Department of MusicHorn Studio

Syllabus 2012/2013


Horn Lessons

Instructor: Dr. Gina Gillie

Office: MBR 339

Office Hours: by appointment

Phone: 253-535-7607 (x.7607)



 Course Description

In horn lessons, I will focus on the individual and where you would like to go with the horn. All students will cover the basics in technique and repertoire, while those who wish to delve deeper into the study of music will be encouraged to explore many of the vast and unique subsets of horn performance such as natural horn, jazz horn, advanced orchestral excerpts, contemporary solos, chamber music, and original compositions.

Lessons require that you put forth a great deal of effort for your own advancement. While I will exhaust all of my resources to give you the best education on the horn that I can, you must meet that energy with your own, and add to it outside of the studio time. I have a great passion for this instrument and also for the music that has been written for it. I have an even greater passion for music in general, and I wish to share the knowledge that I have acquired with inquiring minds such as yours.


You will receive 12 lessons each semester.  You are expected to arrive at each lesson prepared and on-time in order to make the best use of our time.  Please come to each lesson with an inquisitive mind, asking questions, and seeking to learn something.  

If you are unable to make a lesson, you must let me know 24 hours in advance and we will reschedule the lesson.  I understand that sometimes emergencies arise, and we will deal with those on a case-by-case basis.  Lessons will not be made up if you simply forget or fail to let me know about a conflict ahead of time.


As with any skill one hopes to master, you must practice in order to improve.  I will assign materials to work on during each lesson, and with these assignments goes the requirement that you spend time outside of lessons working on your music.  As a general guideline, here is a breakdown of how much time you should expect to spend in the practice room based on credits.

For a 1 credit lesson, I expect you to practice at least half an hour a day, five days a week.  This is a bare minimum and will result in the most basic of progress.  A better effort would be an hour a day. 

For a 2 credit lesson, I expect you to practice for an hour a day, six days a week.  For performance majors, you should bump this up to two hours a day. 

For 3 and 4 credit lessons, I expect extra practice as needed to prepare for special projects or recitals.  A senior majoring in horn performance should be practicing three hours a day. 

Although practicing may seem like a chore some days, it will provide you with the best use of your time and mine; the more work you put in the more we get out of our time together.

Horn Seminars

Horn Seminar will meet every Monday from 5:30-6:30 in MBM Room 116.  All who are taking lessons are required to attend.  Others who play horn but are not taking lessons are also invited to this meeting.  This time is a chance for us to address horn and general music issues, perform for each other, and get together as a group and play horn ensemble music.  You will be required to perform regularly in studio class, and to be ready to offer thoughtful, constructive comments when listening to others perform.

A schedule of seminars is posted on this website and will also appear on my office door near the beginning of each semester.

Chamber Music

I encourage you to participate in chamber music during your time at PLU.  When you enter the "real world" it might not be as easy to find interested players who are willing to collaborate.  Chamber music develops critical musical skills and exposes you to important repertoire.

Concert Attendance

Please familiarize yourself with the concert attendance requirements in your music student handbook.  A list of all concerts can be found online through the music homepage.  I have also listed concerts of interest in the "Student Performances" and "Dr. Gillie's Performances" pages.  Attend concerts early and often to avoid any last minute emergencies and to enrich your musical appreciation and education.  Music is an art the happens in a certain time and place for your enjoyment.  Make the most of this.

You are strongly encouraged (just shy of required) to attend any concerts involving brass literature.  This includes all University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Lyric Brass Quintet, Camas Wind Quintet, Jazz Ensemble and guest artist performances.  You are also strongly encouraged to support your peers and attend any horn recitals that are given.  Also think about getting off campus and coming to support Dr. Gillie when she performs with the Tacoma Symphony.

Here is a list of concerts that you should most definitely plan to attend:

  • Tuesday, February 26, 8 PM Camas Wind Quintet
  • Tuesday, April 2, 8 PM Lyric Brass Recital

Student Performances

The Horn Choir will perform at the Brass and Winds Recital at the end of each semester.

Also, we may be asked to play in Chapel at some point during either semester.  I will inform you of this as it comes up, and we will rehearse the music during seminar times.


You will be given a grade at the end of the semester based on my perception of your weekly preparation, your performances, your level of commitment to learning, and the amount of progress made based on the work assigned.

Each of your weekly lessons will be graded as if it were an academic class with homework.  The most important thing for you to do is practice your materials and come to your lesson prepared.  Practicing means you are invested in your learning and you care about your progress.  Here is a breakdown on the grading attributes for each lesson:

  • An "A" student has clearly practiced and the performance shows marked improvement and or/mastery of a concept.
  • A "B" student has met some of the week's goals and shows some improvement, but is not up to his or her full potential.
  • A "C" student has met very few of the week's goals, has clearly not practiced, or shows signs of ambivalence toward learning.
  • An "E" student does not attend the lesson.

At the end of the semester I will average your 12 lesson grades for your final grade.  Remember your grade will also contain your concert attendance requirement. Make sure you get that done so your grade does not drop to something lower than you earned.  

Just as I require much of your time and commitment for success in lessons, you too can expect the same from me.  I care deeply about your progress and your development as a student and musician, and you should expect me to be prepared and insightful during lessons.

Year-End Proficiency Exam (for music majors only)

During the final lesson of the Spring semester only, I will conduct a proficiency exam to gauge the progress of music majors and their fluency with essential musical skills.  These exams are in addition to the regular jury which comes at the end of each semester.  This exam will account for 20% of your final lesson grade for the Spring semester.  The exam will consist of both playing and identifying repertoire.

    Freshman Year

  • All major scales and arpeggios
  • All two-octave chromatic scales
  • Transposition into E and E-flat

    Sophomore Year

  • All of the above, plus
  • All three types of minor scales (natural, harmonic, melodic) and arpeggios
  • Transposition into D, B-flat basso and C
  • Identification of title and composer of basic orchestral excerpts
  • Identification of title and composer of standard repertoire solos

    Junior Year

  • All of the above, plus
  • Transposition into G, A, B-flat alto and B natural
  • Identification of title and composer of standard chamber music repertoire

    Senior Year

  • All of the above, plus
  • All dominant seventh and fully diminished seventh chords two octaves
  • Identification of contemporary repertoire


At the end of each semester you will perform a jury for a panel of music professors.  This jury is intended to provide you with an opportunity to display a semester's worth of growth.  This jury is not graded, but you will be offered written comments to assimilate into your playing.  The last horn seminar will be devoted to practice juries to give you a chance to perform your solo for your peers.  Juries take place on the last Friday of classes during Dead Week.


    For certain performances (juries, recitals) you will need the services of an accompanist.  In all situations, please inform me of who you plan to use as an accompanist.  Although the professionals charge, they are worth the money.  A less skilled student or friend does not allow you to focus on your own music making and can make the process tedious.  I urge you to contact accompanists early in the semester to make sure they will be available.

    You should plan to get the music to your accompanist at least one month before your performance.  More time is necessary if you are playing a recital.

    Here is a list of accompanists who serve the PLU community:

    Jeff Andersen
    Amy Boers
    Jennifer Bowman
    Sheila Bristow
    Karen Ganz
    Robert Jorgensen
    Jeff Orr
    Denes Van Parys,
    Robin Watson 

    Required and Recommended Music and Materials

    Just as your academic courses require you to purchase a textbook, in lessons I require you to promptly purchase assigned music.  If this presents an obstacle, Inter Library Loan is an amazing resource.  You should also have a metronome and tuner as well as a pencil handy at all lessons (and rehearsals).  The following resources are things you should definitely purchase, if you have not already:

    • Kopprasch, 60 Selected Studies (comes in 2 books)
    • Mel Bay's Anthology of French Horn Music
    • Douglas Hill's Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player

    Other solos, etudes, and orchestral resources will be assigned as we go and can include:

    Etudes and Methods

    • Rubank Advanced Vol. 1
    • Maxime-Alphose Books 1 through 5
    • Rochut Melodious Etudes for Trombone Book 1
    • Any Gallay books
    • Kling 40 Studies
    • Schuller  Studies for Unaccompanied Horn
    • Reynolds 48 Etudes
    • Brophy Technical Studies for Solving Special Problems on the Horn

        Excerpt Books

    • Arthur Labar's Horn Player's Audition Handbook
    • Chambers
    • Thompson edition (for the serious orchestral player)


    • Beethoven Sonata
    • Bozza En Foret
    • Cherubini, Sonata No. 2
    • Dukas Villanelle
    • Gliere Concerto
    • Haydn Concerto 1 and 2
    • Heiden Sonata
    • Hindemith  Sonata
    • Jacob Concerto
    • Kvandal Introduction and Allegro
    • Mozart Concertos 1, 2, 3, and 4
    • Poulenc Elegie
    • Rheinberger Sonata in E-flat
    • Saint-Saens Concertpiece
    • Saint-Saens Romance
    • Schumann Adagio and Allegro
    • F. Strauss Nocturno and Concerto No. 1
    • R. Strauss Concerto 1
    • Telemann Concerto in D
    • Weber Concertino

        Other Resources

    • Farkas, Philip.  The Art of French Horn Playing and The Art of Brass Playing
    • Frederiksen, Brian.  Arnold Jacobs: Song and Wind
    • Hill, Douglas.  Collected Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, Creativity, and Horn Performance
    • Ree Wekre, Froydis.  Thoughts on Playing the Horn...Well


    I will be using e-mail to contact you.  I expect that you will check it and respond promptly if a request is needed.  Although e-mail is perhaps becoming outmoded for some, this will be my main source of communication, and as a course requirement I expect you to check it.  I will also compile phone numbers during the first week of school for emergency contact.

    Have Fun!