The video footage of the interviews with Arnold Jacobs’ former students at the 1984 Second International Brass Congress demonstrates that his philosophies of brass performance and pedagogy were revolutionary and defined a new standard. My documentary was a case study of the effect of Jacobs’ philosophies of brass performance and pedagogy based upon the testimonies of his students over a thirty-year span. This qualitative research study was based on information extracted from the interviews and a panel discussion conducted by M. Dee Stewart in 1984, compared and synthesized with testimonies from the same musicians between 2013 and 2016.
A thorough review of the interview data in comparison with the interviews from 1984 confirms my supposition that the current generation of Jacobs’ students, the third generation, is without doubt still being shaped by his ideas and teaching philosophies. His teaching has withstood more than eighty years of challenge and change in the world of brass playing. Based upon the testimonies given by the musicians in their original interview compared with their testimonies thirty years later, any significant evolution of Mr. Jacobs’ approach has been largely unnecessary. His methods were already rooted in the learning theory that we now know as differentiation and the theory of multiple intelligences. Mr. Jacobs’ approach to playing and teaching was based upon the product desired, not by any one rigid method. Changes that have occurred his students’ teaching have occurred largely due to their own language style and the needs of their students, as was the case with Mr. Jacobs’ teaching. There would always be variance in language from student to student. Mr. Jacobs personally said that sometimes he would have to use completely different language from one student to the next. (Heath, 1996) Jacobs was modeling these methods decades before they were identified and labeled.
Seemingly, no aspect of his ideas and ideals has proven to be extraneous or detrimental to brass playing. The current opinions of these experts in the field, matched with their statements made in 1984, demonstrate this profoundly. In addition to the effectiveness of Jacobs’ philosophies initially demonstrated by the original interviews, it is now clear from the recent testimony of the same participants that his approach to brass playing and teaching is viable and continues to influence brass players to this day all over the world.
As a first-, second-, and third-generation student of Arnold Jacobs, I personally experienced his influence in each of these capacities. While studying with him, I was fortunate to receive an education that he tailored to fit my own needs. I experienced his vast wealth of knowledge in person, and I had the privilege of getting to know him as a person. His brilliant mind and kind heart made for a learning experience that cannot be duplicated. Arnold Jacobs was truly one of a kind. It is rare to find a performer with his skill and musicianship, just as it is rare to find a teacher of his caliber. Finding both of those qualities in one person who also cared deeply about his students makes him worthy of a study such as this. It is clear that his influence is still very much alive, going forward into the third generation. Jacobs said:
The purpose of this project was to document the effect of Arnold Jacobs’ philosophies of brass performance and pedagogy over a thirty-year span, and to demonstrate the longevity and lasting impact of his methods in brass teaching. The testimonies of his students, taken from the interviews and a panel discussion conducted by M. Dee Stewart in 1984, compared with those taken by John Bryan Heath between 2013 and 2016, have been captured in the video documentary Into the Third Generation, providing undeniable evidence that the story of Jacobs’ life is truly The Legacy of a Master. (Stewart, 1987)
I have done my best as a teacher and have tried to be a good friend. My ideas have not always been popular. Right now I am enjoying a rather exalted senior status as a teacher, but I hope my ideas will have some contribution to the pleasure of music making long after I have finished encouraging my students. (Quoted in Stewart, 1987)