Here's what scared me on the clarinet recently


In this issue:

  • Hello From Michelle - This both scared me and helped me
  • New! Clarinet Mentors 2020 Clarinet Community - a great free resource to support you in 2020
  • Free Training - Whisper Technic for More Resonate Tone and Smoother Playing
  • Beginning and Newly-Returned Clarinetists: Here is a special opportunity just for you to radically accelerate your clarinet progress in 2020 - only 8 spots left.
  • Further Clarinet Trainings - Did you know that Michelle offers several detailed courses to help you play clarinet more easily? Many of them have a systematic 30-Day Workout plan for you to notice clear improvement in a month
  • Clarinet Mentors App - Do you have any Clarinet Mentors courses? Now you can easily watch them on your mobile devices.

Hello From Michelle!

I'm sending a warm greeting to all clarinetists in the Clarinet Mentors Community. After a great family holiday, I feel like it is time for me to get back into some good clarinet playing and teaching in 2020. I've have been thinking about what I can do to take my clarinet playing to the next level. Something that always intimidates me, but definitely helps me up my game is to play with people who perform better than me. Here is an example:

I am fortunate enough to teach at the University of British Columbia with Jose Franch-Ballester. He is truly a world-class player, teacher, and all-around nice guy. We had an opportunity to perform together at an event called WindFest a couple of months ago. Although I consider myself to be a decent player, performance has not been my main focus in the past few years, even though I love it. Having said that, I always try to play well when opportunities come my way. For me to play with someone who has mastery of so many aspects of the clarinet that are challenging for me was scary. It was one of those situations where I really didn't want to sound bad! "Not wanting to suck" can sometimes be some of the best motivation to work our hardest, and up our game. I prepared quite a bit for this concert. In this case, it ended up being a pleasure to play, and I find that I learn subtle new things every time I hear someone like Jose perform. The piece, Romanian Rhapsodie - Enescu/Kovacs, is a very entertaining piece. You can listen it to our performance here: It is short and fun.

What could you do this year to up your clarinet game? Here are some suggestions:

  • Play with people who are better than you (even if it is scary) - Join a community band, ask someone to play duets with you.
  • Commit to 10 minutes a day of really focused exercises to improve your clarinet tone. This can be long tones, slow scales, embouchure exercises and more. (Today's training video gives you an excellent tone tool to add to your own set of clarinet tools - see the Whisper Technic below)
  • Commit to recording yourself on a regular basis, and using these recordings NOT to notice how "awful" you sound (typical musician's reaction) but to find one thing in each recording to improve, and then record again (and improve the "next thing" until you are happy with the results).

With that in mind, I have created a new private community, just for Clarinet Mentors members to join (at no charge), to support each other in their clarinet goals (see details below). I also still have 8 spots left in my accelerated 6-Month Clarinet Transformation Program which is designed for clarinetists at a more beginning/early intermediate level which has registration until Jan. 17th (details below)

Thanks for being in my community, and I wish you and yours all of the best in the coming New Year!


Your New Clarinet Community

Join this group for support in reaching your clarinet goals

You are invited to join the Clarinet Mentors 2020 Clarinet Community.  This is similar to a Facebook community, but it is private (no random ads, no social media presence). I invite you to join this community where you can post your clarinet goals, as well as share (and discover) helpful clarinet resources. I may just offer some kind of special bonus live trainings to members of this group just to help kickstart the community here, so I encourage you to join.

You can join at no charge here: I believe there is power in simply figuring out what you want to accomplish in the next year. I hope to see you within the community.


Try the Whisper Technic for an instantly more resonate tone

This month's training is from the Better Clarinet Tone course, and is a very useful technic to know. The Whisper Technic will help activate your blowing muscles to give you an almost instantaneous more resonant sound (although the effect only lasts for a few seconds until we train our body to use our muscles like that all the time). It is also a great technic to use when you want to improve smoothness in a section of music. Please enjoy this video. (You'll hear me refer to a worksheet from the Better Clarinet Tone course in the video, but you don't need any worksheets to learn from this video.)

Find the training here:

Beginning and Newly-Returned Clarinets Only

2020 6-Month Clarinet Transformation Program

I know that many of you in the Clarinet Mentors community are very new to the clarinet, or have only recently returned to playing after many years away. One of my New Year's resolutions is to find even better ways to support people in playing clarinet more easily, more quickly.

With that in mind, I have created a new 6-month program that features some great training for inexperienced clarinetists in a small group setting that combines some great self-study courses with weekly live sessions with me to get personal feedback along the way. I can't think of a better way for me to help support beginning players to improve radically within a 6 month period than this. If you are at this level of playing, and are interested in this program, please find more details here:


Did you know that Michelle Anderson of Clarinet Mentors has created several step-by-step courses to help you play the clarinet better? Do you want to improve your tone, or move your fingers faster, or play high notes better? Check out all of the courses (which all have free samples for you to learn from) by going to

If a friend forwarded this to you, I hope you'll become part of my clarinet community! Feel free to email if you have questions, comments or things you would like to see in future newsletters. I hope that you enjoy great music with your clarinet playing this week.

Michelle Anderson, Clarinet Mentors


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