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David Cooper’s Advice for Aspiring Horn Players


David Cooper (principal horn of the Chicago Symphony) gives us a series of interesting tips for aspirants. You shouldn’t miss them!

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music

Do you have any advice for aspiring horn players?

Obviously, you’ve seen, in my story, I haven’t given up. I’ve taken any opportunity I can to learn and to grow. Even during this time of the pandemic, I’m not without direction, goals or dreams. I’m trying to learn new scores and make new transcriptions. I am listening to pieces that I wouldn’t have time to listen to. I’m going through Bach’s Partitas and Sonatas right now with Henryk Szeryng and trying to learn how he phrased and why he phrased that way. I’m learning from one of the world’s great violinists, and I’m not just listening to horn players. I feel like if you really, really love music and dedicate yourself to it, you’ll always be ok. My philosophy is to consistently work at it, even fifteen minutes a day when you don’t want to because 15 minutes quickly turns into an hour or two. Continue trying to make little progress every day and keep up the things we don’t always like doing, but we know they are good for us, like long tones and your scales, which are essential.

Be curious and always keep learning. I hope I always remain curious about how things work and how I can get better. I hope I can always stay teachable. Life is fun because we get to exchange ideas and skills with others, and we keep having new and exciting discoveries! There’s always something new to learn, and during the break from the pandemic, I went back to school and finished my bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music! I could complete something I started and finish a goal I hadn’t had the time ever to end! So take it from me, don’t ever stop growing or trying; there’s always something new to learn or a new way to grow. That’s what makes life so fun and exciting!


Full Interview: “Resiliency Has Gotten Me Through a Lot of Hard Times”

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