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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000090.txt from 2005/05

From: "dnleeson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] A splendid experience visitng Himie Voxman
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 09:44:22 -0400

Well, it is very hard to be accurate about things that happened
ca. 1939, but when I got my first clarinet lesson, and which was
done with the blue covered Rubank book, I believe that I saw
Himie Voxman's name on the cover. It is possible that his name
appeared on a more advanced issue of that series, so I allow for
the possibility of error on my part.

But I mentioned all this to Himie as I sat in his home across the
way from the University of Iowa, telling him that I had begun my
study of the clarinet with his book (though I did not say which
one), and he smiled in assent. I was trying to say that it was he
who first taught me, though indirectly.

Bottom line, if I should have said Hovey, I'm sorry. But even as
a kid, I was pretty good so maybe I got to the Advanced Method a
lot faster than I realized. My objective in those days was to
play the set of variations from "Long, Long Ago" a great faster
than Paterson's best clarinetist, Walt Levinsky. And, if I
remember correctly, it was from one of the books that Himie
edited that I executed my incredibly fast and equally incredibly
stupid rendition of "Long, Long Ago." When Walt heard me do my
thing with such frighteningly blinding speed, he took up jazz
where he became a world-class player. So maybe I did a good
thing after all by scaring him away from classical performance.

Dan Leeson

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Smith []
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 6:10 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] A splendid experience visitng Himie Voxman

I missed Dan's original post. Not to take anything away from a
story, but didn't Hovey write the Elementary method? Or was Dan
good he started with the Advanced Method? (I realize Voxman was
one of
the supervising editors for the whole series, based on how the
authorships are parceled out on the back of the distinctive blue
wear-well cover. :-) )

I think the Rubank books are great if you're giving lessons to
beginners - not so good for self-study, and I could wish that
would take them and update things like the fingering charts to
them easier to understand (just show a complete fingering under
note), but the approach as to where to start, how to practice
the break, etc. is spot-on. And you get a lot of practice with a
fundamental before moving on to the next thing. Finally,
with older beginners, I think the less "cutesy" graphics (or
non-graphics) is a plus.

I have a confession to make - I'm learning the flute after all
years playing clarinet and sax because every reed book in every
I've ever been hired for has flute parts. I've been getting the
anyway because I can transpose and nobody here in town plays all
very well, but it's bothered me. And in learning the instrument,
enlisted one of my counterparts from the local orchestra in the
section as a teacher, but my first purchase was a new instruction
with a DVD and all that. Well, the DVD was very helpful, but my
purchase was a Rubank Elementary book. That and Vol. 1 of the
"78 duets for flute and clarinet" has been my meat and potatoes.
odd to be playing the top line on those...

On 5/5/05, Vincenzo Zippo - AMT Services
<> wrote:
> Hi Dan,
> I red your post.
> It was a very nice report about your feel in meeting Himie
> I don't know him but, while I was reading your short tale, I
was able to
> figure Voxman in his old
> house, I was able to smell the air in that room!
> Tanks to you and Voxman.
> Bye.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dan Leeson" <>
> To: ">
> Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 10:54 PM
> Subject: [kl] A splendid experience visitng Himie Voxman
> > Today I drove from Ames, IA to Peoria, IL. On the way, I
stopped in Iowa
> > City to meet the man who wrote my first book of clarinet
lessons, Himie
> > Voxman. It was a wonderful visit. He is in good physical
> > intellectual
> > shape at 92 and it broke my heart to have to leave after only
about 45
> > minutes. It is that we had a long drive behind and ahead of
> >
> > My first book was the Rubank Elementary book of clarinet
playing and Himie
> > had written and edited it in the 1930s. I have no idea how
many other
> > clarinetists began with that book, but in Paterson, NJ,
everybody used it.
> >
> > Today was a very splendid experience. His house is so jammed
with music
> > that
> > he is in the position of giving lots and lots of it away,
mostly to the
> > University, but even some to the local music store.
> >
> > He spoke of how he studied the process of making metal reeds
in the 1930s.
> > He said that the only one that worked well was the reed made
of stainless
> > steel. But the problem with the reed was that it was so
thin, it was as
> > sharp as a razor blade. After he played Stars and Stripes
with it, he
> > received a passing grade in metttalurgy, and never returned
to that
> > experiment again.
> >
> >
> >
> > Dan Leeson
> >
> >
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> > if you get the
> > Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

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