I wrote about Josh Layne in a student blog (that has been languishing for months now- hey I’m a student!) because he’s an
I’ve always thought that was kind of neat… I usually put all my pedals into flat like that at the end of a practice…
HOWEVER, I would definitely classify that technique as “do not use unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.” Unfortunately, the section that he demonstrated does not require the technique. However, he does look like he has good control of it. To each his own, but I can’t believe anyone would pick that over generally accepted pedal technique when the latter can be easily utilized.
Here you go, Carl:
If your feet are suitable, you can use this technique and little enharmonic chord spelling in the Apotheosis from Swan Lake, also, and the pedaling becomes really easy.
But personally, my feet just aren’t large enough for me to be able to comfortably do this on a normal concert grand pedal box (haven’t tried it on an 85P–maybe I could do it there), and I find it generally easier to pedal with moderate high heels, which puts this technique totally out of bounds. Easy for guys, with their larger feet and flat shoes, though.
Who is this guy? And why is it that every time a Salzedo harpist gives a demonstration of harp technique, they have to make a snide, demeaning, and totall untrue swipe at any and all non-Salzedo techniques? I just looked at his ‘lesson 1,’ and in talking about hand position he 1) ‘demonstrates’ how non-Salzedo harpists hold the right hand by locking his right elbow against his torso(which nobody does) and 2) by saying that “some harpists play with the right hand touching the soundboard, but you can get more power if it’s not resting on the soundboard. What malarky! I’d love to hear his explanation of why virtually every orchestra position filled since 1980 has gone to a non-Salzedo harpist!!! God this stuff gets on my nerves!
Josh- Every teacher teaches what works best for them. That’s only natural. I would expect you to explain what works for you in your video. But there is no need to disseminate inaccurate information, nor to criticize how other harpists play the instrument. In the end, that only reflects badly on you. The pose you take when talking about harpists who rest their right arm on the soundboard is idiotic and absolutely no one I have ever seen has ever held their arms in such a position. And as far as sound production goes, there is no basis whatsoever for saying that your technique is the only one that can produce a strong sound. So please, for your own credibility, stick to what you know.
After writing that last post, I did a little on line research on you. You mention Kathryn Ely as your teacher, so I went to her web site. And son of a gun, there’s a picture of her playing with her right hand resting on the soundboard!
Carl, your criticism is so unwarranted, it is hard to believe. If you don’t like Mr. Layne’s teaching, you can create your own video showing us your expertise. I have probably seen hundreds of harpists play in the position he describes, so I don’t know where you have been all these years. And given the amount of dreck posted on YouTube, we should be grateful.
If you or others don’t care to play that way, so what? Drawing a clear distinction between different types of playing is a natural way of teaching, and it is necessary when you are teaching a student to play with their arm elevated because, without strength or understanding of the concept, most students will let their elbow drop. And playing with the elbow completely down does tend to cause it to “flop around” when you are moving very actively. Salzedo’s technique developed as a progression from traditional French playing, as he was
-I have probably seen hundreds of harpists play in the position he describes-
Saul- Show me one picture- One-where the harpist plays with their elbows pointing at the floor, the upper arm pined to the torso, and the wrists bent out, as Josh demonstrates in his harp lesson. One.
I agree with Saul. Carl, for your own credibility, show some respect. What Josh’s video shows is not intended disrespect, its just exagerration. (As all teachers utilize – and most to the extent that he showed, if not more!) I can surely speak for all of us when I say if you have a different teaching style, then please present it in a constructive, instead of berating manner.
Josh, I admire that you’re experimenting with new techniques, such as your pedal trick. Anything else up your sleeve? I’ve been working on some of my own, which I intend to write into etudes.
Good teaching does not require demeaning or making fun of the way other harpists play. I had 4 teachers in my student years, and not one of them ever denigrated other schools of playing.
I never criticized Joshes technique, nor what he was teaching on the video. What I did criticize was his taking the time to make snide remarks about how ‘other’ harpists play, and then to represent that wrongly.
A good teacher focuses exclusively on teaching a student technique that works. From watching the video, it seems that Josh is more concerned with communicating that what he does is better than other methods of playing.
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