I help musicians express with authenticity, confidence, and excellence.
Explore new possibilities for your growth:  perform & create like you never have before.
Schedule a Free Consultation 

Hi, I’m Mars

I am a multi-hyphenate: optimizer-elf-musician-wizard-coach. 

I care deeply about wellness. I believe that the nuclear fusion of artistry, science, and spiritual development is sustainable fuel for a richly meaningful world.

Degrees in cognitive science & computer science;  experiences in African shamanism & tantra;  graduating #1 in class from a Silicon Valley startup accelerator... 

I converge a galaxy of diverse experiences into focused service for clients and audiences. 
I play French horn around the world with symphonies, DJ's, and in world music + sound healing collaborations. 

Classical highlights from the last few years include performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra,  Andrea Bocelli in Florida, and an exquisite song cycle featuring horn in San Francisco.

I've played amazing Calypso jams in Costa Rica, performances with Yemanjo and other DJ's at Ecstatic Dance Hawaii, collaborations with Silk Road Ensemble members.  I facilitate jam sessions and sound healing sets. 
Mars Gelfo solo bow during performance

I work with professional and amateur musicians, in several offerings:

1) Deep transformational journeys around artistic development, performance anxiety, or challenging professional issues.

2) Practice mastery - how to learn dramatically faster and make it stick for satisfying performances. Includes memorization, solving technical issues, and nuts & bolts practice strategies. 

3) Project-based coaching - album releases, auditions or recitals, a finish line you want to cross. I help you cross it with virtuosity, health, and a heaping dose of fun! 
“Hornist Mars Gelfo entered with a magnificent melodious clarion call, and he could do no wrong from that moment on”

Palm Beach Arts Paper

Brahms Symphony #2 review
After working with Mars, my whole perspective about horn changed.

My whole life changed for good.

I now can feel more enjoyment – the whole experience with my horn and making music has taken the position it deserves in my life.

Mars is so friendly and makes you feel so comfortable that I believe he can help anyone in any age and level to overcome their problems.


Professional Horn Player
Eye opening, mind opening, thank you for providing a space. Seeing you express yourself so openly helps me to express myself….

It was healing to be witnessed by you and to be guided across the array of emotional expression.

I'm hopeful, inspired and now have some tools to play around with. Many thanks for the open hearted session


Amateur Flute & Piano
Your playing reminds me of the band Beirut. There’s a soft but firm ‘thereness’


Audience Member
I could tell, you’re not the average horn player!


Audience Member
In other lessons, I’ve never come out feeling so positive as this.

What we did was take my inner criticism and turn it into something good, figuring out a strategy to make real improvements.


University Horn Student
After just six weeks I am on-track to accomplish the goals I asked Mars to help me with.

I have a newfound feeling of contentment and control, and I am proud of how I am showing up every day and the way I am living my life.

Mars is an amazing coach, mentor, and role model, and not only provides me with incredibly valuable perspectives on the situations and events in my life but also serves as a role model for how I want to live my life every day.


Symphony Percussionist
Your attunement, presence, trickster use of humor helped me overcome my feelings of embarrassment and feel comfortable pushing past my comfort zone.

I liked the soulful riff video you chose for me to sing over.

I liked the invitation to use that silly mantra "fuck this note" or whatever it was. and the freestyle of my opening share.

You taught me more nuance about the vocal and facial cavities and resonance and had ideas for stretches i could do while singing that would help me be less physically tense


You ran the time in a way where we got to everything on the agenda with spacious time feel.

Room for quick tangents, check-ins, guided meditation, and all agenda items. I felt emotionally and logistically supported.

You helped me focus my energy and get clear on what's coming up next.

I got unblocked and clear on a bunch of next steps.... illuminates my path going forward on a journey that is so important to me. I lacked clarity, felt frantic, and now I feel clear and focused!


Producer & Symphony Trombonist
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Low Horn / Roll Out Training Video

I've been using & elaborating on the "roll out" concept from Jeff Smiley's Balanced Embouchure for YEARS, to play well below "fundamental C" on the horn. Not only is this useful for opening the low register, there are a number of benefits to roll out practice: Sound like fun? I've got a free 90 minute […]

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My favorite horn / brass methods

In my decades of playing horn (and dabbling in trumpet and trombone), I've been a voracious explorer of different approaches. Many books have given me one or two nuggets. Others have led me down not-so-helpful paths (Farkas "Art of Horn Playing" gave me a lot of good stuff in high school, but also indoctrinated me […]

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Learn to Circular Breathe - live masterclass
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