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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000263.txt from 2003/10

From: "Christy Erickson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] [clarinet] reeds for beginners?
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 10:25:29 -0400

Randy, Please don't take all of this too personally. It's a lively
discussion and I'm sure we will all have learned a few things by the =
time we
complete this "battle." (er-excuse me, discussion) I really didn't mean =
anyone to take this personally, since I don't know you at all and you're
probably a very nice guy. You might notice that when I made the =
about band directors and reeds, etc..., I was referring to band =
who are brass players mostly(around here most of the band directors are
brass players, although we are blessed with one who is a fantastic =
player). I love the fact that you are a clarinet playing band director!
There was a post from someone awhile back who told us about the =
of going to a band camp, I believe, and noticing that the saxophones and
clarinets had almost no sound. It turns out that the band =
player) had "dictated" they all play on a number 3 reed and of course, =
couldn't get much sound out.
I guess I think this mouthpiece/barrel thing is a waste of time =
If the kids are to begin working on building up the muscles needed to =
the clarinet I don't think blowing on a mouthpiece is going to help =
They might as well blow into a kazoo.
The little 3rd grader I have started out wanting to hold her =
out like a trumpet and it took several weeks to get her to bring it =
to her body. Then she used her right hand thumb and forefinger to hold =
the clarinet when she started playing notes that required only her left
hand. We got her a neck strap, which helped to some degree but now that =
is using both hands to finger notes, she doesn't seem to need the strap
anymore. She's been slowly building the extra strength needed over the =
3 months to support the weight of the instrument and we are finally to a
point where she is not puffing out her cheeks when she plays. It takes
great effort on her part to get those notes out with a number 2 Rico =
but she's getting a great sound. I guess I feel that I would have set =
back further by starting her out with a mouthpiece and barrel, although =
has been hard on the instrument. =20
When kids start learning to play an instrument, they want to play
something and they want to learn it NOW! For my piano students, I =
teach them a simple song in the first lesson. I couldn't imagine =
them down to learn to play in front of a digital keyboard, for example, =
the sound turned off. It's like holding out the candy and then not =
it to them. Sixth graders might be better able to handle delaying =
like this but I guess I don't see the point really. =20

> In my mind, the mouthpiece/barrel thing is a waste of time.
> > Nancy (fire-proof suit on)

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