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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000488.txt from 2001/02

From: "Doug Benoit" <>
Subj: [kl] Jennifer's beginning student
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 12:49:48 -0500


I have 19 beginning students weekly. I am a music Education
Major (though a freshman in 1981, I am just returning to
finish the degree in the past year). ' Have been in the
Marines' and Air Force military music programs, both, as a
bandsman. As a Marine, I was - for a couple years - the
clarinet and Saxophone instructor at the School of Music in
Norfolk (not the Academy), training young military musicians
for their experience as bandsman also.

'Thought I'd interven, and offer my experience.

#1) Begin thinking back, when you wre that age, and how
frustrating it may have been for nearly everything,
#2) Get advice from others. Good Job!

I believe in a few reasons for low tones not speaking:

1) the thumb hole is frequently the perpetrator; beginning
students will often not cover the thumb hole efficiently
2) the accidental opening of another key: This is most
often the register key, because it is so close to the thumb
(less that 1/8" from the thumb ring!)
3) the throat tone "A" key (because its close proximity to
the uppermost LH F# ring)
4) The "tone hole" fingers on the upper and lower stack are
not covering one (or more - goodness, it happens) tone
5) A pad is not seated, or is loose in the pad cup.
6) A pivot screw is loose, and because of this, the key is
not pivoting properly between the posts.
7) the student is biting too hard, on a reed that is too
weak, thus preventing the reed from vibrating; the chalameau
register on clarinets and saxophones causes the reed to
vibrate further back from the tip of the reed, RIGHT WHERE
THE BOTTOM LIP IS PLACED; the correct strength reed will
alleviate that.
8) a dry reed will also be very difficult to play in the
low register at all. I've played dry reeds in the middle
register, they do fine, and even in the upper part of the
chalameau register one can pinch a note. low chalameau
needs most definately, a moist reed. Other musicians may be
able to pinch a note in low chal, with a dry reed, but I
9) is the reed on the mouthpiece straight?
10) is there a pad in need of replacement? The fish skin on
the pad(s), if cracked, will not seal the tone hole well,
and notes will not sound properly.

Good Luck!

Doug Benoit

-----Original Message-----
From: Jennifer Brinkley []
Subject: [kl] beginning student

Having been a "silent" member of this listserv, I've enjoyed
lots of the
info that I am learning from all of you...
But I do have a question that I hope some of you can help me
with. I am a
college student (music ed) who has taught privately in the
past. The school
of music here at EIU asked me to teach a beginning student,
who is in fourth
grade. Having never really taught a beginner, I am running
difficulties, the most important being tone production. She
can sometimes
get the note out, only for about a second. We have only
worked with throat
tones and the RH in the lower register. She has a good
embouchure and is
using a 2 rico reed. Any suggestions on how to help her
produce a tone as
well as other wonderful tips on teaching beginners??? All
advice/info would
be GREATLY appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance,
Jennifer Brinkley
Music Ed. Major -- Clarinet
Eastern Illinois University
VP -- Kappa Kappa Psi
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