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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000592.txt from 2001/02

From: Richard Bush <>
Subj: Re: [kl] beginning student
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 12:14:24 -0500

Bill Hausmann wrote:

> At 06:11 PM 2/14/2001 -0500, Karl Krelove wrote:
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Sharon S. Fuller []
> > >
> > > I haven't posted on the list before. I am a new general music and band
> > > teacher in an elementary school. I agree that the mouthpieces
> > > that come with
> > > the beginner and rental clarinets are so incredibly varied that I can't be
> > > sure what reeds strengths are best. Next school year, I am thinking of
> > > asking all the parents to buy the same basic mouthpiece. Does anyone have
> > > any experience with "requiring" a mouthpiece?
> > >
> >
> >I'm sure it depends on your school situation. If it's an affluent enough
> >student body, you might consider trying to get the local vendor to supply a
> >better quality mouthpiece in the rental instruments before your kids even
> >get them. But that will raise the rental fee, more than likely, and the
> >vendor will be hesitant to order the mouthpieces unless you can give him a
> >pretty clear idea of how many you expect that he'll need. You can certainly
> >recommend one or even several better quality mouthpieces, but you won't then
> >have solved the problem of inconsistency. You will have _some_ of the kids
> >playing on decent mouthpieces.
> Our company does this for several school districts, although it IS a royal
> pain. Especially when they all want DIFFERENT ones! When the additional
> cost to the parents is spread out over a 36-month contract, it is not too
> bad. But you are still going to have the kids who show up with Aunt Edna's
> clarinet that she played in high school in 1965 with whatever it had in
> it!

Aunt Edna's clarinet caught my attention. Every band director is faced with this
reality. While every instrument, new, slightly used, rental or purchase, and
particularly, "Aunt Edna's" clarinet should be carefully checked and play tested
by the band director when they first make their way into the beginning band
program. Every beginner wants to succeed. Having a non functioning instrument
and/or a poor mouthpiece is very discouraging to the beginner. They definitely
need to have a positive experience at the outset.

The logic, ALWAYS offered by the parents who are either on a severe budget or are
not yet willing to commit the modest amount for a rental is, "It is good enough
to find out if 'little Suzie' is really serious and is going to stick with it. If
she does well, we'll get her something better later." For sure, little Suzie
needs a break. If she's dealing with a poor set up, later might never come.

> ENFORCING mouthpiece requirements is difficult, if not
> impossible. You may simply have to individually check the others, and
> STRONGLY recommend replacement for the seriously deficient ones.
> Bill Hausmann
> 451 Old Orchard Drive
> Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265
> If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!
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