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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000250.txt from 2001/04

From: Les DeBusk <>
Subj: Re: [kl] beginning student
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 20:55:44 -0400

With the insight of being a High School clarinet player I will add my $0.02's
worth. At one time or another my whole entire Wind Ensemble was playing on
Pyne Crystal Clear Mouthpieces (appropriate name for this??? I am not sure ..
they were clear.. I owned one in the past at one time or another). I think
for the sake of the students view upon the changes that a different set up in
which they play, it is necessary to enlighten then by an example..(if they
dont have a private teacher, which is extremely popular in most areas),
meaning introduce the mouthpiece... and let them see. give it to one of
them.. and let them play it... after it was done in my H.S. the whole section
bought them... due to the increase of tone and overall quality of their
sound. This influencing pushed many to further the quality of their own set
ups.. they bought clarinets, mouthpieces and better reeds. And I dont mean to
jump on the band wagon about competition.. but I wouldn't be where I am if it
wasn't for competition and demands for "excellence"..I also wouldn't be
experiencing the gift of music and the awesome power of musical
experiences... For many competition is what pushes them (students) to be
great.. be the best.. and do as well as their motivation will allow them..
for few it is harsh reality of their ignorance to the greater side and
reality of the gift of music. Just my opinion here.. take it lightly.. I'm
not a scholar. Just a clarinet player.
Les DeBusk

William Wright wrote:

> <><> somebody wrote:
> I haven't posted on the list before
> Welcome to the list, sorry I lost track of your name.
> <><> I am thinking of asking all the parents to buy the same basic
> mouthpiece.
> This topic has been discussed many times (you can search the
> Klarinet archives with words such as 'mouthpiece' and 'school' and
> 'same' or 'require'), but I've never participated in this topic
> before.... so here's my $.02 worth:
> It seems to me that one of the long term goals of clarinet
> education is to develop the student's ability to distinguish between the
> effects of his/her own embouchure, tongue position, breath support, etc
> and the effects of a particular piece of equipment. That is, you
> _want_ (imo ymmv) the student to wonder, "What's going on here? Is it
> the mouthpiece or me?" Therefore you should give the student (and the
> student's parents) the opportunity and perhaps a gentle suggestion to
> experiment within the limits of their budgets. "Does Sam play better
> because of his mouthpiece? Or does that flat chin account for the
> difference?" And so forth.
> I have argued repeatedly that competition and demands for
> 'excellence' can be as damaging as they can be productive for the bulk
> of students. Therefore the argument that uniform equipment will
> produce a 'better sounding band/orchestra' doesn't satisfy me at the
> beginning student level; and once a student is beyond the beginner
> stage, he/she really needs to develop an ear for equipment differences
> anyway, and equipment uniformity is counterproductive to this.
> If a student has a truly inappropriate mouthpiece, then the teacher
> owes some advice to the student. But uniformity? NO! (imo ymmv)
> Cheers,
> Bill
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