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Arnold Jacobs was born on June 11, 1915 – June 11, 2015 was his 100th birthday, the Arnold Jacobs Centennial!
Many consided Jacobs to be the world’s foremost expert on the study of respiration as applied to wind instruments. His research was conducted through thousands of hours of research on respiration. He stated “I had no intention of using the biological studies that I was doing in teaching. Once I began to learn how we function, then it was obvious. If I saw phenomena existing in an individual in the way he uses his musculature, and I knew that he cannot move air at that point, I would work with him a little bit as a therapist just to establish the air flow, to get him back into the use of the bellows activity that we have in respiration.” While teaching music, he divorced remedial function matters from the actual playing of the instrument, and used a variety of external devices away from the instrument, seeking to develop new habits of breathing and air usage with his students.
With a career spanning seven decades with the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies, Arnold Jacobs has earned a reputation as a world-class performer. Equally significant are his teachings. During his career, thousands of students have passed through his studio. Finally, there is the definitive book on his career. Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind is written by Mr. Jacobs’ assistant, Brian Frederiksen, and edited by John Taylor. With a length of 296 pages, material comes from masterclasses, private interviews, previously published writings and contributions from his students and colleagues. Subjects include: The Performer: Early Years, Curtis Institute, Indianapolis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Conductors, Other Performances, York Tuba The Teacher: Physical Elements, Mental Elements, Performance, Instruments, The Jacobs Studio Discography, Full Documentation And more . . .
Compiled by Bruce Nelson, a student of Arnold Jacobs and Edward Kleinhammer. About Arnold Jacobs, he writes, In addition to being an outstanding musician, Arnold Jacobs undoubtedly was the most influential brass teacher of the second half of the twentieth century. Countless brass (and other) musicians from all over the world travelled to Chicago to study with this master. Additionally, Mr. Jacobs also gave master classes that were popular with students, teachers and professionals in many different locations. Even if it were all known, it would be impossible to reduce to writing all of the advice Arnold Jacobs gave to thousands of students over a period of almost 70 years. Nevertheless, this book is an attempt to preserve in writing, by topic, the common ideas and variations of those ideas from which so many musicians have benefited.
The Reiter brothers, Josef and Xaver, were true heroes of the horn, having filled solo positions in the Munich Opera, other European orchestras in Sondershausen, Hannover, Karlsruhe and the Bayreuth Festival, before coming to America in the latter half of the 1880s. Here they were solo horns of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Symphony with Damrosch, Scheel’s Orchestra of San Francisco, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the first season of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and finally the New York Philharmonic with Gustav Mahler and Josef Stransky. They appeared as soloists with several of these orchestras. The older brother, Josef, returned to Munich and left us rather early in 1909, but Xaver, with his hair down to his shoulders, lived on in Valhalla, New York, until 1938, a real character to the end of his life!
As students of Mr. Jacobs, Pat Sheridan and Sam Pilafian were inspired by him to create these breathing exercises. With the Breathing Gym you stretch, breathe, move, and make noise along with Pat and Sam. These fun exercises help them to:Increase airflow and stamina, Improve tone and breath control, Reduce body tension, Raise energy level and focus.