7 Tricks For Clarinet Teachers

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” Teaching A Lesson

Are you a new clarinet teacher looking for help? Are you a seasoned clarinet teacher looking for upgrades? Have you taught the clarinet since the Hoover Presidency and want to continue to improve? Well, ClarinetMike is lookin’ out for ya! Below are some tips that will help new (and OLD!) teachers produce excellent clarinet students. Be sure to carefully study the information at the LINKS below.

7 Tricks For Clarinet Teachers by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. Embouchure is Everything.  Your understanding of and the ability to teach good embouchure is the most critical part of producing good clarinet students. LINKS: 5-C Clarinet Embouchure,  5 E-Tips For E-Lips
  2. Relaxation and Posture. “If you ain’t relaxed, you ain’t nothin’.” LINKS: Unkink Your HoseHead PositionDon’t Lean OverDon’t Look Down
  3. Tonguing, Tonguing, Tonguing! Spend quality time with your new best friend, “Betty.” LINK: Basic Tonguing Exercise a.k.a. “Betty”
  4. COUNT! Teach your students how to count and learn music for themselves. Rote-only private lesson teachers are bad private lesson teachers.  Also, discourage students from just copying a recording or YouTube video on region or solo music. These and similar “short cuts” are shortsighted and end up hurting the students we are charged to help.  LINKS:  Rhy-No Practice,  Feed The Rhy-NoThe Fast Way
  5. Reed and Ligature Placement.  Coach John Wooden said, “Little Things Make Big Things Happen.” LINK: Reed and Ligature Placement
  6. PROJECT! Teach Clarinet Sound Projection. It’s easy to teach and do. LINK: Sound Projection
  7. Maximize Your Maxims. Repeatedly use short, memorable comments that concisely and quickly communicate your concepts and ideas. LINK: Maxims

ClarinetMike Says, “Clarinet Embouchure is possibly the weakest link in current clarinet pedagogy. Spend as much time as possible figuring out how to teach good embouchure – check out 5-C Clarinet Embouchure and 5 E-Tips For E-Lips.”

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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