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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000296.txt from 1998/04

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: lesson motivation
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:50:09 -0400

On Tue, 7 Apr 1998, I AM THE PUFFER GOOSE HAHAHAHA wrote:
> I was just
> wondering if the Ed. students in question had ever thought of the
> concept that one must be a good musician to teach another to be a
> good musician. When one puts down the clarinet and gets on the
> podium with a baton......they are still performing themselves just
> with a different instrament.

Any good conductor or good conducting teacher will tell you that, in order
to be a good conductor, you must be a good musician. In order to be a
good music teacher, you need to be a good musician as well. The issue is,
do you have to be a good performing musician? Everyone has opinions about
this, but a standard opinion is that the teacher or conductor must have
achieved a very high level of musicianship at one point.....whether or not
he is still a practicing, performing musician is another issue. This
subject has drifted slightly (which is just fine.....) - the original
issue was if band directors can motivate by performing thier "axe". Now
the issue has drifted to, can a person be a good teacher or conductor if
they not a good musician?

> One motivation I have is that I realize that once I'm in
> the field (in just over a year) that I'm not going to get the opportunity
> to perform as much and there are times that I'm going to really miss
> my clarinet because I will be working thoes 12 hour days with all the
> marching band drill writing, sectionals, lessons, rehersals, and about
> a thousand administraitive'll make 18 credit semsmters
> look like child's play. So I'm going to enjoy my clarinet while I can.

Well, I certainly don't want to open the marching band debate again, but
you really don't HAVE to spend 12 hour days writing marching band drill, will be your program - and you will, ultimately, decide if
clarinet performing is an important part of your continued development.

I have a good friend, Scott Wright, who was just hired as the assistant
band director and assistant professor of clarinet at Universeity of
Wisconsin Greenbay, after teaching for 10 years in the school district I
first taught in. He practiced 2 hours every day, taught 10 + lessons a
week, and had a dynamite band! He managed to get his masters and most of
his DMA completed during that time.....he is ABD at Arizona State where he
studied with Bob Spring.

I admire Scott's tireless work to become a superior player and musician
while, at the same time, recognizing how his work in that area benefits
his students and bands.

Roger Garrett

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