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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000591.txt from 2001/02

Subj: [kl] i'm new and i need help...FAST!
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 12:11:14 -0500

Natalie wrote,
>i'm a freshman in high school. i've been playing the clarinet for 2
>years and after chair auditions i some how became 1st chair in
>the high school band. but now the girl below me is gonna challenge
>me tomorrow to try to get my chair [BTW, i think she deserves more
>than i do since she's been playing for 4 years longer than i have and
>i think she's better then me anyways. but then again i don't want
>to lose my chair ;) ].

You go girl! First chair after 2 years of playing is great! Good for you
for having the guts to try to beat out someone you think plays better than
you instead of just giving up. I get the digest list, so I am probably too
late with this, but just wanted to say that you can't make up those 4 years
she has on you over night, so maybe the best thing to do at the last minute
is run through your whole program a few times and concentrate on playing
slowly and evenly. Slow it down a little more than you think it should go,
because when we get nervous we tend to rush. Rushing would make any rhythm
problem worse. Slowing the music down a little more than you usually
practice it makes it easier to count.

Before you start playing, take plenty of time to warm up the clarinet so it
doesn't go squeaking on you with a dry reed or changing intonation on you in
the middle of playing. Then take a little bit of silence just to slow down
your mind and get a grip. Think about how your rival has to wash her hair
and brush her teeth the same as you. She may play better but she is not
Super Woman. She is probably worried about getting embarrassed if she is
beat by someone less experienced, worried you are in the cat bird seat
because you already have first chair, so in a funny way you have an advantage
on her. You have nothing to lose, because if you do win, it will impress
people and if you don't, everyone knew she was more experienced anyway so you
did the best you could. Don't even worry about what she does. That is her
problem. Better to concentrate on doing the best *you* can do. Maybe you
mess up some rhythm. Fine, maybe she will mess up somewhere, too. If they
expect more from her, they will notice her mistakes more than yours. She has
a lot more to lose than you do. So take advantage of that and stay cool so
you can play your best. Good luck and please let us know how it turns out!

To Jay Webler, maybe you missed the part where she said *tomorrow*. That was
an impressive lecture you gave her but no way she can do all that, the night
before she has to perform. I don't know what all that fussing could do to
help out so close to the challenge, except make her more nervous. I thought
it was good advice for the long haul, though.

Cass Hill

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