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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000231.txt from 2003/06

From: Patricia Crispino <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Help with a beginner student
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 04:48:02 -0400

For embouchure think of Q, that is what I tell my
kids. If you have them say the letter Q their lips
already form that shape, lower lip over the teeth,
pointed chin and so forth. Another thing you can use
is the idea of putting on chapstick. When they pucker
up to apply the chapstick their embouchure is pretty
much already set. As long as you get the point
across, that good embouchure consists of a pointed
chin, lower lip over the bottom teeth, and top teeth
on the mouthpiece, then I think you're ok. As for how
much mouthpiece and reed to stick in the mouth you
could always use the paper trick. stick a piece of
paper behind the reed and where it stops is usually
where your lower lip should be. Be sure to give him a
sound sample, the difference in tone and pitch when
using little mouthpiece/little reed/lots of
mouthpiece/lots of reed/and the best of both worlds.
It helps when they hear what to strive for. Best of
luck to you, hope that this helped some.

--- Brian Peterson <> wrote:
> Dear All,
> Please excuse the extremely basic nature of my
> inquiry.
> The mother of a sixth grader at the church I attend
> has asked me to spend a
> little time with her son this summer teaching him
> some of the basics of
> clarinet, i.e. embouchure, posture, reading notes,
> etc. before he begins in
> late August.
> Although he's gotten the "don't do anything until
> August" lecture, this kid
> is Really excited about playing the clarinet and now
> that the horn, reeds,
> mouthpiece have arrived in the mail he can hardly
> control himself. I should
> say that for this young man to be excited about
> anything is nothing short
> of a miracle.
> I'm embarrassed to say that although I've been
> playing clarinet for over a
> quarter of a century and have helped young students
> with their music from
> time to time, I've never actually had to explain to
> someone else how to form
> a correct embouchure. The last thing I want to do
> is to do irreparable
> harm, so I would like to know what those of you who
> teach tell your young,
> beginning students.
> Thanks so much for your assistance.
> Brian Peterson
> or if you
> get the digest.
> For help: send an email to
> Klarinet is supported by Woodwind.Org,

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