Texas All-State Clarinet Music: ClarinetMike’s Preparation Guide and Template

ClarinetMike Clarinet Clinic

ClarinetMike says “Always practice with ARTC Basics and ARTSY Style!”

[NOTE: Below is a slightly revised version of a previous blog post. This guide and template are from my All-State Clinic Lecture Notes. Look for more All-State help from ClarinetMike in coming weeks!]

Texas All-State Clarinet Music:
ClarinetMike’s Preparation Guide and Template

Dr. Michael Dean
“Building Great Clarinetists”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com * 682-888-7639
clarinetmike.wordpress.com * clarinetmike.com

Preliminary Concerns

  1. Get quality equipment. My set up: Buffet R13, M13 Lyre/Rico Reserve XO, Vandoren V12 3.5/Rico Reserve Classic 3.5, BG Revelation or Super Revelation, metronome/tuner, silk swab, BG Pad Dryer, etc.
  2. Find a good private teacher. [Don’t just copy a recording. Learn to count!]


Core Concepts

  1. It’s Always about the MUSIC. So, work on ARTC Basics & ARTSY Musical Style (Phrasing, esp. Romantic style)
  2. Loading & Unloading (See Frank R. Wilson) Slow Careful Practice = Speedy, Confident Performance. The Tortoise and the Hare – Be a Turtle!
  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.

General Prep Tips

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


Etude Prep Template

  1. Overview on composer and musical style.
  2. Key(s) and Tempo(s).
  3. Scale and Arpeggio Cheat Sheet
  4. Technical Issues (articulation, rhythms, fingerings, etc.).
  5. Problem Passages.
  6. Sections, Phrases, and Musical Issues.
  7. Breath Marks.
  8. Other.
  9. Suggested Listening

Further Study

  1. See Internet links above.
  2. Listen to style on youtube.com.
  3. Check out documents, videos, etc. on www.clarinetmike.com and www.clarinetmike.wordpress.com.
  4. See TMEA Performance Guides.

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.
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3 Responses to Texas All-State Clarinet Music: ClarinetMike’s Preparation Guide and Template

  1. Elias García says:

    Interesante muy interesante felicidades

  2. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Preparation Tips: Soprano Clarinet Etudes 2014-15 | ClarinetMike Blog

  3. Pingback: ClarinetMike’s Texas All-State Clarinet Clinic: Preparation Guide | ClarinetMike Blog

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