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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000409.txt from 2001/05

From: "Aimee E. Kratofil" <>
Subj: [kl] Re: Professor Wheeler's tongue
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 07:03:00 -0400

Tony wrote:
> In that regard, I was quite struck by Wheeler's suggestion
that we
> are fooling ourselves, and that vowel-imaginings only make
a difference
> to tone *via the embouchure*. It's certainly true that
it's difficult
> to make tongue movements independently of embouchure
movements, if you
> perform Wheeler's experiment with vowel-shaping as he

It just struck me, as I follow this very interesting
discussion, that I use vowel shapes to shape the tongue and
help shape the embouchure. I work with my students, from
the very beginning, for a strong "oo" shape. That seems to
focus the air stream (speed) and help develop the flat chin
(muscles pulling down). I have young beginners doing this
before we go to the clarion register. The only squeaking we

seem to have in the clarion is when little right hand
fingers can't always cover the holes 100%.

Somewhere else in this discussion, it was suggested (by
Wheeler?) that higher register really uses a lower tongue
position. I have fought that realization! I have worked on

tongue position in the higher register and noticed (or at
least felt like) my tongue was actually lower (in the
back). This didn't seem right, so I tried to fight it, but
produced no better results. Interesting! Next time I shall

only observe!

I might be a little distracted this morning as I play the
Glinka trio! Besides the silly jokes we were making at the
last rehearsal.... :)

Aimee Kratofil
Assistant Director, WoodWind Week

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