I began studying music officially when I was 10 years old (my parents gave me piano lessons as a Christmas present!) but some of my earliest memories growing up revolve around music in some way. As a horn player, I get the opportunity to perform music written by the great composers of the past like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, and I love it all! However, some of my favorite works that I've performed were written in the 20th and 21st Centuries. I was first introduced to the music of Olivier Messiaen while playing with the University of Michigan's Symphony Band (La ville d'en haut for piano, winds, and percussion), and before playing that piece I never knew music could contain so many colors. Since that experience I've sought out to play music that helps reimagine the horn as an instrument of color.
Along with new repertoire and new colors comes extended techniques. One of my favorite techniques is a multiphonic, or sung note. While playing a note, I sing another note and hopefully create harmonics so you hear a whole chord. It's also a fun way to warm down at the end of a long day!
I see all my students as intricate and complex puzzles. Each student needs a different and unique approach to helping them discover their own love of music. Sometimes the pieces come together easily, sometimes not, but as a teacher I always need to be able to take a step back to see the bigger picture at work.
Caroline Steiger recently graduated with a DMA in Horn Performance from the University of Michigan. She also holds degrees from Penn State University (MM), and U–M (BM with teacher certification). She has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Detroit Chamber Winds, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and was a regular musician in the Toledo Symphony in their 2015-2016 season. Caroline was recently named Assistant Professor of Music and Artist/Teacher of Horn at Texas State University and will start in the Fall of 2016.