through musical application, which results in a more musical experience for the student and the teacher. The resolution of technical difficulties must have musical energy in back of it to be successful.
Mr. Cichowicz stated that, in his opinion, the area, which is the least understood, is respiration. We know that breathing happens from the first to the last minutes of life. However, what we use to play requires much more energy and vitality than normal, everyday breathing. Cichowicz first went through his concept of inhalation, saying that it should resemble a "yawn or sigh," and invited the audience to experiment with this idea. He then went on to say that often the difficulty arises when we bring the instrument up to play. A "hissy" breath results when we forget the inhalation is to resemble the sigh or yawn. Cichowicz demonstrated this by breathing in with a "hiss," and then speaking, showing how it produced a tightening in the voice, just as it does on the trumpet. Priming the muscles for the most efficient position, then, results through the "yawn/sigh" inhalation.
Exhalation, or the blow, Cichowicz said was, again, a simple action, yet it can go wrong. Analogies of blowing out a candle or holding a piece of paper and blowing it so it will move were Cichowicz's examples of exhalation. However this freedom is, again, often restricted when we put the instrument to our faces. The abdominal muscles tighten, constricting the throat. Abdominal pressure against the air stream produces a negative effect, and this "compressed air" weakens the air column. Cichowicz said that many times the player says he is "really blowing" but the sound remains tense because of this compressed air; pressed air loses strength.
When discussing lip buzzing, Cichowicz stated that he is not in favor of lip buzzing alone; that is, without the mouthpiece. He asserts that it should be done with the mouthpiece or minimally with a visualizer.
Cichowicz then addressed the topic of tonguing, or articulation. He has always preferred to rely on the "natural resource" of language, rather than any sort of complex analysis of tongue placement. The "sticky" place for trumpet players lies in finding the location of the appropriate and perfect place for the syllable "tu." Each person has his or her own natural "striking" point which will produce the proper effect.
The two components of this syllable are "t" and "u," with variations of the consonant for the desired effect within the musical context. Cichowicz does not go into any of the where, when and how the tongue arches or depresses; however, he states that the natural action is a rising and depressing of the tongue. Anything contrived or artificial results in "clumsy" articulation.
Addressing multiple tonguing, Cichowicz stated that the "k" syllable must stay as far forward in the mouth as possible. It is a palate syllable. The "cough" idea for producing the "k" syllable results in an ugly sound. Moving on to embouchure formation, he said that, as with most things, they may look similar, but no two embouchures are the same. Cichowicz maintained that the embouchure grows methodically and consistently.
Two areas that Mr. Cichowicz said he did not feel comfortable teaching were vibrato and flutter tonguing. Regarding vibrato, he believes the best way to understand vibrato is to listen to other players and singers who use vibrato musically. In this way, the vibrato becomes natural; it is to be an "honest" form of musical expression, not contrived or sounding like a "bad Hammond organ". When teaching flutter tonguing, he often introduces the Italian word, "frulatto" if the player has difficulty rolling the "r." He also spoke of the throat growl, which he views as similar to flutter tonguing. Cichowicz says he has no real system for these two areas, except to make sure that the wind is relaxed, not rigid.
At this point, Daniel Birnschein, from Bob Jones University, joined Mr. Cichowicz on stage. Before starting the Arutunian Concerto, Cichowicz asked Birnschein what he did to warm-up. Birnschein proceeded to play a Vince DiMartino/Schlossberg flow study. Cichowicz suggested that Birnschein smooth out his slur by adding an "espressivo crescendo." Again, Cichowicz maintained that a musical approach improves the technical one.
The second warm-up Cichowicz asked Birnschein to do was the Clarke Second Study (a favorite one for his students). This is where the aspect of inhalation was addressed in depth. The "sticky" start of Birnschein's playing was a result of his initial inhalation. At this point, Cichowicz had Birnschein do air/wind patterns on the exercise. After several attempts, Birnschein produced the desired effect.
Cichowicz drove home the point that the first note is "extremely important." As an orchestral player, the conductor wants a "classy" first note.
Cichowicz then moved on to the Arutunian. After the first phrase, Mr. Cichowicz stopped Birnschein. (It is quite unusual for him to do this!) Cichowicz then told Birnschein that he was 1/3 of Cichowicz's age but sounded 2 times older! Then he asked Birnschein to start again. When he finished, Cichowicz zeroed in on the scale passage beginning on the low C. He said it seemed Birnschein was aiming for the high note, resulting in a lack of energy in the preceding notes. When the idea of relaxing and then going for it came up, Cichowicz said that "relax is a dangerous word". Relax equals lack of energy.
Cichowicz again reminded the player and the audience that what happens after each initial inhalation will affect what happens three measures later. He also contended that practicing is for finding solutions, and then going on. But you need to know WHY it worked.
The second performer was David Locke, from the University of Toronto, playing the first movement of Halsey Stevens' Sonata. Again, Cichowicz asked Locke about his warm-up regime. Regarding the use of "siren"-style mouthpiece buzzing, Cichowicz said he preferred starting the buzzing in the middle register of the instrument versus the extreme low register so the lips wouldn't be spread so far apart. He suggested around a concert f and go upward and downward from there. Working for a more musical approach, Locke was asked to buzz "O Canada".
Locke was also asked to do Clarke Study No. 2 and again, Cichowicz emphasized that we should not disassociate exercises from music. He had Locke use air patterns on the Clarke Study. The result was a smoother connection from note to note. Cichowicz says that the Clarke book is wonderful for developing sound.
When Locke played the opening of the Stevens, Cichowicz commented on several "blank" responses - that is, no motion to the breath. Again, Cichowicz employed the air/wind patterns to aid in the movement of air and the "continuity of the music".
Another very important point Mr. Cichowicz made was "piano is a positive dynamic - when we retreat, we block things". He continued with this idea, pressing the point that whatever dynamic range we are playing, it is a "positive gesture". He used the analogy of the string player's intensity of the bow stroke to illustrate this concept. Implementing this into Locke's performance, Cichowicz asked for a reversed dynamic, that is, playing the piano passage at forte, first with air patterns then on the horn.
Cichowicz then asked us, "Why get fussy about a cracked note? Conductor don't like that!" The point that Cichowicz was trying to get across, it seems, was basically that we have to know HOW to fix the imperfections in our playing.
The next performer was Kelly Dupuy from Toronto, now studying at University of Southwestern Louisiana. Again, Cichowicz took her through the warm-up regime of mouthpiece buzzing, long tones and the Second Clarke Study. Focusing on the warm-up, Cichowicz posed the question of whether should we adjust our warm-up to the day's events, or stay with a fixed and/or set routine. He asserted that we are measuring and comparing one day to the next, and the set routine allows for this comparison.
When Dupuy first played, Mr. Cichowicz's comment was "Kelly, you sound angry." He then asked her to play sweetly and gently, and to keep in mind what she wanted to express through the music.
During the warm-up on the Second Clarke's, Cichowicz asked Dupuy to play it on B flat. She proceeded to play the low B flat exercise. Cichowicz said it would be better to stay away from the low notes, at first and start on the third line B flat.
Dupuy then performed the Variations on Norma by Arban. Cichowicz said that the old-fashioned solos in the Arban book are some of the best teaching materials. Directing his attention to Dupuy's playing, Cichowicz said her sound (tone) color had changed from what she had produced on the Clarke's. He used his well-known phrase of having "one foot on the gas pedal with the other foot on the brake."
At this point, Cichowicz introduced the Buzz Aid, and had Dupuy play some of the Arban on the Buzz Aid. He posed the question "Why use the Buzz Aid?" After little response, Cichowicz asserted that it helps us to find out if there is any music going on in our heads. After working with this device, Dupuy played the same passage; Cichowicz asked the audience what they heard. And the answer from an audience member was "she took her foot off the brake."
Another person said that the playing was more flowing. Cichowicz remarked that perhaps Dupuy was just more comfortable, but also noted that the Buzz Aid is less forgiving than the trumpet.
Again, wind patterns were employed and Cichowicz commented to Dupuy, "no, that's Wagner; we want Bellini!" He stated that the air must be proportionate to the music. "How you enter the instrument is so critical" was his comment; entry points are crucial for making the rest of the phrase. Again, Cichowicz was driving home the importance of the inhalation, its relation to the first note and how the rest of the phrase is based on that first note.
The last performer was Chad Winkler, from West Virginia University.
Cichowicz commented that he knew this young man was a student of one of his former students, John Winkler, Chad's father.