Welcome to the Clarinet Mentors newsletter. If you are new to the Clarinet Mentors Community, I hope you find some great clarinet pointers and tips that help you to play the clarinet more easily through these newsletters and other special events for members.
I have had a very busy month. Unfortunately my father suddenly went into the hospital a couple of weeks ago, so I rushed out to visit him and help get things settled in where he lives. The good news is that he will likely recover just fine, but nonetheless, we had some stressful family moments waiting to see what was happening at the hospital. I put much of my clarinet stuff on hold for a week or so as things were unfolding there. When I came home, it was to arrive for the start of rehearsals for Carmen with the Vancouver Opera. I felt like I hit the ground running, but at least it was with fun activities. I always enjoy performing with excellent colleagues, and the cast is superb. I think music can ease all other stresses in our lives!
Many of you responded to my note in the last newsletter in which I encouraged you to consider trying a local community band. Several Clarinet Mentors members perform with a New Horizons community band. There are New Horizons bands all across the world that are designed for more mature musicians (ie. older than your average school-aged student). They take players of all levels and are designed to be a fun, safe, motivational place to improve your skills with others. You can see if there is a band in your local area by going to:
I really encourage you to try it, or any other community group near you.
Thanks so much for being part of my Clarinet Community. I hope that you enjoy your clarinet this week!
How To Take Care of Your Clarinet - The basics
In September, I always hear from many students who are brand new to the clarinet. Of course, people pick up the instrument throughout the year, but many school-aged musicians are learning a new instrument through their school band right now.
|Today's video is mostly aimed at very inexperienced clarinetists and covers the basics of how to take care of your clarinet. It is fairly short, so it may be worth watching even if you are more experienced just in case you pick up a new and useful pointer. (For example, did you know that it is not a good idea to run your clarinet swab through your mouthpiece? This video explains why…)|
Free Training Video: [ https://youtu.be/kQXJrlfYZ90?list=UUmA8B54JikSgVi2WqAXi4aw ]
As always, I look forward to hearing from you. I hope you enjoy today's video, and if you have any comments, please feel free to write them in the comments box below the Youtube video.
A clarinet stand
In my simple maintenance video above, I do recommend using a clarinet stand to set your instrument safely down when you are practising or at a rehearsal. There are two that I like that fold up into your bell which makes them easy to carry within your clarinet case. The K&M version is more sturdy, but will stick out of the top of your bell by about an inch. Some clarinet cases (especially the softer foam ones, like a BAM or ProTech) will accommodate this. Most cases won't, in which case the Pack-A-Stand is a better choice for you.
In the last Clarinet Mentors newsletter, I highly recommended the new series of clarinet studies by the Royal Conservatory of Music. The link that I provided was a Canadian one. Someone helpfully emailed to me the link for American customers. (I am guessing that international customers can use the Canadian link.) Here is an American link:
If you missed the Canadian link, here it is: http://bookstore.rcmusic.ca/books2/clarinet-series-2014-edition-complete-library-set.html?___SID=U
These books have a great variety of music, and a CD that you can listen to or perform with. If you are a teacher, you may want the whole set. If you are a player, you would want to match your current level. A rough estimate would be that in your first 2 years of playing, up to Gr. 4 would be good. Gr.5 - 7 is intermediate, and Gr. 8 and up is advanced.
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 thousands 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):
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).
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.
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As a member of Michelle's Clarinet Mentors community, you will receive invitations to special live online trainings, the Clarinet Mentors newsletter which has video lessons as well as recommendations on helpful clarinet gear. There is no charge to join, and you can un-signup very easily if it is not a good fit. If you haven't signed up for the community before, you are missing the regular Clarinet Mentors trainings!