ClarinetMike Tip on “Going Over The Break”

ClarinetMike says, “Teach Good Clarinet Pedagogy!”

Teachers of beginning clarinet students should not teach “Going Over The Break” using the right hand down short cut.  The only exception to this is when a student is having real trouble and “freaking out.” Then, for a very, very limited time the student should be allowed to put it down. Even though it is difficult, it is absolutely critical that students learn to move all the fingers together “Going Over The Break” as this is how they will really play the clarinet.

QUESTION: Should clarinetists put down fingers in the right hand on throat tones ever? Stay tuned! I’ll be posting a ClarinetMike Blog post about this in coming weeks! Here’s a peek at what’s coming:

[Make absolutely sure that students ONLY put down fingers (right hand down or resonance fingerings) in slow passages and NOT in technical passages or scale work. Otherwise, good technique will be hindered.

In my more than 3 decades of teaching clarinet at all levels from 4th graders to graduate students, I’ve seen lots and lots of students who had very dirty technique due to various pedagogical errors like this above. It is simply unacceptable for teachers to hamstring their students with having to go through a mountain of mind-bendingly slow practice to fix these sort of issues later.]

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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2 Responses to ClarinetMike Tip on “Going Over The Break”

  1. I am adding your blog to my WordPress connections.

  2. Pingback: Etude No. 3 “The Caprice” Preparation Tips: ClarinetMike’s 2018-2019 Texas TMEA All-State Soprano Clarinet Clinic | ClarinetMike Blog

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