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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000278.txt from 2004/10

From: "Christy Erickson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Differing skill levels
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 10:18:57 -0400

Tim said, =20

> That's a lovely idealist vision, but it isn't the real world.
> There are few things more frustrating that sitting with your clarinet =
> its stand while another section works painfully through a part they
> should have been able to play weeks ago, or to play a beautiful low
> harmony 3rd part underneath an agonizing and screetchy 1st section
> playing a piece just beyond their abilities.

Tim, I share your frustration. I played in a local Sousa concert last
spring as a favor to a local band director. I had only attended the =
rehearsal and played in the concert and I'll have to say it was =
to play with the other 4 people who were playing a first part. I had to
"carry" the parts and didn't take the solos. I left it up to someone =
had been coming to all the rehearsals. The players were playing =
rhythms with poor tone. Several times, they got lost in the music and =
problems were VERY noticeable to the audience. Several people jokingly =
me they that they don't know what the rest of the section players would =
done if I hadn't played along with them. =20
I lead a very busy life and simply don't have time in my schedule to =
sectionals or give free lessons to these people. I think I would be =
inclined to help out if most of them showed any realistic idea about =
own lack of playing skills at all or any desire to improve. I also =
think I
would be more sympathetic if they didn't insist on playing a first part, =
matter what. There is one woman who has worked very hard to improve =
playing skills and I give her lots of credit and another who started to =
some feedback after I got very direct with her after a rehearsal one =
but I get very frustrated with the rest. They take their instruments =
out in
the summertime to play them and most do not have any type of maintenance
done on their instruments. I know clarinet players who have been using =
same reeds for several years (at least) and they wouldn't think of
experimenting with a new mouthpiece, even though the old one is 25 years
old. =20
I take pride also in a quality performance and don't understand the
"let's just have fun and not worry about it" attitude. How can you have =
when the performance is littered with poor intonation, incorrect rhythms =
screechy tone coming form the people who insist in playing a first part =
usually don't know how to finger any note above a C, let alone voice =
notes or play them in tune? It IS great fun to give a great =
Anything less is not fun to me at all.
As you may have guessed, I live in a small town where the "let's =
have fun" attitude has been the dominant one for forever. However, our =
is growing and I've noticed more and more of the professionals in the =
do not want to be associated with some of these bad community groups. =20
At the moment, I'm very happy that a new piano teacher moved into =
and she also plays saxophone-very well I might add. I've decided its =
to look for my own musical "fun," that has my standards and quality. =
me luck. Christy

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