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”
- 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 and 5 E-Tips For E-Lips
- Relaxation and Posture. “If you ain’t relaxed, you ain’t nothin’.” [Bad English, Good Pedagogy!] LINKS: Head Position, Don’t Lean Over, Don’t Look Down, and Unkink Your Hose.
- Tonguing, Tonguing, Tonguing! Spend quality time with your new best friend, “Betty.” LINK: Basic Tonguing Exercise a.k.a. “Betty”
- 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-No, and The Fast Way.
- Reed and Ligature Placement. Coach John Wooden said, “Little Things Make Big Things Happen.” LINK: Reed and Ligature Placement
- PROJECT! Teach Clarinet Sound Projection. It’s easy to teach and do. LINK: Sound Projection
- 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.”