Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The author began his formal studies toward attainment of an advanced degree in November of 1961. However, the decision to perform a recital was not made until summer, 1965. The desire to improve performance abilities to the point of excellence on at least two instruments was the deciding point in favor of a recital. A more important motivating factor, related to this point of achieving excellence, was the desire to become a better teacher. It is well understood that a teacher's performance on an instrument can inspire students to become better performers. It is a necessity to be able to demonstrate competence and technical facility on at least one instrument and those related to it .
It was decided, at first, to perform two solos on each of three brass instruments: the trumpet, French horn and baritone horn . With help from Professor Alvin Wardle, literature was reviewed, selected, and a program of daily practice, principally upon the trumpet, was begun. Much beneficial instruction was received from Professor Wardle.
When considering the French horn as a performance instrument , certain embouchure problems involved in transfer from the trumpet to the French horn had to be analyzed. Rather than spending time in developing a new embouchure for French horn, it was decided that the same time could be spent more beneficially improving trumpet virtuosity and competence on the baritone .
For several years the author has taught both instrumental and vocal music in the public schools. Because of a lack of formal training in the vocal area, many hours were spent during the intervening years, since graduation, in vocal clinics and private study to help improve teaching methods, Dr. Alma Dittmer, voice instructor at Utah State University during the summer of 1965, suggested that some vocal numbers be included on the Master's Recital. This possibility had not been previously considered. However, as a result of Dr. Dittmer's encouragement, it was decided to perform both instrumental and vocal selections.
Inasmuch as Dr. Dittmer was in Europe during the year of recital preparation, Professor Merle Puffer was engaged as private vocal instructor. Professor Puffer's exceptional vocal background in operatic productions, both as a performer and producer, and his own vocal study under prominent European and American artists, enabled him to be a very effective instructor.
The justification for becoming involved in two performing areas on the same recital could be based entirely on the technical growth of the individual, in his preparation and the consequential effect on his ability to perform with credit in both areas. There are, however, other reasons. There has been a tendency in the music field, as in other fields, for a high degree of specialization. A music teacher must not be limited to one medium in his efforts to promote music education. This is often the case and the author has felt this limitation in his own past teaching experiences. We are continually concerned with the problem of teaching aesthetic sensitivity effectively, yet limit our effectiveness by the narrowness of our own preparation in one area. As a result of the current concern in raising academic standards in music education, many music educators may find themselves in teaching situations in which they will not know enough about music and will be limited by a narrow philosophy.
The concentrated effort over the past year to become a more competent performing musician, greater involvement with vocal literature, and exposure to new interpretive insights should increase the author's effectiveness as a music teacher.
Tippets, Neil J., "Graduate Recital" (1966). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 569.