Going to a lesson with Jon Boen was like going to horn therapy. He was never judging, was always kind, and I left every single lesson really excited to go practice what we’d talked about. As I write this down, it sounds like some sort of pharmaceutical advertisement, but I had serious endurance issues that I was convinced would never allow me to have a professional career as a horn player. It didn’t take long for Jon to recognize the physical aspects of my playing that were causing the issue. Through ingenious analogies (I’m sure he has thousands to use depending on the student) he helped me to strengthen my embouchure, but not by introducing me to strength/conditioning exercises. It was a simple matter of making my playing more efficient. The biggest impact that this had, besides the obvious physical advantages, was a new confidence in myself and my playing. I’m incredibly proud to say that, before I graduated from DePaul, I won a national orchestra audition for one of the few jobs that was open that year. Since then, I’ve been a featured soloist with my orchestra and had the chops to do it!