ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #13 Habits!

2013-07-30 15.07.02

2013-07-30 15.12.26

2013-07-30 15.12.37

When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. While fielding a position, my coaches taught me to keep my right thumb between my first two fingers when the pitcher started to make his pitch. This way, if a ball was hit to me, my fingers would go to the ball in my glove with perfect hand position for throwing a baseball.

I’ve noticed lately that when I’m walking around that my right thumb is often between my first two fingers! I haven’t played baseball in little league for decades, but the finger position habit I developed as a kid is still with me! [I just stopped typing, looked down, and there was my right thumb between my first two fingers!]

The illustration above shows in a small way how we live our lives in habits and routines. In view of this, I believe it is vital that we constantly work to ingrain good habits (physical and mental) in our own clarinet playing and that of our students.

Here’s a poignant example of how this works out in our clarinet world.  Here in Texas, high school students are starting to work on the all-state clarinet music (see my recent post HERE). Many of the students will  rush into the music, trying to play the music too fast for accurate playing. They will therefore learn (make a habit of) wrong notes and especially, wrong rhythms. Then they will spend lots and lots and lots of time trying to “unlearn” the ingrained wrong notes and rhythms.

ClarinetMike says, “Go SLOW and deeply ingrain good habits!!!”

P.S. Check out John Wooden Tip #3 HERE.

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN 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." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he will return to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2017. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He's performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He performed for 11 years with the Paducah Symphony. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog, clarinetmike.wordpress.com-viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents. He was recently a tenured Associate Professor of Clarinet for 11 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He returned to his native Texas in 2012 due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, Bob Ackerman, and Pam Youngblood. His web page, clarinetmike.com, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
This entry was posted in All, ClarinetMike's 101 Clarinet Tips, Performance & Pedagogy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #13 Habits!

  1. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips: #11-20 | ClarinetMike Blog

  2. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s Clarinet Teacher Tips: Habits! | ClarinetMike Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s