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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000595.txt from 2000/04

From: webler1 <>
Subj: RE: [kl] RE: Student motivation
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 00:17:09 -0400

It may be difficult, at first to determine what that level of ability
really is. When you have a typical under achiever, the difficulty is
trying to find a way to motivate that individual to desire to reach his/her
actual potential.

The ultimate goal is only reached through a long series of plateaus. For
example, if your goal is to play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, you will not
achieve it unless you break that down into smaller goals. I guess the
trick is learning to pace yourself so that you don't burn yourself out, or
become discouraged in the process.

Obviously, not every child will be a Charles Neidich, but that doesn't mean
we don't set goals. Setting reasonable ones based upon our understanding
of a particular student would be a mark of a wise teacher.

My analogy involving MT Everest does not mean I suggest that everyone go
out tomorrow and climb Mt. Everest. Many of us have many different goals
concerning the Clarinet. We may want to improve our pitch in the altissimo
range. Or maybe it's finally memorizing those scales we should have
memorized eons ago. One of the side effects of achieving these goals, is
the fact that we learn other things on the way. The person seeking to
improve intonation will probably come out with a better understanding
concerning correct embouchure and air pressure. The one who memorizes
their scales will be find that they spend less time practicing the band
folder because they can sight read much better.

It is in the achieving of the short term goals that we go toward the big
overall goal. That's why the trip is such a joy.

Jay Webler
Jay's Clarinet and Percussion

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Leupold []
Subject: [kl] RE: Student motivation

--- webler1 <> wrote:

> One of the points that I constantly stress to my students is the setting
> goals. If you keep you mind on the goals than the process becomes less
> a strain. If they recognize that the process is part of achieving the
> than the process can actually become more enjoyable. Primarily because
> will see progress toward that goal.

It may seem like an obvious point to some, but it is actually quite
to emphasize that the goals be reasonable relative to the student's level
ability. Otherwise, that important sense of progress and achievement will
be felt. The student will always feel deficient relative to where they
like to be (technically and musically). Unless they're extremely neurotic
obsessive (like I was as an undergrad), they might just give up the

-- Neil

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