Group clarinet workshops are available on a variety of topics. I can work with your band’s clarinet section to improve their playing and expand their musical horizons, whether they are beginners or advanced students preparing for auditions and competitions. Please contact me for rates and availability.
This workshop covers the following topics:
- Proper care of the clarinet, the mouthpiece, the ligature, and the reed.
- Breathing, including both the importance of the inhale and the use of supported air to create the sound.
- Proper, relaxed hand position and posture.
- Long tones.
- Range-expanding exercises.
- Learning a new piece of music: sight reading, practicing, and performing.
- Topics may be added or subtracted depending on the needs and interests of each group of students.
The workshop also includes handouts for each student on clarinet care and maintenance, a simple practice routine, and copies of all sheet music used in the workshop.
I work with the students directly on their band music. I coach them in all aspects of the music, suggest effective practice techniques, and also give them ideas and suggestions for running their own sectional rehearsals in the future. This workshop can be tailored for competition preparation.
I perform works from my repertoire of clarinet solo literature and speak to the audience about each work. My lecture addresses topics including the following:
- Important melodies to listen for in the music.
- Exploration of the music’s programmatic nature, if any.
- Introduction to unusual or characteristic sounds in the music (extended techniques; extremes of range, dynamics, or tempo; electronic sounds; or others).
- Brief discussion of the work’s historical context, both musically and in the larger frame of world events.
- Other topics, depending onthe particular music performed and the interests of the audience.
This recital can be presented using works for the clarinet alone, for clarinet and electronics, or using works from the standard repertoire for clarinet and piano, depending on the interests of the audience.
Students perform music they have been practicing, for public criticism, discussion, and suggestions. I conduct short, public lessons with each student, making comments intended both to help the person I’m currently working with and to educate the observers. This workshop can be very beneficial to students who are preparing for regional, all-state, or other auditions, as well as students preparing for solo/ensemble contest.
Each of these clinics consists of approximately 30 minutes of content. Many of them include handouts that summarize the content and/or provide exercises for practice. I can combine any four of these clinics to form a complete two-hour workshop, or any of them can be presented along with one of the above workshops.
- Breathing and Long Tones. Topics covered include a holistic look at the physicality of playing the clarinet: from breathing to posture and hand position. Students may be asked to perform simple stretching exercises. Long tones are explored as warm-up exercises, as tone and embouchure builders, and as a way to create harmonies and textures.
- Finger Technique. Proper use of standard and alternate fingerings. Use of supported air to control technical passages. May include a handout giving examples of circumstances in which certain fingerings should be used.
- Practicing. Sample practice routine including long tones, scales, technical studies, articulation studies, and how to practice efficiently on school band music and other repertoire. Strategies for learning technical passages. Metronome techniques.
- Articulation. The physical elements of articulation: the correct tongue motion, the importance of the airstream, and coordination of fingers and tongue. Exercises for light, fast articulation in all registers. Exercises for light, crisp staccato. A discussion of various articulation markings.
- Phrasing and legato playing. Finding phrases in music. Characteristic phrase shapes. The relationships among strong airstream, good legato, and expressive playing. Exercises in supported legato.
- Intonation. An investigation of each of the important elements of good intonation: a properly tuned instrument; a strong embouchure; a strong, supported airstream; use of appropriate fingerings; listening; the tendencies of each note in a chord.
- The Altissimo Register. The special problems presented by the highest register of the clarinet. These include consistent tone quality and intonation, correct fingering, and dynamic range.
- Reeds. Information on selecting, caring for, and manipulating reeds. The depth and breadth of this discussion depends on the needs and interests of the students; it may include techniques for reed adjustment and the use of tools such as sandpaper, or it may focus on selectin reeds in the appropriate strength and ensuring the reeds’ longevity.