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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000614.txt from 2004/10

From: Adam Michlin <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Some more thoughts on Embouchure
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:19:20 -0400

At 02:12 PM 10/21/2004 -0500, Lacy, Edwin wrote:
>A university is a part of the "real world." Yes, it can be argued that
>music education students need more knowledge and information about the
>clarinet than the typical woodwind techniques class can give them. They
>also need more exposure to the flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet,
>horn, trombone, tuba, percussion, violin, cello, human voice, etc., etc.

This is where I disagree. I would teach one single reed, one double reed,
one string, one brass, percussion, and voice. I would emphasize the
similarities rather than the differences, both among all instrument
families and among the all the instruments (which is where all this science
comes into play). I would then have a final class which covers all the
minor differences from instrument to instrument, a capstone, if you will.

I will bet on a teacher who has (relatively) mastered trumpet teaching tuba
than a teacher who has badly learned trumpet, french horn, baritone,
trombone, *and* tuba trying to teach any brass instrument. Buzzing isn't
really all that different from instrument to instrument and, if one knows
the harmonic series, the fingerings/slide positions aren't all that hard to
learn, either (excepting the French Horn.. ugh!).

As far as universities and the real world, you know what I meant.

>As you outlined the problem above, I can't think of a single clarinetist
>in the entire world who can "explain cause and effect in relationship to
>diagnosing common clarinet tone production problems," and to do so in
>one hour.

Perhaps. This doesn't negate the possibility.

>What exactly is it the situation you are describing in which you have
>one hour to solve all the clarinet problems of the world?

When I am hired by a band director to explain why my private students as a
rule do better than other students, as egotistical as I realize this sounds.

When I'm in front of a band conducting I have do be able to do it even
faster. I truly believe private lessons should not be necessary for
students to be able to play the clarinet (or any other instrument)
fundamentally well. I know I'm naive, but every so often a great thing
happens because someone is stupid enough to attempt the impossible (but,
more often than not, someone ends up flat on their face, too!).


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