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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000016.txt from 2002/05

From: "Gary Smith" <>
Subj: [kl] Rubank boredom factor?
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 09:22:36 -0400

I agree with what you've said, Edwin. At the early stages, *progressiveness*
is really important. Adding difficulty in a systematic way, and challenging
the student gradually, not throwing them into the deep end. I think as
teachers we have to keep putting ourselves in the student's shoes. Playing
"Lightly Row" would bore me to tears, but when you're starting an
instrument, it really lights you up! On the other hand, as I have
unfortunately seen first hand from teaching students who somehow got thrown
into a high school band as a beginner or who have been required by their
band director to switch instruments (that's a whole other essay) - students
get discouraged very easily if they turn a page and they are suddenly
presented with 5-10 things on that page they can't understand. Once they get
more advanced, things change a bit - there are more skills to learn that
have little to do with one another, and more skills to keep reviewing.

As for supplementation, it depends on the student's situation. If I were
having to teach a student who has no other material to work with, I'd
supplement it in my lessons. But beginners generally have a band or
orchestra they're playing in, and if they don't you've got other problems -
also another topic, which I can't resist waxing on a bit:

My long term success rate with a student who's *not* in an ensemble is about
one year, and nowadays when I have parents bring in their kids with visions
of them learning an instrument "but we don't want them in band/they don't
want to be in band," I start asking a lot of questions. The one exception
I've made recently is a 9th grader who plays very well who was in a band
where she came from, but got registered in a Catholic school that has no
band program because they're Catholic and they decided that was the
important thing about the school she attended. They have been here for a
year and, fortunately for her, they're getting transferred to Dayton, where
the Catholic school they're going to has a good music program. We studied
the Stamitz concerto, some etudes, some duets, and the Klose book. She also
was able to get into the local youth orchestra, which meets once a week and
plays 2-3 concerts. Even with that varied diet, and even given that she
plays well above her grade level, she was starting to get a little
demotivated by year end. It's fortunate that she's going someplace where she
will get the ensemble playing, performance opportunities, and comradarie.
Without that, I don't think the method book choice matters much.

>From: "Lacy, Edwin" <>
>To: "'>
>Subject: RE: [kl] Duet book for flute and clarinet
>Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 12:07:18 -0500
> > You are right, the "royal blue" rubank books with the 50's styling
> > are method books. What I would like to see is someone getting to a
> > music store and convincing the music store clerk to BURN them.
>May I express an opposing viewpoint? I use the Rubank books for saxophone,
>and also for clarinet and flute at times, and I like them. (But I don't
>them for oboe or bassoon, because I think I know things that work better
>those instruments.) I've been teaching from Rubank at all levels from
>near-beginner through college freshman, for over 40 years. I like them,
>have never had students complain about them. I'm very glad they are
>available, because they provide a very well-organized and systematic
>approach to the technique of the instruments.
>They can be a little much for some students to take if you don't supplement
>them with other things, but I think they are pedagogically sound and can
>provide students with a solid background. The intermediate methods aren't
>as useful to me as the elementary and the advanced. Depending on the
>student, for example for a college student taking a woodwind as a secondary
>applied area, I sometimes skip directly from the elementary method to the
>advanced one.
>I also use the other items in the Rubank series: the Concert and Contest
>Collection of solos, and the Selected Studies, the latter beginning when
>student is about halfway through the advanced method. Especially for
>saxophone, I also sometimes us the Supplementary Studies starting when the
>student is about to complete the Elementary method.
>Ed Lacy
>University of Evansville

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