2018 Clarinet Colloquium Schedule of Events

ClarinetMike says, “GO!”

Below is the performing and class schedule for the upcoming FREE 2018 Clarinet Colloquium (link) at Texas A&M University-Commerce on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3. Hats off to Dr. Mary Druhan and all the great folks at TAMUC plus the great sponsors! (NOTE: the schedule and guest line-up are subject to change.)

Recital Schedule (link)

Friday, March 2 Opening Recital



Saturday, March 3 Recitals

9:00 AM Vanessa Davis – Color Studies: Lost Gems for Clarinet Alone

10:00 AM Cecilia Kang – Contemporary Duo Works by American Composers

11:00 AM Lucas Willsie – Unaccompanied Dances for bass clarinet


1:00 PM Duo Esplanade

2:00 PM David Cook – American Music for Solo Clarinet

3:00 PM Christopher Nichols – James M. Stephenson: Original Works and Transcriptions for Clarinet and Piano

4:00 PM Boja Kragulj – The Music of Rachel Matthews

5:30 PM Combined Clarinet Choir and TAMUC Clarinet Choir Performances (wear school shirts)

Saturday, March 3 Closing Recital



Schedule of Classes (link)

The 2018 Clarinet Colloquium will feature a number of classes and lectures for participants to choose from. The schedule is subject to change.

In addition to these classes, middle school students are invited to attend workshops specifically to help them with Clarinet skills at 12:30 and 1:30 with Judi Altstatt and Karen Bronson, respectively.

All students are invited to perform as a member of the Clarinet Colloquium clarinet choir. Rehearsal begins at 8:15 Saturday morning. The clarinet choir will be performing for friends and family in the recital starting at 5:30 PM.

Band directors and private teachers who are interested in learning more about how to teach clarinet are invited to attend classes with Dr. Jody Webb, Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet at TAMUC and clarinet teacher for Marcus High School and by Dr. Mary Alice Druhan, Professor of Clarinet at TAMUC. For availability and continuing education credit, please contact Dr. Druhan directly at Mary.Druhan@TAMUC.edu before January 15th. Thank you!

Saturday, March 3 Classes:

9:30 AM Dawn Marie Lindblade-Evans & Julie Linder-Gaulin – Level up Your Tonguing: articulation concepts for the advancing middle school student

10:30 AM Janette Harriott – Embracing the Whole Clarinetist: Ignite Your Musician’s Chi

11:30 AM Jim Marshall – Formative Fundamentals: An Approach to Private and Group Clarinet Study

2:30 PM Julie Miller – Making Your Experience with a Collaborative Pianist Both Enjoyable and Productive

3:30 PM Raphael Sanders – Improving Your Tone: using your ears and drills for best results

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ClarinetMike Teaching Tip: “Play Like You Are First Chair”

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” Performing at the Orfeo Music Festival 2017 in Vipiteno, Italy.

ClarinetMike Teaching Tip: “Play Like You Are First Chair”
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

I have noticed that it is sometimes difficult to get across to a student how to project their sound well when playing a solo for a contest, festival, recital, studio class, jury, etc.*  This seems especially true when working with students who have spent most of their clarinet (or saxophone or any instrument) careers as section players in a band.  As section players, these students work to blend in with a group and not “stick out” – and “sticking out” is exactly what you want to do on a solo!

A few years ago, while working with a student on this in preparation for a studio class performance and jury, it suddenly occurred to me to say, “Play like you are first chair.” The student (who was a section player in band) immediately played the solo with excellent sound projection! This comment has since proved to be very useful in helping students (especially section players) project their sound. Try it yourself!

ClarinetMike says, “Tell your students to ‘Play Like They Are First Chair.'”

*Click HERE for a ClarinetMike Blog Post on Sound Projection from last March.

NOTE: The above is a slightly revised version of an early ClarinetMike Blog Post.

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ClarinetMike in Italy 2018! Orfeo Music Festival 2018 Application Information and MORE!

ClarinetMike says, “Please forward to all 7.6 billion people in the world plus others on nearby planets.”

ClarinetMike in Italy 2018! As previously posted, I’ve accepted an appointment to again return as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival in the beautiful Italian Alps in Vipiteno, Italy (Sterzing) this coming summer, July 5-19, 2018.

Who? YOU! Who should apply to go to Orfeo 2018? University, conservatory and graduate students, advanced high school students, talented amateurs, and teachers looking for professional development should apply. Please contact me if you have questions or want help with applying: email me at clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com or CLICK HERE.

Check It Out! Orfeo Music Festival 2018 Website!  www.orfeomusicfestival.com.

Friends! A variety of students attend the Orfeo Music Festival. The majority are university and high school students, but there are also younger as well as talented adult amateurs/others. There is a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie at the Festival. Most Festival participants are American, but there is a definite international flavor with faculty and students from Russia, Austria, China, Germany, England, Australia, Korea, and other countries.

Apply!  CLICK HERE. There is an Early Bird Discount if tuition is paid by January 15, 2018. Regular application deadline is March 1, 2018. However, registration accepted until about April 15, 2018 with higher fees.   I am happy to help you with applying, just contact me: clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com or CLICK HERE.

Scholarships! Some limited merit-based scholarships are available. CLICK HERE for more information.

Fee Table! How much does Orfeo 2018 cost? CLICK HERE.

Join Me On Facebook!  Check out and join my official ClarinetMike In Italy 2018! Facebook Event page. I’ll be posting application information, pictures, video and all kinds of cool stuff about Orfeo 2018! CLICK HERE.

Perform! Below I’m performing at this past summer’s Orfeo Music Festival 2017 in Vipiteno, Italy. I’m performing Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion with my fabulous pianist colleague, Faina Lushtak, at the Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Vipiteno, Italy – an early Tyrolian Baroque church built in the 1670’s with an old bell tower first mentioned in 1337.

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ClarinetMike’s 7 Rules for Building Great Musicians

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

Happy New Year! The below 7 teaching rules are based on my own teaching philosophy. I  happily acknowledge the influence of my wonderful teachers, especially my private lesson teachers Jesse Youngblood, Carol Jessup, Philip Aaholm and Robert Walzel. In recent years, I’ve also been heavily influenced by master teachers John Wooden and Joe Allard.

ClarinetMike’s 7 Rules for Building Great Musicians by Dr. Michael Dean

1. Require Excellence. Push students to strive for genuine excellence. [This means they have to practice!]
2. Emphasize Fundamentals. Constantly stress important basics of good musicianship (relaxation, embouchure, articulation, how to practice, etc.). Teach good habits.
3. Highlight Artistry as of Paramount Importance. Emphasize technique as a means to musical expression, not as an end in itself. It’s all about MUSIC!
4. Personalize Instruction. Stay student-centered by working to fit pedagogical concepts to the specific needs of each student. Focus teaching comments on how to do things better.
5. Make Students Think.  Encourage logical and creative thinking. Ask questions. Be patient.
6. Be Reality-Based. Focus on practical concerns, not esoterica.  Teaching should have a view toward the future.
7. Model Desired Behaviors. Strive to be a good example. Work hard to improve and change.

FYI: Click here for an article I wrote on John Wooden’s ideas. Here’s a link to The Joe Allard Project. Also, click here for an article I wrote a few years ago on how to write a statement of educational philosophy.

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ClarinetMike Blog is #1: 2017 Annual Report

ClarinetMike says, “Happy New Year! Thanks for making the ClarinetMike Blog #1!”

ClarinetMike Blog 2017 Annual Report

  • The ClarinetMike Blog is one of the top clarinet blogs on the Internet. As can be seen from today’s screen shot above, Google Search lists it as its #1 search hit on “clarinet blog.” This has been true for the last few months. Special thanks to YOU for reading the blog.

  • 47 posts

  • 56,000+ views (11,000+ outside the USA)

  • Viewed in 123 countries on 6 continents with top viewership from USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico, South Africa, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Hong Kong (China), Portugal, Japan, Malta, Taiwan, Denmark, Columbia and New Zealand. (The blog did not get a view from Vatican City as it did 3 years ago!)

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NACWPI National Conference 2018: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

NACWPI National Conference 2018: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

NACWPI Rolls On!  As a past president and former officer on the NACWPI National Board, I am proud to pass along the announcement below from the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors [NACWPI].

ClarinetMike says, “APPLY!”

NACWPI National Conference 2018
October 11-13, 2018, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Call For Clinic and Performance Proposals
DEADLINE: March 1, 2018, 11:59PM (CST)

The National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors’ 2018 National Conference will be held October 11-13, 2018, at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in conjunction with the 2018 National Conferences of the College Music Society (CMS) and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI).

Clinic and Performance Proposal submissions for the 2018 NACWPI National Conference will be accepted through March 1, 2018, 11:59PM (CST), using the appropriate online submission form linked below.

Proposal submissions are limited to one clinic proposal and one performance proposal per member. Proposers must submit their own work and may not submit proposals on behalf of their students or colleagues, except of course, in the case of proposals where there are multiple performers or presenters – primary and secondary will be designated in the proposal submission process. Proposers agree to present on any day of the conference should their proposal be accepted. NACWPI does not fund travel expenses of accepted presenters, nor provide accompanists or musical equipment beyond a piano. Proposals of a commercial nature that promote products and services will not be considered.

In order to be accepted, all primary and secondary performers and presenters must hold active membership for the March 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019 NACWPI membership period and preregister in advance of the conference once the registration window is opened. The primary clinician or performer will be notified of acceptance via email on or before May 1, 2018.

Clinic Proposal Submissions – Click Here to Apply and for More Information
A 25-minute a clinic, workshop, demonstration, lecture, or scholarly paper presentation. Complete submissions require the names and email addresses of all clinicians, biographies of 250 words or less for each clinician all in a single up-loadable attachment, and a clinic description not to exceed 250 words.

Performance Proposal Submissions – Click Here to Apply and for More Information
A 25-minute program featuring a performer or ensemble. Complete submissions require the names and email addresses of all performers (including accompanists), a representative audio recording, biographies of 250 words or less for each performer all in a single up-loadable attachment, and program notes (name of work or works to be performed, accurate composer/arranger names and birth-death dates, other notes) not to exceed 250 words.

NOTE: The above is from the NACWPI Website.

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7 MORE Powerful Little Secrets From ClarinetMike!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

Back in September, I posted my ClarinetMike’s 5 Powerful Little Secrets! – CLICK HERE. Below is a follow up with some additional little tricks. ClarinetMike says, “Remember the words of John Wooden, ‘Little Things Make Big Things Happen.’”

7 MORE Powerful Little Secrets From ClarinetMike! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Black Swab and Case. At the rehearsal and gig, it is best if your swab, case cover, wheeled tote, etc. are black. This will keep from drawing unwanted attention to yourself when you swab. And, it increases the chances of you keeping your case and other items with you on stage, pit orchestra, etc. I always want all my stuff with me, if possible! (FYI, I carry an extra swab or 2 in wild colors for less formal occasions!)
  2. Little Screwdriver. I always keep a little screwdriver in my clarinet case as a small screw will sometimes work itself out a little when playing the clarinet. I’ve got a couple of screws on my 1976 Buffet R13 Bb clarinet that work themselves out all the time! You can get a set of small screwdrivers at “Tool World” at a local home improvement store or in a sewing kit set at a Mega Mart.
  3. Number Measures at Left Margin. Instead of numbering every single measure, I find it more useful to just number down the left side of the music at each line in the margin.
  4. Small Watch. I don’t wear a watch as I don’t like the constriction on my wrist.  So, I have a little black watch (black as above) I carry around. It is a little digital watch that clearly shows the time and such. I have taken off the wristband part and can position it on my music stand or near my clarinet peg. This allows me to easily keep tabs on the time and, importantly, be less obvious about checking the time during lessons or at a gig.
  5. Two Clarinet Pegs. I always carry 2 portable clarinet stands with me at all times. This way I can have one on stage and one backstage at a concert. Also, I have one ready, if one breaks. However, if I play a heavy-duty orchestra gig, I bring my heavy steel-based stand. There are many portable clarinet stands to choose from. I like the simple plastic stands that are light and fit easily in my case cover.
  6. Plastic Mouthpiece Cap. A metal cap may be more secure, but if it falls off at the rehearsal or gig, it could make a loud and embarrassing racket, “BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG……………..BANG!!!!”
  7. Do Not Get Cork Grease on Swab. I do not use my clarinet swab to wipe water out the sockets. This will get cork grease on the swab. And thus you will be putting cork grease down your clarinet when you swab. I use a paper towel or handkerchief to remove the water from the socket. – NOTE: Eventually, I will be writing a series of “I DO NOT RECOMMEND” posts on questionable clarinet teaching and performing practices.
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