Testimonial about Claude Gordon's approach to brass playing through lessons with Jeff Purtle
I began studying with Jeff Purtle in June 2016 having been a successful semi-professional player for 13 years. I read Roger Ingram's book "Clinical Notes" and recognised myself as someone who was beginning to feel no benefit from routines designed 13years ago to keep me gig fit. After reading about Claude Gordon's approach on Jeff's website I attempted to study Claude's books without instruction.
This only yielded minimal success so I started a three-month course of study (how I spent my summer vacation) taking weekly lessons with Jeff in order to fully comprehend the Claude Gordon approach. Taking lessons after 13 years without any was one of the hardest undertakings of my life because, as an employable and capable trumpet-player, going through the process of reviewing my whole trumpet technique felt like starting again and really challenged my ego. Having committed to this course of action I promised myself I would take the medicine every day for as long as each week's work took. By experiencing this style of learning I found out things about my playing I had never considered; genuine insight is a powerful reward for hard work.
Seven months on and my trumpet playing is easier, my whole range is higher and stronger, my flexibility is honest, my whole technique is more secure but most of all my confidence is through the roof. The seven elements that form the basis of Claude Gordon's approach are interrelated so a weakness in one area is due to an imbalance in the other six. Human beings are great at compensating and once the seven elements are unequal it is easy to convince ourselves there is only one weakness. With Claude's approach, everything is addressed everyday so everything has the opportunity to strengthen and improve.
Ultimately I have made a success of this way of studying because I followed the instructions I was given; the man with the plan is Jeff Purtle and worth every cent.
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