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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000265.txt from 2000/04

From: "Aaron Hayden" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] re: Recruiting students
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 12:48:57 -0400

I'm not saying that the student is too good for the school music program
and that's why they're quitting. What happens is that if I tell the
student I want them to play on a purple spotted reed and a green
mouthpiece,(they sound great on it) the band director would tell them, no I
want you to play on a yellow spotted reed and a red mouthpiece. I've had
student's when they first started with me that had at least 3 years playing
experience. The kid played on the tip of the mouthpiece, a # 3 Vandoren
reed, and could not count unless I played it first. I've asked the
students, why are you playing on the tip of the mouthpiece, don't you
realize that you are choking the reed & not allowing it to vibrate at its
full potential. I've also asked why are you playing on a Vandoren #3 reed,
don't you hear that your sound it fuzzy? The answers are always, that's the
way the teacher told me to play & the teacher says that I can only play on a
Vandoren #3 reed.
When I correct the embouchure and give them a softer reed(if that's the
problem) what a difference. I've also shaved #3's down for them, so this
way if the director inspects the reed they will see # 3 on it. I do not
encourage them to quit the music program, in fact I try to advise them
against it. Some of them use a completely different set-up for band
class, to avoid any problems. I've also asked the parents to ask the
director, why do they have to use a certain brand reed & hardness, there
answer is because that's what I want them to use.
Sorry for this long post, but I am discussed, with this practice.

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Blumberg" <>
Subject: [kl] re: Recruiting students

> "Aaron Hayden" <>
> Subject: Re: [kl] re: Recruiting students
> Message-ID: <003901bfa007$e6d99e60$c0358ad1=aaron>
> I've done the same recruiting methods as David. This does work, but
> sometimes politics does get in the way.
> After a few lessons and good results, I usually bang heads with the band
> directors, especially on equipment. If I feel my student sounds better on
> a Grand Concert, that's a no no, since one of the local chain store
> push Vandoren and the band directors, tell the kids only to use Vandoren
> reeds, (even the Band Directors who are percussionists, or brass players)
> they even go as far as inspecting the reeds. They also tell them that
> them must get a certain mouthpiece, even if they sound like crap on it.
> I've also run into problems, when doing master classes & performing for
> class, make sure you don't sound & play better that the band director,
> is a major no no, you will always bang heads with that director.
> If feel sorry for the kids, especially when they're caught in the middle
> of politics. Some of my kids actually dropped out of the school music
> programs, because they could not take the crap. One student left the
> school music programs and auditioned for the Youth Symphony and made
> principal on the first try.
> Aaron Hayden
> -----------------------------------
> That never has happened to me. Never had the problem of blowing away the
> Director (hmm, wonder why...), nor the equipment problem. My students 100%
> play the same reeds (GC), and Mouthpieces (depending on their level they
> use 1 of 2 or 3 Mouthpieces from one of our sneezy sponsors). The
> just want them to sound good. My Directors would support my students if
> they were playing on bundy mouthpieces, with a xxxx #1.5 reed if it
> good.
> What bugs me personally is when the students get "too good" for their
> school music program. I have to set them straight and stress to them that
> the school needs their participation, and their talent to support the
> program, and put their ego back in check. The last thing I want is for a
> director to stop sending me students because my students are quitting
> program - it's bad for business ;)
> David Blumberg "the Bright Lite"
> leak light for Sax and Lower Clarinets
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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