In my work with musicians young and old, I have found that many have never really listened to a fabulous player on their instrument. Without that "sound image" in their heads, they inevitably emulate their standmates, meaning, middle school musicians are imitating other middle school musicians! As they listen to the wonderful musicians listed on this page, encourage them not to focus only on the fabulous technique and great range. They should focus on: (1) How do they start a note? (2) How do they end a note? (3) What do they do during the note (vary volume, timbre, vibrato), (4) What is it about their sound that you can emulate?
The following list (with hyperlinks) contains examples of performers who can serve as models of a sound that all of us should want to copy. The list will continue to grow as I receive more suggestions. Thanks to the musicians of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and The U.S. Army Field Band for their input.
These wonderful performers are not in any particular order other than that which they were suggested to me. I have tended to include artists with good quality video recordings for while there is no doubt much to be learned from "the masters," a grainy B&W video with poor sound quality from the 1950's will probably not engage our young musicians. Additionally, many of these musicians are experts in many styles however, I have generally included only "classical" musicians. Would you like to add to this list? Click here and send me your suggestions (with links if possible).
Special thanks to Mark Vittetoe who helped find all of the dead and misdirected links so I could fix them!
Strings, Harp, Percussion
Erin Royer (Tenor Saxophone)