Glenn Libman Talks Donald Reinhardt

I wasn’t familiar with trumpet player Glenn Libman prior to coming across this video. Libman studied with Donald Reinhardt for a number of years. In this video for the Trumpet Diagnostics YouTube channel Libman got together with Bobby Medina and Paul Baron to discuss Donald Reinhardt’s pedagogy.

I don’t know exactly when Libman studied with Reinhardt, but I do know that Reinhardt altered some of his ideas and presentation over the years. Some of what Libman discusses in this video are contrary to things that I learned from my teacher, Doug Elliott, who also studied with Reinhardt for a number of years.

For example, Libman describes Reinhardt’s term “pivot” more about bring the bell of the instrument up or down. He does qualify it as bring the bell up also pushes the mouthpiece and lips up, but this is a tricky way to describe it. My preference is to call the phenomenon as an “embouchure motion” and discuss any horn angle changes as being related to keeping the mouthpiece pressure consistent across the entire range.

Libman also discusses Reinhardt’s IIIB type (what I usually call the Medium High Placement) as being the most common, and IIIA (Very High Placement) as being more rare. If I recall correctly, Reinhardt wrote or said something similar that his IIIB type was pretty common. That said, my experience has been different. I find many more players belong to the Very High Placement (IIIA) type than the Medium High Placement (IIIB). I wonder if the prevalence of modern orthodontics have made some types like the Medium High Placement/IIIB less common than they were during Reinhardt’s day.

He also describes free buzzing as working against upstream players, where I was taught that free buzzing was a very good exercise for upstream players (as long as you don’t buzz into the instrument). There seems to be something about the upstream embouchure type (Low Placement/IV) that these players have trouble building embouchure strength and endurance simply by playing a lot. Free buzzing seems to really help upstream players do so.

Regardless, I found the whole interview interesting and informative. There’s a lot of good information in there and if you are curious about Donald Reinhardt’s pedagogy it makes for a solid introduction.

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