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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000664.txt from 2000/04

From: "Patricia Smith" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] re: Tone - the quick way
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 03:23:08 -0400

Tony Pay wrote:

"The problem, though, is that the student often doesn't perceive this
beneficial effect *as beneficial*. Even when the class agrees that it's
beneficial, the student himself or herself just finds the new position, or
the different reed or different mouthpiece, what they call, 'uncomfortable'.
And then they regress after the lesson, often, even if they were better
during the lesson."

It seems this thread went into the direction of visually choosing reeds.
Sometimes the victim is the last one to know. I agree that it is terribly
difficult to help a student become aware of his/her sound quality. I have
one student with whom I am working on improving her sound. We took an
entire lesson to adjust three out of the four reeds in her rotation. All
needed to be thinned out some, as she had reeds whose strengths were harder
than what I told her to get. I also sanded the back to get a better seal
with the mouthpiece. Then I had her put more mouthpiece in her mouth and
caught her red-handed taking quick shallow breaths instead of nice big solid
breaths. And there is the RH thumb position.
Anyway, the only thing that seems to keep the students from regressing is
if I have the parents make sure they practice immediately upon arrival at
home. There are others who have to wait for their parents, so I stop the
lessons five minutes early and have them practice across the hall in another
room so that I can hear what they are doing while I teach the next student.
I find most keep up the corrections I make, but that the beginners I have
started myself are more likely to do that than those students I have gotten
who have played a few years and learned a lot of bad playing habits (usually
playing in band!) that have to be unlearned.

Patty Smith
...who unlearned an humongous amount of bad habits after a year of misery in
band, then actually liked playing the clarinet

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