Category Archives: ClarinetMike’s 101 Clarinet Tips

10 Ways to Practice After a Finger Cut

Recently, a fantastic student clarinetist I know cut their finger. So, I started wondering, “How can a student keep making progress on the clarinet when a finger is ‘out of action’ for a little while or possibly longer.” One of … Continue reading

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Job Search Help: “LinkedIn, Lumpy, and Me”

Spring is here and I know many of you are considering looking for a new job.  Some of you are soon to be spending lots of quality time at the TMEA Job Vacancy Search page! Therefore, I am reposting the … Continue reading

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7 Sight-Reading Tips

7 Sight-Reading Tips by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” Sight-Read. “Just Do It!” The best way to learn to read at sight is to do it every day. Make sure to sight-read all different kinds and levels of music. A nice book … Continue reading

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5 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Fast!

ClarinetMike says, “More Air is the granddaddy of all clarinet tone quick fixes. Here’s five more.” 5 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Fast! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” 1. Show Me Your Reed. Inspect the reed of each and every student. … Continue reading

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Improve Clarinet Articulation!

One of the most important (and tricky) aspects of playing the clarinet is tonguing. Below is an articulation exercise that I’ve found very helpful with my students and in my own playing. Also, below is a ClarinetMike Illustration, i.e. “Storytime … Continue reading

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12 Leadership and Teaching Tips from John Wooden

Recently here at ClarinetMike HQ, we have been discussing the leadership and teaching ideas of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. So, to tip-off my blog in 2021 with a little inspiration, I offer some tips from an article I wrote … Continue reading

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7 Time Management Tips

7  Time Management Tips by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” 1. Get a Plan, Man! Get some kind of plan and DO IT! I have found that having a plan and following it (even if it’s a so-so plan) results in great success. … Continue reading

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The Best Clarinet Fingerings for F# and Eb

The Best Clarinet Fingerings for F# and Ebby Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” Below I offer my opinions on two fingerings that I think should be taught and used by beginning (and all) clarinetists. First space F#/Gb.  Beginners are often taught … Continue reading

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10 Practice Tips for All-State, Solos, and Everything!

Here are 10 general practice tips for preparing the All-State etudes, solos, or any music. I have marked a few spots, Bad Pedagogy, to indicate opportunities for teachers to upgrade their instruction. 10 Practice Tips for All-State, Solos, and Everything! by Dr. … Continue reading

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TMEA All-State Available! PLUS “5 All-State Practice Tips To Get You Started!”

Here We Go! Today, the official 2020-2021 audition materials for the Texas TMEA All-State Band were posted online. Below, I have posted screenshots from the official TMEA.org website of the audition materials for soprano and low clarinets.  I’ve already started to … Continue reading

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