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From the Inside Out Book Review

3565 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Serafino
Posted a new review of an amazing book by Dr. Mark Watkins entitled "From the Inside Out". "From the Inside Out" is a revolutionary in-depth comprehensive 309 page resource book for the development of saxophone sound. When this book is described as "in-depth", Dr. Watkins is not joking! It is 309 pages of descriptions, scientific data, scientific and medical terms, a plethora of fluoroscopy and endoscopy photos (photos and scans of the inside of the mouth and vocal tract) as well as countless diagrams, charts, illustrations and a variety of quotes from saxophone players, teachers, doctors and scientists. (In fact, 92 subjects participated in a variety of vocal tract and saxophone tone production projects). It even has links to a number of videos showing the inside of the mouth and vocal tract while playing! An amazing resource that will you will find fascinating and illuminating as a saxophone player and/or teacher! Check out the full review:
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This is still the only hit I get at this forum regarding this book. Thanks for the review!
Ah one more data point:

...and just to bring this into the picture: Mark Watkins : How to produce saxophone sound (with live...
Is this book solely descriptive, or does it provide any teaching tools for helping students find the correct actions?
The challenge this book presents is whether trial-and-error is the only route to mastery, or a pedagogy of concepts and exercises can be developed from it that will speed progress toward beautiful, controlled sound that more efficiently yields the player's desired concept.
Thank you very much for your posts, you covered the ground very thoroughly AND expressed the core challenge very well indeed. I am aware of wonderful examples in other fields of the teaching of 'impalpable' skills, for instance in the world of bowed string instruments, or a teacher in a fairly new sport who has figured out how to help his students shift into fluidly seeing events that happen so quickly that beginners don't register them at all. I am confident that what you describe will come to be. In fact I keep hunting around hoping that somewhere it already exists.
I have owned this book for over a year now and I have started to get a handle on getting the most out of it. From the perspective of a student at any rate, I think the most important thing to grasp during your first dive into it is a sense of the structure of the chapters. That will prove very helpful when the first round of throwing up your hands fades and you start looking to the book to answer questions about specific techniques. The ability to skim and zoom in on what is relevant to your current questions makes the information more accessible and likely to be retained.

The tables and diagrams are great signposts for orienting toward information about what players actually do. Then at the end of most chapters there is a section that includes exercises for developing the techniques discussed in that chapter.

Even when there are not exercises addressing specific aspects of techniques brought up in a given chapter, you at least can learn what you are looking for. For instance I have found very useful and relevant exercises from singing pedagogy related to the independence of the tongue and larynx which I would not have known to look for otherwise.

I think the only reason this indispensable book has not revolutionized saxophone pedagogy is that such revolutions take time. Taking ownership of the information takes a lot of effort. There are already many exercises and methods for teaching in the book, and the basis it provides for further creative solutions is solid and detailed.
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