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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000231.txt from 1998/04

From: C E Field <>
Subj: Re: lesson motivation
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 22:59:44 -0400

I'm giving clarinet lessons to the son of a friend and, therefore, I hardly
qualify as a professional clarinet teacher. But allow me to share my

David has the same problems as most 10 year olds. He'd rather play computer
games than clarinet, has less than desirable posture when holding the
instrument, can't always "find the time" to practice, and so on. He is a
talented kid and that's why I stick with him.

The best way I found to motivate David is to invite him to play with me a
couple times a year when we do free performances at nursing homes. David's
public debut was at Christmas at a local rehabilitation center, and he was
required to wear white shirt, black pants, and black bow tie. I realize that
being a good musician isn't enough. You have to play by the behavioral rules,
as well.

Anyway, David did a wonderful job. There were times when you couldn't tell
that two clarinets were playing. (I doubled on his part to help him overcome
his performance anxiety. Or maybe it was the other way around...) David has a
very good ear and also blended nicely with the saxophonist with whom we were

He's in a slump again but I am holding out another carrot: an Independence Day
sing-along where we'll be playing old standards from Stephen Foster and so on.

The school band to which David belonged was a disappointment this year and
didn't pull off even one performance. Had they done so, maybe my method would
not have held such charm for David. But I think he got a big kick out of
playing with adult musicians.


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