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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000249.txt from 2001/04

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: [kl] beginning student
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 18:24:52 -0400

At 03:34 PM 4/12/2001 -0400, Randy S. Miller wrote:
>!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 comewith
>!the beginner and rental clarinets are so incredibly varied that I can't be
>!sure what reeds strengths are best.

Congratulations! You figured out the often-missed trick. Too often, band
directors will specify a particular reed strength for ALL students with NO
regard to the mouthpiece any INDIVIDUAL student is using, with the
predictable widely varying results.

>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 am a school services rep for a music store. We do have some schools that
do this. It CAN be done if the parent support is there. But try to keep
it reasonable. And if Johnny walks in with Uncle Fred's old clarinet with
a Brand X mouthpiece, check it for playability. If it is OK, go with
it. The "homogenous sound" thing is overrated. But it does simplify
things when most kids are using the same equipment -- troubleshooting is

>First, you might want to talk to the music service supplying the instruments
>to replace the mouthpiece that comes with the horn with a different
>mouthpiece. That might raise the price of the instrument, but most parents,
>unless they are reed players themselves, will not be aware of the

That is pretty much how it goes. If you stay within brand (like with
Selmer, for example) a store can order horns from the factory with optional
better mouthpieces, as we often do, for an extra charge, of course.

>Second, you might (if you have the time, the patience, and
>the expertise) adjust the reed for each individual student.

I think that would be pushing it a bit too far. For beginners in
particular, their reed CARE is so lackadaisical that the time you spend
adjusting will be wasted as soon as they throw the mouthpiece (with reed on
it but no cap, of course) into the accessory compartment of the case to
bang around against the lyre, cork grease, and other flora and fauna for
the bus ride home. It would be much more time and labor efficient to just
give up and try another reed.

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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