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Iowa Music Educators Conference

Excited to be presenting "It All Starts Here: The Mouthpiece" with my colleague, Dr. Louie Eckhardt, at the Iowa Music Educators Conference on November 18-20, 2021.

Most music educators understand the importance of the mouthpiece, its functions, and a few exercises that go along with the mouthpiece - but how exactly does this enforce proper playing? Eckhardt (trumpeter) and Mertens (saxophonist) will go in depth into what exactly mouthpieces can do for both brass and woodwind students’ fundamentals. Eckhardt will dispel a few myths around “just buzz that” and will explore how mouthpiece buzzing can be used to improve all aspects of brass playing. Mertens will focus on proper saxophone mouthpiece voicing and pitch-bending exercises. While the approaches are different, brief explanations of embouchure, tongue placement, and air support will also be discussed as they are critical to the success of both brass and woodwind students. Additionally, both will plan to give recommendations for beginner and intermediate mouthpieces.

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