5 Step All-State Preparation Outline [Clinic]

ClarinetMike says, “Prepare Carefully, Perform Carefree!”

The All-State Preparation Outline below is loaded with information from my ClarinetMike All-State Clarinet Clinics (click here).  Included in the outline is a template I use in preparing my annual Complete Clinic Notes on the all-state etudes. Look for more All-State help from ClarinetMike coming soon!

ClarinetMike’s All-State Preparation Outline
Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”
Clarinet Performing, Teaching and Consulting
Hurst, Texas * 682-888-7639
clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com * clarinetmike.com

Step 1: Preliminary Concerns

  1. Get quality equipment. 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 Always about the MUSIC. So, work on ARTC Basics & ARTSY Musical Style (Phrasing, especially Romantic Style)
  2. Loading & Unloading (See Frank R. Wilson) Slow Careful Practice = Speedy, Confident Performing. 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.

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 music terms, notation, ornaments, etc.
  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: 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

Step 5: Further Study

  1. See Internet links above.
  2. Listen to the general style on youtube.com.
  3. Check out documents, videos, posts, etc. on www.clarinetmike.com and www.clarinetmike.wordpress.com.
  4. See TMEA Performance Guides.
  5. Watch for more all-state help on this ClarinetMike Blog coming soon!

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 Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he returned to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2018. 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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