About Rheuben Chats

Rheuben Chats is simply an informal conversation between Rheuben and guest mostly about music education, featuring prominent musicians, music educators & students.

We will from time to time feature young musician host to chat with other young students and guest.

Our goal is to present information to students and people interested in music with helpful information, music life experiences, how to best further their musical education, where to look when they need help with a musical problem.

Rheuben Chats features a place where students can send us questions and we will try to give them the best answer we can.  The ICoMusic Foundation has an “Advisory Board” made up of accomplished educators and some of the worlds greatest musicians and we can draw from their experiences and wealth of knowledge. If we cannot help, we will let the student know we cannot.

As in most of life the answer to the question will be the opinion of a person and maybe not the end all answer to the question, many questions have many different answers. We will simply present an answer we fell will help the student best and the student has the option of doing what they want with the information.

Examples of questions, answers and general comments:

I hear so many saxophone players saying the Selmer Mark VI is the best saxophone ever made and the only one a sax player should play. In my opinion there are more bad Selmer Mark VI saxophones on the planet than there are good ones. If they are so great, why are most of the players using them not playing the first one they ever purchased? Why are they always looking for a better Mark VI? So, there are many opinions to answer to any question.

Another question with many answers is: How do I pick a private teacher?

Pick a teacher that plays the way you would like to play. Teachers teach what they believe and has worked for them. It is very rare to find a teacher that can teach something they cannot do themselves.

If you want to be a studio musician study with a studio musician. If you want to be a jazz player study with a jazz player.

If you’re a saxophone, trombone, or trumpet player, you might study the instrument with one teacher and jazz concepts with another. Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh played saxophone but studied jazz concepts with a blind jazz piano player Lennie Tristano.
Decide what you are looking for from a teacher, do you think that teacher can teach you what you want and if you are willing to do what they require of you as a student.

In the end asking questions about something is very good, but you must decide how to use the answer for yourself and if your open to the answer.

I was going to go to Europe to play in a band and was practicing alto when my friend Dan Higgins came into my shop. Well, I asked him to give me some advice to help me improve my playing. The first thing he said was “push the mouthpiece in about another half inch and learn to play it there”. He didn’t say push it in and you will play better, no, he said, “learn to play it there” and of course he was right. It is important to be able want to hear and understand the answer you get; it might now always be what you want to hear.

We will give you the best answers to your questions we can with the information and experience we have.