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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000555.txt from 2001/02

From: rgarrett@-----.edu
Subj: Re: [kl] beginning student
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 10:23:39 -0500

At 09:26 AM 02/15/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>I hope you be flexible about it, because the kids won't be all alike and
>the parents' budgets won't be all alike. I think you're right about the
>bad mouthpieces with the rentals. If you do decide to require a
>mouthpiece, I hope you give *a choice* and include some like the Fobes
>Debut and the Hite Premiere, which are both good for beginners I think,
>and also both reasonably priced. I think sometimes teachers forget *how
>many* of them are all making requirements and all trying to do the right
>thing all at once. Sometimes you should just provide the information and
>then leave it up to the families to decide IMHO.

For beginners, the main idea is to get them to blow correctly and with
freedom. Any mouthpiece that allows the child to blow properly will work
for all students at this level. Either of the two you mention are fine for
all students. My point - I know Clark makes a very good plastic mouthpiece
- so to require all beginners to use that one (unless they can bring in one
that is as good) is not a bad idea.

>My son in second grade brought home five notes for me to sign and return
>in one day. Three were permission slips required by law for totally
>ordinary school activities, one was a complaint he had the wrong type book
>bag (has to be transparent or mesh so they can't hide weapons and drugs in
>it) and one
>was a request from the homeroom teacher for a certain type box they should
>all get at Staples for pencils and erasers, etc. and she even spelled out
>what transparent colors it comes in. (So what happens if you go in there
>and the store has a different color not on the list? Is that
>ALLOWED?) You know, she is an excellent teacher and that was no big deal,
>not an expensive item at all, easy to get, but still, as long as they
>bring their pencils and erasers and follow the rules that containers have
>to be see- through, WHO CARES WHAT THEY PUT THEIR PENCILS IN!? Maybe I am
>overreacting.

You are not overreacting. The wrong pencil container that still works is
not going to create bad habits in writing or learning. An incorrect
mouthpiece might. The band director should have some say in what the
students bring in to play on. Kind of like requiring kids to come to first
grade with a standard #2 pencil rather than a thick black felt pen. If the
tool isn't appropriate, it isn't appropriate.
>A clarinet mouthpiece is different. It is more specialized and
>important. So I think that parents would probably welcome some *ideas and
>recommendations* about good mouthpieces. But IMHO, telling the parents
>*exactly* what mouthpiece to buy and giving no choice would be getting off
>on the wrong foot with that class. Remember these parents have a ton of
>pressures on us and band is voluntary, so there's a limit on what we will
>put up with. Just a thought.

Personally, I have no problem at all with telling parents exactly which
mouthpiece to get for their beginners. Although I do provide a list - of
plastics and of hard rubber mouthpieces.

Best wishes,
Roger Garrett

Roger Garrett
Clarinet Professor
Director, Symphonic Winds
Advisor, IWU Recording Services
Illinois Wesleyan University
School of Music
Bloomington, IL 61702-2900
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Fax: (309) 556-3121

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