Jeanne G. Pocius:

Sadly there is still much misinformation about the playing musical instruments... Much of that is perpetuated by those who continue to teach what works for me, when the truth is so obvious as to be ignored, that truth being:

What works for YOU is what your teacher needs to emphasize!

Think of how many students were misled by the smile system school of thought, then by the frown system (which is, after all, merely a smile turned upside down), and lately by the nonsensical Tighten your corners school, which is, once again, a reincarnation of the smile system in new wrapping paper....

The truth is that any system will work, TO A POINT!!!  The facts are that any system that works against your natural setup will inhibit you at some point....Those who have switched from trombone or baritone or flute to trumpet will need to use tighter corners for a while, until they develop better small motor control of the orbicularis oris muscle(which is much more lax in those types of players, including the tubists, Arnold Jacobs included, who rely so much on song and wind that they forget the necessity of using the smaller muscles to support the air...)

Think of this... If, when you were learning to write, the teacher insisted that you hold the pencil in a way that was difficult or impossible for you, would you have learned to write very well? No, of course not!  Or, if the teacher told you to concentrate on what you wanted to write, not the process of writing, would you then be able to maneuver the pencil, without knowing how to form the letters?  Again, of course not.... Or even, if the teacher told you to concentrate on the muscles of your arm, or the flow of the paper across your desk could you then write?

No, you needed first to learn to hold the pencil (which required you and/or your teacher being able to recognize which hand was dominant, or you'd be fighting the whole time for mastery of an alien hand), then to apply the pencil to paper, at first using a large, thick pencil and writing in huge letters, then as you gained mastery, learning to use smaller size pencil and print.... Finally you learned to write in cursive, with a fine-line pen or even a fountain pen, or perhaps even mastering the fine art of calligraphy!

In playing any instrument much the same process must be followed...Sometimes we  must regress to the point of holding the pencil(locating the  mouthpiece on the lips, or even correcting the size of the  mpc)...

Sometimes, we need only go over the formation of certain letters, or change the angle (left to right) or tilt (pivot: up or down) of the paper (instrument)....

But it is always far easier to teach the right way from the beginning than it is to undertake remedial work....

That is why I advocate using the very low pedals, even from the first lesson for beginners....That is also why I feel buzzing to be important...There are those who can play without buzzing first, but their row becomes much harder to plow without removing  those big rocks (non-buzzing styles of playing) first....

It is important, always to move from mastering larger muscles (and concepts) to smaller ones (like learning general principles in school before specializing in a particular field)....

The slow, low pedals enable good buzzing...I DON'T advocate the first octave of pedals ...Why? because they  inevitably lead to bad habits in beginners or CP (comeback players), such as closed teeth and open apertures (both are bad  things)...

Once someone has become advanced, and their embouchure is strong  and stable almost ANY exercise can be applied beneficially... But  I feel it is irresponsible to advocate such exercises for less  than advanced players....

Too often, again, there are players who are very strong, who  advocate what works best for THEM, not for the student who is  seeking guidance....

That's why I strive to understand the student, and offer general  principles first, before the specifics and the details of  development....

Beyond the buzzing of lips and mouthpiece, and the use of the  double-low pedals (elepharts or elephant farts as we kiddingly  call them), I like to use lip trills (at first just one note to one other note, then later the actual trills or shakes), and  flexibilities (even with young players, I encourage them to do so  on their mouthpieces, imitating a bee, a lawnmower, or a  siren--police or fire in the US, I don't know if that works worldwide, though)....

And tonguing is very important... I begin the q sylable early on as well...Always emphasizing the shape of the tongue in articulations as well as the striking surface...

And most important of all is the use of the eternal airstream... Keeping the energy flowing even after you cease to produce a sound... This is a key to musicality in performance....