Fast Challenging Music? How Do You Find The Expression Within It? (Here's one way...)

Sent Friday, October 18, 2013

For clarinetists who want to perform more easily and beautifully
In This Issue                                       October 18, 2013         
  • A Note From Michelle Anderson - beautiful fall days, and beautiful Puccini
  • Free Training - 9 minute video to help you approach those fast, technical bits a bit differently...
  • Michelle Recommends - Sibelius - music notation software
  • Clarinet Is Easy - Complete how-to lessons for beginners and self-taught intermediate players
A Note from Michelle Anderson


Welcome to the Clarinet Mentors bi-weekly newsletter.  I welcome new readers to the Clarinet Mentors community, and I hope that you enjoy the clarinet knowledge that is shared here. Feel free to comment on any of the videos on the YouTube page, or by sending me an email. My goal is to continue to make life easier for clarinetists all around the world!

I have just enjoyed a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. It has been the kind of week with gorgeous sunshine, colorful autumn leaves, and crisp fresh air. We hosted our annual "Orphans Thanksgiving" dinner on Sunday, (the "orphans" is our expression for all of our friends who don't actually have any family living close enough to share dinner with). Vancouver seems to have many people who come from "somewhere else". We had a houseful of fun, interesting people from all walks of life. Great food and great company.

I am just in the midst of rehearsing Tosca with the Vancouver Opera. Such lush music! I am humming melodies non-stop. I have played this a few times already, but Puccini is always a treat. Lots of great clarinet parts...

I hope you all have a great couple of weeks on your clarinet, and thanks for being part of my community.

Free Training - Fast notes are hard. Should they have beautiful phrasing too? (of course...)
We all have music that contains fast finger stuff. If this is also high, or uses unusual sharps and flats, we often put lots of brain energy and practise time into the fingering. This is important, since having good finger technic helps to make this music easier, and even fun, to play. However, that is not the point of today's free training. Today's free training is to remind you that there is always a beautiful phrase lurking underneath any challenging technical passage, and it is our responsibility as musicians to free it and express it. If there is not a beautiful phrase there, your job is more challenging because you need to find a way to create one. Music without phrasing is like summer without sunshine. Something pretty important is missing. It is easy to put so much focus on the fingering that we forget the other aspects of the music.
This video, which is about 9 minutes long, gives you a practise tool that you can use to make  fast passages much more expressive. It really makes a difference. I encourage you to try it on any fast passages that you are working on. For today's video, I am using the opening of the 3rd movement of the Poulenc Sonata for Clarinet. (You can see this excerpt at:
As always, I enjoy hearing from you, so please add your comments in the comments box below the video on YouTube, or send me an email. Click on the video image below to watch this video lesson.
Michelle Recommends: Sibelius music notation software
photo of Artie Shaw's Jazz Technic book 2
Many people ask me what music software I use for my worksheets. I really like Sibelius. The full program is a bit pricey, but it is very easy to use and prints well. There are great educational discounts if you are a student or a teacher. There is a new program out called "Sibelius First" that is much less expensive, and appears to have many of the features that would be helpful for most people. I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard good things about it. There is a 30-day free trial download available for either Sibelius 7, or the simplified version. If you do dabble in any music writing, this is worth a try.
Clarinet Is Easy - Your Step-by-Step Beginner Course - Now Available! (Also enjoyed by many intermediate level players)
How To Solve Your Common Clarinet Frustrations and Play Clarinet More Easily
I firmly believe that if anyone has the "recipe" for how to play clarinet, things are really relatively easy to do. Most of our frustrations come from inadvertently learning bad habits along the way. With that in mind, I have created for you a 10-lesson comprehensive course for beginners (and self-taught intermediate players) that gives you the tools to truly learn the clarinet easily, while avoiding all of the most common frustrations that can plague us. I believe that these lessons can save you hours of grief by giving you the best practise systems that have worked for hundreds of clarinetists. The lessons have great content, and are presented in a video format so that you can watch them again and again. If you would like to play with more ease and have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of clarinet playing, you can get more information on the Clarinet Is Easy course here (including some free preview videos):
Click here for the free preview videos to Clarinet Is Easy
If you are curious about this, you can try these lessons with a 100% 30-Day  Money-Back Guarantee . (That means that you can try a full 5 lessons before you decide if you have received great value from the course.) If it is not the right style for you, you get your tuition refunded, no problem. I invite you to try it now! Many students have received amazing results so far from this course (and you can read their comments on the order page).
About Michelle Anderson
Michelle Anderson, the founder of Clarinet Mentors,  is a professional clarinetist and teacher who currently lives in Vancouver BC. Her professional career spans  30 years and she currently plays regularly with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the West Coast Chamber Music series. She has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra and many other groups. Michelle currently specializes in teaching adults to play clarinet more easily and quickly through online resources, and conducts the Vancouver Clarinet Choir.
Michelle Anderson, Clarinet
Thanks for reading this biweekly newsletter.
Helping you to find success on your instrument with sound teaching techniques, and useful learning systems.


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