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Dale Clevenger: A great story about a great teacher

Posted at 12:00 PM on August 15, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Fun finds

Dale Clevenger 425.jpg

In a recent blog post, Indiana music teacher Jeff Nelsen shared this humorous story about horn great Dale Clevenger.

"The story goes that Dale was teaching a young horn player in a public master class. He asked the student to play the beginning of the solo piece he'd diligently prepared. The hornist played well, smiled, and looked to Dale for commentary.

"He looked at the student and asked, 'Have you every heard me play before?' The boy excitedly smiled and giggled out a, 'Yeah, I listen to you a lot.' Dale replied, 'Ok play it again, and this time play it like you're ME playing this piece.'

"The kid went at it again, and leaned into every musical mark, and swooned and slurred his way through what may have been an out-of-body experience. He'd never played it better his whole life. The audience reacted in kind, cheering full out.

"Dale waited and said, 'Yeah, just what I thought. I'm a much better horn player than you are.'"

Photo: DaleClevenger.com