12 All-State Clarinet Resources: Rose 32 Etudes, 40 Studies, and More!

Famous French Clarinet Teacher and Performer Cyrille Rose in 1880

This coming Monday, July 13, the Texas TMEA All-State audition etudes will be revealed. As in years past, the etudes selected for soprano and low clarinets (and Texas ATSSB soprano clarinets) will be Rose Etudes. Other states in the USA also use Rose Etudes for their high school all-state clarinet auditions. An online search revealed Florida, Minnesota, Kentucky, Washington, West Virginia and New Hampshire (and certainly others) have used Rose Etudes for all-state clarinet auditions in the recent past. And, of course, the study of Rose Etudes is standard for practically all clarinet students at colleges, universities, and conservatories in the USA and beyond.

Some of the best places to look for ideas on how to perform an etude, solo, or any work of music are other editions of the same music. Therefore, below is a lightly annotated list of various editions of the Rose 32 Etudes and 40 Studies. I have also included a few versions of the Ferling Studies as they are the basis for most of the Rose 32 Etudes. I will use these resources as I prepare to teach lessons and give clarinet clinics on the all-state music.

Note: Cyrille Rose (1830-1902) was a very important clarinet teacher at the Paris Conservatory and 1st clarinetist with the Paris Opera orchestra for 34 years. Rose did not compose these etudes, but he adapted and enhanced etudes written for other instruments – he “clarinetized” them. FYI, like many pros, my own clarinet lineage goes back to Cyrille Rose.

12 All-State Clarinet Resources: Rose 32 Etudes, 40 Studies, and More!
Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
Hurst, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas USA
clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.com * clarinetmike.wordpress.com

  1. Daniel Bonade, editor. Sixteen Phrasing Studies for Clarinet.  Conn-Selmer, Inc., 1952. Bonade was a legendary clarinet player and teacher who taught Mitchell Lurie, Robert Marcellus, and other leading clarinetists of his day: he also taught David Hite, the editor of the Texas all-state etudes. These studies offer phrasing and other help on the slow etudes from the Rose 32 Etudes. Please note that Bonade renumbered the etudes. This edition was available for free for years, but now seems to be safely available only in another book, The Complete Daniel Bonade, compiled and edited by Larry Guy.
  2. Philippe Cuper, editor. 32 Etudes for Clarinet. Paris, France: International Music Diffusion, 2011, with CD.
  3. Franz Wilhelm Ferling. 48 Studies for Oboe, Op. 31. Braunschweig: J.P. Spehr, n.d.(1837) Reprinted New York: Edwin F Kalmus, n.d. (after 1933). Catalog K.04121 (Citation from IMSLP.org) Early edition of Ferling studies. (These studies are the basis for the Rose 32 Etudes.) Available for free HERE.
  4. Franz Wilhelm Ferling. 48 Famous Studies for Oboe or Saxophone, Revised by Albert J. Andraud. San Antonio, TX: Southern Music Co., 1958. This book is often used for the Saxophone and Oboe/English Horn all-state audition music.  Available at local music stores.
  5. Franz Wilhelm Ferling. 48 Studies by Ferling for All Saxophones, Edited by Marcel Mule. Paris, France: Leduc, 1946. The Mule edition of the Ferling Studies is frequently used by saxophone students at colleges, universities, and conservatories in the USA. I often consult it myself when teaching the saxophone (and clarinet!).
  6. Ben Andrew Garcia and Luuk De Vries, editors. The Complete Clarinet: C. Rose Revisited – 118 Etudes for Clarinet. Fort Worth, TX: Complete Works Music Publisher, 2014. Features every etude that Rose wrote for the clarinet, including the lesser-known 26 Etudes.
  7. Larry Guy, editor. 32 Etudes for Clarinet. Stony Point, NY: Rivernote Press, 2017.
  8. David Hite, editor. Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School for Clarinet. San Antonio, TX: Southern Music Co., 1986. This is the book used for this year’s Texas TMEA Soprano and Low Clarinet all-state music. Students and teachers should purchase the book and not use ONLY copies. Also, in the back of the book is an important Glossary – a list of terms briefly explaining Hite’s numerous [and sometimes overdone!] performance suggestions. Available at local music stores.
  9. Jean & David Hite, revisors and editors. Cyrille Rose FORTY STUDIES for ClarinetSan Antonio, TX: Southern Music Co., 2000. A reworked edition of the Rose 40 Studies.
  10. Henry Larsen. The 32 Rose Studies: An Analysis and Study Guide. Avon, CT: Larsen Audiographics, 1998. Each of the 32 etudes is accompanied by extensive notes and suggestions.
  11. Cyrille Rose. 32 Etudes for Clarinet. New York: Carl Fischer, 1913. 40 Studies for Clarinet. New York: Carl Fischer, 1910. These venerable editions are what many of us in the USA used in school. They are notorious for mistakes, so be careful.
  12. Melvin Warner, editor. The New Rose Studies for Clarinet. New York: Carl Fischer, 2002/2009, with CD.

ClarinetMike says, “It is absolutely critical that those who judge the competitions carefully study the all-state etudes before the competitions. We owe this fairness to the students.”

Note: The above picture is in Public Domain and can be found HERE. [Rose looks a lot like the late Stanley Hasty, renowned Eastman clarinet professor!]

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ClarinetMike’s All-State Preparation Guide

ClarinetMike teaching a clarinet master class at the University of Michigan in February 2020.

Here in Texas, the TMEA high school all-state band audition music is soon to be released. Plus, ATSSB students are already busily working away on their audition music. Below is a five-step guide to preparing the all-state materials.  The steps below are loaded with information from my ClarinetMike All-State Clarinet Clinics (click here).  Watch this blog for more All-State help from ClarinetMike!

UPDATE from Texas TMEA: The 2020–2021 TMEA All-State Band Audition Etude listing will be available Monday, July 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM. The date has been moved up due to the TBA Virtual Convention.

ClarinetMike’s All-State Preparation Guide
Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
Hurst, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas USA
clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.com * clarinetmike.wordpress.com

Step 1: Preliminary Concerns

  1. Get quality equipment. FYI, my Bb soprano clarinet set up: Buffet R13 clarinet [1974], Vandoren M13 Lyre mouthpiece, Vandoren V12 3.5 or D’Addario Reserve Classic 3.5 reeds, BG Super Revelation ligature, metronome/tuner, GEM swab, ReedGeek, etc.
  2. Find a good private teacher who teaches solid basics and expressive musical style. Stay away from Rote-Only Teachers and YouTube Videos. [Don’t just copy a recording. Learn to count! Rote-only playing will NOT get you past a good university audition.]

Step 2: Core Concepts

  1. It’s All About the MUSIC. So, work on ARTC Basics & ARTSY Musical Style (Phrasing, especially Romantic Era Style)
  2. Loading & Unloading. Slow Careful Practice = Speedy, Confident Performing. The Tortoise and the Hare – Be a Turtle! (See Frank R. Wilson)
  3. Focus on What You Control: Preparation & Effort. Success, John Wooden, etc.
  4. Genuine Excellence = Talent × Practice Time × Practice Quality.
  5. Power of Habit. Work on Basics (ARTC) & Scales, along with the All-State Music in a Practice Routine.

Step 3: General Preparation Tips

  1. Practice and perform only on good reeds.
  2. Use a metronome and tuner.
  3. Record yourself – check out phone apps!
  4. BOLD Dynamics.
  5. Sound Projection
  6. Plan and mark breathing carefully.
  7. Understand terms, notation, ornaments, etc. that are on the etudes.
  8. Create a cheat sheet. Write each etude’s scales and arpeggios at top of music.
  9. Clap and sing the music.
  10. Check out additional Practice Tips.

Step 4: Scale Preparation Tips

  1. Thoroughly prepare your scales as if they were etudes or solos. Don’t just run through them quickly and thoughtlessly. Careful preparation of scales with good fundamentals (relaxation, tone, counting, etc.) will pay big rewards not only on the scales themselves, but also on the all-state etudes and all the music you play since they are built on scales.
  2. Work on scales in an organized practice routine that includes basics, sight-reading, etc.
  3. Practice a scale all slurred first, then work on the tongued version. Slurring will allow you to hear how smooth (or not) the connections between notes are.
  4. Work on tonguing every day – check out my Basic Tonguing Exercise (BTE).
  5. Practice the chromatic scale every day. Many consider it to be the most important scale. I suggest starting your scale practice with it.
  6. Use a metronome. BUT, don’t use it 100% of the time – DO NOT get addicted to the metronome. Common Sense is your most important tool in preparation of scales and all-state music (and everything!).
  7. Work on cleanly going over The Break! This is often neglected and results in a lack of smoothness in the playing. The finger combinations for going over The Break are tricky and must be addressed every day by clarinetists at every level. Also, DO NOT use throat tone resonance fingers (or keeping right hand down, etc.) when doing scales. This will slow down and dirty the technique.
  8. Make sure you have good tone, relaxed body position, good hand position and finger movement, etc. as you learn the scales. Otherwise, you will be memorizing flaws that will be much harder to fix later.

Step 5: Etude Preparation Template

  1. Composer and Style
  2. Overview
  3. Tempo and Key
  4. Sections and Phrases
  5. Special Issues (repeated figure, etc.)
  6. Musical Issues
  7. Technical Issues (articulation, rhythms, fingerings, etc.)
  8. Problem Passages
  9. Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet
  10. Breath Marks
  11. Other
  12. Suggested Listening

ClarinetMike says, “It’s all about music. So spend your time preparing to give a beautiful performance.”

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Job Interview [and Teaching!] Help from Coach John Wooden

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

I know many of you are looking for a new (or better!) job. So, below I offer some tips from an article I wrote in the NACWPI Journal a few years ago based on my study of the works of Coach John Wooden. His brilliant pedagogy and maxims could prove helpful in your preparation for job interview questions, such as “What is your philosophy of education” or “What are the characteristics of an exemplary teacher,” etc. At the very least, the tips below will help you be a better teacher! Best wishes on your job search!

Preparation and Effort: Tips on Applying John Wooden’s Concepts
Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
Hurst, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas USA
clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.com * clarinetmike.wordpress.com

1. Focus on Preparation and Effort. Spend your time working on what is under your control: your preparation and effort.

2. Work Hard and Plan Carefully. The first block of the Pyramid of Success says, “There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.” Wooden says, “I fully understood that the success of my leadership was directly linked to using time wisely.” (Wooden on Leadership, p. 162)

3. Teach Good Habits. Steve Jamison says that the key to Wooden’s winning championships is that he was great at teaching good habits. (Wooden on Leadership, p. xi-xii) A band director I know in Long Beach, CA, Chris Stevens, says, “Practice does not make perfect, practice makes habit.”

4. Focus Teaching Comments on How to Do Things Better. A study in the 1970’s of Wooden’s utterances during coaching found that only 6% were praises and 6% were reproofs. The study reported that 75% of his utterances were instructional in nature. (Originally found at http://ronaldgallimore.com/resources/GallimoreTharp2004.pdf, p. 127-128)

5. Focus on Fundamentals. Constantly work on basics. “There is no replacement for sound fundamentals and strict discipline.” (They Call Me Coach, p. 168)

6. Little Things Make Big Things Happen. Identify relevant details and accomplish them at a very high standard of performance. (Wooden on Leadership, p. 135)

7. Keep it Simple.

8. Model Expected Behaviors. Make every effort to match practice to precept. Wooden says, “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating. Youngsters need good role models more than they need critics.” (Quotable Wooden, p. 98)

9. Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry. Wooden says, “If you hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes; but if you’re not quick, you won’t get things done.” (http://id3430.securedata.net/teamarete/10tipstomanagement.html)

10. Develop Mental Toughness. John Wooden was very disciplined. Beneath his grandfatherly exterior was the heart of a lion. Wooden and his players’ mental toughness made them great.

11. Balance is Everything. Life is complicated and it’s easy to get out of balance. Keep things in proper perspective. (Be Quick – But Don’t Hurry!, p. 92)

12. Be Patient and Persistent. Coach Wooden developed his ideas and concepts over a long period of time – he spent fourteen years carefully crafting his Pyramid of Success. Wooden says, “Good things take time and that’s the way it should be.” (Wooden Video, Values, Victory and Peace of Mind)

ClarinetMike, “If you have a minute to prepare, check out Be Quick – But Don’t Hurry! by Andrew Hill/John Wooden plus the Wooden video mentioned above. And remember, on a job interview you must dress up and look good!”

Original Article © by The National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, NACWPI Journal, Vol. LVII, No. 4, Summer 2009

Thanks to NACWPI for kind permission and for being super cool!

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Top 10 Things To Do On Summer Break!

ClarinetMike recording Pete Meechan’s beautiful “Song Of Hope” for the Ryan Anthony video project.

Top 10 Things To Do On Summer Break!
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Lessons. Take online private lessons with a good teacher. A good teacher will spend time improving your basics and teaching you how to practice in addition to working on music.
  2. Practice. With the pandemic, online school, stay-at-home orders, and such, it has been difficult for many to consistently practice or even practice at all. Now that school is out, work hard to make time to practice in a good routine.
  3. Basics. Work on improvements and adjustments in your technique. Hey Students! How about working on what your teacher emphasized last semester – posture, embouchure, tonguing, etc.?
  4. Improve. Work on Scales, Etudes, Sight Reading, and Transposition.
  5. Study. Study a work you don’t know: orchestra, band, solo, chamber music, etc.
  6. Clean. Organize your office and/or practice space! Those stacks of music (and pizza boxes!) need to be dealt with. AND clean out your case!
  7. CALL! Contact an older musician – especially a retired private teacher or band director. Pick up the phone and see how they are doing. Stop reading this and call them right now – yes, right now!
  8. Movies. Watch old movies (check out Turner Classic Movies) and listen to the music. Learn about the composers. Some of them have written solo music for your instrument!
  9. Jazz. Work on Jazz or a style that is new to you. If you don’t know anything about Jazz, Now’s The Time to learn.
  10. Live. Get outside in the sunshine (as appropriate during the pandemic in your area). Attend an online church or similar meeting, get some exercise, read a good book, learn a foreign language, become a volunteer in an organization that helps people, etc.

ClarinetMike says, “Have a Great Summer!”

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Online Lessons with ClarinetMike!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

Hey! Today, I started signing up students for online summer clarinet lessons. I have some additional spots open if anyone is looking for a teacher. I take all levels, but students must be serious about clarinet study – this means they have to practice!

I use various platforms for online lessons, including Skype, Zoom, etc. For information, just send an email or give me a call or text – CLICK HERE.

BIO: American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as, “world-class clarinetist and pedagogue,” “consummate performer,” “inspirational,” “outstanding teacher,” “super,” “brilliant performer,” and “one of the best clinicians I have ever seen.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. In 2019, he returned for a fourth summer to the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival. He is featured on 6 commercial CD’s including his soon-to-be-released new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube. He was clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and he’s also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He has given more than 500 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, conservatories, conferences, festivals, high schools, junior high schools, and a diverse array of venues.

Born and raised in suburban Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, he was a member of the Texas All-State Band in high school and has since successfully taught the clarinet to all levels of students, from beginners to graduate students. After a successful 20 years of teaching the clarinet at the university level, Dr. Dean relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. His former students perform in military bands, wind ensembles, orchestras, big bands, and more. They hold faculty appointments as successful music educators and administrators and are consistently accepted into prestigious university music schools. They also consistently win awards and distinctions at competitions and festivals including solo & ensemble, all-region, all-state, and various concerto and other competitions.

As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his noted and widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, clarinetmike.wordpress.com. His blog is the #1 clarinet blog on the Internet according to Google Search and a recent ranking on Feedspot. His articles also appear in professional journals such as Southwestern MusicianWINDPLAYERThe Bandmasters’ Review and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former officer on the National Board of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Bob Ackerman, and Jess Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is clarinetmike.com. Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.

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“Unkink Your Hose!”

Does your airflow have kinks like the ClarinetMike Garden Hose?

A few years ago, the city of Hurst, Texas sent out some nice folks to put down new grass in my lawn where they had previously dug it up to fix a water line. As I got out the ClarinetMike Garden Hose to water the new grass in my lawn, I noticed a kink in the hose. So I made sure all the kinks and such were out of the hose and watered my lawn.

I realized this is similar to clarinet playing (and ALL wind instruments!). We need to make sure our air flows freely without any tension or “kinks” in our body.

ClarinetMike says, “Unkink Your Hose!”

Here’s the ClarinetMike Garden Hose working well after removing the kinks.

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Improve Clarinet Tone: The ABC Exercise!

ClarinetMike says, “The ABC Exercise is Easy and it Works! Check It Out!”

The ABC Exercise comes from my research into the amazing pedagogy of master single reed teacher, Joe Allard. I’ve experimented with The ABC Exercise (or ABC) on and off for a number of years. Recently, I’ve been consistently using it in my own practicing and with my students with much success.

Improve Clarinet Tone: The ABC Exercise!
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

What? The ABC Exercise is simply saying the alphabet aloud a few times in a normal voice and then playing the clarinet. This very simple exercise always helps my embouchure and voicing.

When? I use ABC early in my daily Practice Routine as part of working on my embouchure and voicing. I often do ABC after going through the steps of the 5-C Clarinet Embouchure and the related E-Tips for E-Lips clarinet embouchure tips.

Why? So, why does ABC improve my tone? To be honest, I’m not 100% sure. I think what is going on is that saying the alphabet gets me “in touch with things” with respect to my mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, face, etc. in embouchure and voicing.  For example, what do babies do when they learn to speak? They try to copy what they hear by experimenting with their voice using mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, face, etc. They start with “Dada” and end up smoothly using words to easily persuade soft-touch Dad to buy them things, “Hey Dad, I need $100 for …..”

**********

Note: Saying the Alphabet is mentioned in The Joe Allard Project website which features part of Debra McKim’s important dissertation on Joe Allard (see HERE). The ABC Exercise above features my own ideas and thoughts on a technique that Joe Allard taught. As was true on my previously published 5-C Clarinet Embouchure and E-Tips for E-Lips embouchure tips, I happily acknowledge a heavy debt to the great Joe Allard.

Extra: FYI, clarinet people, Joe Allard studied clarinet with Gaston Hamelin (Boston) for 4 years. Note that Hamelin’s famous student was Ralph McLane (Philadelphia) and McLane’s was Harold Wright (Boston). (All of these are famous for their great clarinet tone.)

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ClarinetMike to Perform on Livestream Recital, Saturday, May 30!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

NEWS! I’ll be performing Austin Ali’s recent work, Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski, on a FREE online recital over the Internet on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm CDT (12:30 am UTC/GMT). The live broadcast will be on the Internet HERE.

My performance will be part of Austin Ali’s senior recital at the University of Texas at Austin. The online recital will also feature other great music by this terrific young composer who was recently accepted into the graduate music composition program on full scholarship at UCLA!  Program Notes for my part of the recital are below.

ClarinetMike says, “On May 30 at 7:30 pm cdt, surf over and catch the concert online HERE.”

Program Notes:

Austin Ali’s Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski (2020) for solo clarinet was commissioned by Michael Dean. He premiered it at the University of Michigan and other venues on his February 2020 solo tour of Michigan and Ohio.

Austin Ali said, “Transposing a Feeling is dedicated in memory of Bailey Sikorski, who lost his life to a rare form of leukemia at age 21 in 2017. Bailey was one of the first friends I made during my freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin. As my resident assistant, he kept us freshmen out of trouble. Fresh out of high school band, I was delighted to meet Bailey, a junior at the time and a fellow band kid. I quickly learned Bailey was an exceptionally talented clarinetist. He was extremely passionate about band and music, leading his high school as drum major. I also discovered Bailey’s passion for science and aspirations within UT Aerospace Engineering. Eventually, Bailey went on to design hardware and software at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to be used in NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule to take humans to Mars. Bailey easily became a role model for me at UT. He showed me what a truly talented and motivated young person could accomplish.

“In a school interview, Bailey said, ‘…one dream I had for a really long time was to play in the New York Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I think music is really just another dimension of the human mind. It is truly a unique form of emotional self-expression, a way of transposing a feeling in a way that isn’t possible with words.’ Bailey’s words and memory still resonate with me today, inspiring me to compose Transposing A Feeling: For Bailey Sikorski. If you listen to the piece, you’ll hear sweeping upward gestures on the clarinet as if they were reaching toward the sky. Bailey never stopped reaching for the stars. I hope with the help of this piece, he will be one step closer to reaching them.”

Austin Ali (born 1997) is an international award-winning composer, trumpet player, and conductor based in Austin, Texas. Musicians from Dallas, Texas, to Washington, DC, to Valencia, Spain have performed Austin’s music, including the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Spanish Brass, and Christopher Bill.  His composition mentors include Russell Podgorsek, Donald Grantham, Yevgeniy Sharlat, John Mills, and Christopher Trapani. In addition to composing, Austin loves to play the trumpet. Recently, he toured Guatemala and Costa Rica with the endlessly funky Big Wy’s Brass Band. The group performed as invited guests in an International Jazz Festival in Guatemala City and at a national parade in Limon, Costa Rica with an audience of 10,000 people. Austin served as the primary composer and arranger for the band’s two records Portal to Funkville and Lord Dope. Austin will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. This fall, Austin will pursue graduate work in music composition on full scholarship at UCLA in Los Angeles, California under the mentorship of noted composers Richard Danielpour and Ian Krouse.

American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as, “world-class clarinetist and pedagogue,” “consummate performer,” “inspirational,” “outstanding teacher,” “super,” “brilliant performer,” and “one of the best clinicians I have ever seen.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. He recently returned for a fourth summer to the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival. He is featured on 6 commercial CD’s including his soon-to-be-released new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube. He was clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and he’s also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He has given more than 500 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, conservatories, conferences, festivals, high schools, junior high schools, and a diverse array of venues.

As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his noted and widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, clarinetmike.wordpress.com. His blog is the #1 clarinet blog on the Internet according to Google Search and a recent ranking on Feedspot. His articles also appear in professional journals such as Southwestern MusicianWINDPLAYERThe Bandmasters’ Review and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former officer on the National Board of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). After a successful 20 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Bob Ackerman, and Jess Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is clarinetmike.com. Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Practicing

ClarinetMike practicing at the Scuola di musica Vipiteno at the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy.

Here’s some tips that will help you make the most of your practice sessions.

7 Ways to Improve Your Practicing by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Practice First. “Work expands to fill the time available.” (A time management maxim known as “Parkinson’s Law.”) This means if you wait to practice until you finish all your homework (or housework, etc.), then you won’t practice because you’ll run out of time. So, my suggestion is to practice first for at least one practice session before starting on other work. This way you’ll get at least some practice in every day.
  2. Let There Be Light. Make sure you have adequate light in your practice space. FYI, you should own a couple of stand lights and take them to your rehearsals and gigs. A stand light saved my neck the first time I performed in Italy at the Orfeo Music Festival. I played Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock in an amazing (but dark!) old church – La Chiesa di Santo Spirito, built in 1399!
  3. Care About the Chair. Get a good chair to sit in that is comfortable and the right height for you. Similarly, make sure you have a quality music stand that is adjustable.
  4. Straighten Up and Fly Right. Be sure you sit up or stand with good, relaxed posture – NO slouching, leaning over, leg crisscrossing, etc.
  5. No Fan of Fans. Do not have a ceiling fan (or similar) going above your head or near you while practicing. The fan will blow your sound around and you will not be able to accurately hear yourself.
  6. Turn Off The Phone! Limit distractions by turning off all beeps, buzzers, and bells on cellphones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc.
  7. No TV or Internet. Do not do something else while practicing. I know someone who warms up on his instrument while reading email every morning. Don’t do this.

ClarinetMike says, “Hang in there. Go practice right now.”

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7 Woodwind Doubling Tips

ClarinetMike testing flutes at TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention).

These tips are generally pointed toward doubling on clarinet, saxophone, and flute [my doubles]; however, I believe they also will be useful on double reeds. Further, I think the principles in the tips will generally be helpful on any instrument.

7 Woodwind Doubling Tips by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Think Like a […….]. For example, if you are learning to double on the saxophone, “Think Like a Saxophonist.” This is the most important concept in learning to perform well on a new instrument. It is critical to learn how good performers on an instrument “think,” i.e. approach technical (and musical) issues, especially basics such as embouchure, posture, tonguing, etc. ClarinetMike says, “There’s nothing worse than hearing a clarinetist trying to play the saxophone like a clarinet!”
  2. Have a Goal. Having some kind of doubling goal (even if it’s flexible) will help you make decisions on how to spend your time practicing and studying a new instrument.
  3. Embouchure is Everything. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of good embouchure and voicing. Check out my clarinet embouchure and related clarinet embouchure tips. (The embouchure and related tips owe a heavy debt to master woodwind doubler and teacher Joe Allard.)
  4. Basics are Fundamental. Along with embouchure, focus lots of time on important fundamentals such as relaxation, posture, air/breathing, hand position, tonguing, sound projection, etc. Even though some of these concepts may be similar on your main instrument, make sure you use versions that address the particular needs of your new instrument.
  5. Learn Instrument Specifics. This refers to things like brands of instruments, mouthpieces, ligatures, neckstraps, headjoints, instrument care, music, etc. An area of special consideration should be reeds (this goes double for double reeds!).
  6. Seek out Good Instruction. Find a good teacher (or a good book/video) to guide you. Take some private lessons. [During this time of pandemic, I suggest taking some Skype lessons with a good private teacher. If you can’t find someone or aren’t sure who to ask, sent me an email or text and I’ll help you find someone.]
  7. Listen. Listen to various great performers to give you a sense of how you’d like to sound.
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