Duo 35 Performs at International Woodwind Duo Symposium! PLUS Complete Symposium Schedule of Performances and Master Classes on April 13-14, 2018 at Sam Houston State University!

International Woodwind Duo Symposium on April 13-14, 2018 at Sam Houston State University!

Duo 35 is ready to Rock The House! Todd Oxford and I will be performing Saturday afternoon, April 14 at 2 pm at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas as part of the International Woodwind Duo Symposium (IWDS) on April 13-14, 2018! Below are the complete IWDS conference schedule, our Duo 35 performance program and program notes, and a special treat: a cool video of IWDS Director, Masahito Sugihara, discussing his Awea Duo, the IWDS Symposium, and more! ClarinetMike says, “HEY! All Symposium Events are FREE and Open to the Public! CHECK IT OUT!!”

Symposium Schedule (website)
Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.

Friday, April 13, 2018 (click the name to see program information)
3:00pm       Registration 
3:30pm       Duo Rodinia
4:00pm       Ikigaioto Duo
4:30pm       Roberto de Guzman & Ellie Parker
5:00pm       Proud Duo
Dinner Break
7:30pm       Featured Guest Artist Recital with King-Lyman Duo and Citizens of Nowhere

Saturday, April 14, 2018 (click the name to see program information)
8:00am       Registration 

8:30am       Darkwood Duo
9:00am       FL-AIR
9:30am       Duo Zúñiga-Guandique
10:00am     King-Lyman Duo Masterclass
11:00am     Synergy 78
11:30am     Greg Dewhirst and Andy Wright Duo
11:45am     Riel Duo
                     Lunch Break
       Three Reeds Duo
2:00pm       Duo 35
2:30pm       Citizens of Nowhere Masterclass      
4:00pm       Closing Concert featuring the Competition Winners

Vendor Booths: 8:00am-4:00pm in Room 201
High School Duo Competition: 9:00-10:00am in Room 205
Young Artist Duo Competition: 9:00-10:40am in Room 202

IWDS Director Masahito Sugihara Interview:

Duo 35
Michael Dean, clarinet
Todd Oxford, saxophone

Saturday, April 14, 2018, 2:00pm
Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

Talking Pictures for clarinet & soprano saxophone (1984) – Amy Quate (b. 1953)
Water Dance

​Timing: 20 minutes

Composer Amy Quate works in a wide variety of musical styles, forms, and media. Her career encompasses commissioned compositions, musical performing, computer music, computer graphics, audio and video technical work, and multi-media production. She has published both literary and musical compositions. For the Tenth World Saxophone Congress (September 1992, Pesaro, Italy), Professor Debra Richtmeyer, Vice President of the North American Saxophone Association, commissioned Ace of Swords, a work for alto saxophone, percussion and piano. Quate’s instrumental compositions include an alto saxophone sonata commissioned for the Seventh World Saxophone Congress, Light of Sothis (1982, Leduc), Laguna Madre (1988, Leduc) for soprano saxophone, and several tuba solos published by CCP/Belwin.

In 1984, Amy Quate received the Grand Prize of the American Chamber Music Composition Competition for her soprano saxophone and clarinet suite, Talking Pictures, a piece commissioned for the grand opening of the Dallas Museum of Art. Quate’s university degrees are a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York), and a Master of Music in Composition from the University of North Texas.

Ensemble Bio:
Duo 35 is a dynamic chamber ensemble featuring Michael Dean on clarinet and Todd Oxford on saxophone. The Texas-based duo engages and entertains audiences with a fresh and versatile repertoire of mostly new music. Duo 35 recently performed to enthusiastic audiences in a wildly successful tour of Alabama and Texas that included a featured performance at the NACWPI 2017 National Conference at the University of Montevallo.

American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” 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.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. He is featured on five commercial CD’s and recently recorded a new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake, due in 2018. For 11 years he was a clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony and has given more than 300 clinics, master classes, and performances at high schools, universities, and conferences. As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, www.clarinetmike.wordpress.com. After a successful 20 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, Dr. Dean relocated to his native Texas in 2012 due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet performer, teacher, clinician, and blogger based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. He is a BG France Performing Artist. His professional website is www.clarinetmike.com.

Todd Oxford has appeared as a concert artist, recording artist and on radio and television in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and across the USA. Recent engagements include Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, CAMI Hall in New York, and Texas Rangers Ballpark performing for 30,000 fans. International appearances include Europe, Mexico, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Thailand, and Indonesia. He has appeared on the artist rosters of Columbia Artists Management, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Arts Mid-West. His professional awards include two consecutive New York Debut Awards, six Global Music Awards, Grammy Award nomination, and a recent feature in Billboard Magazine. He appears on eighteen commercially available recordings on the Equilibrium, Mark, Navona, Kairoi, and JLG record labels with worldwide distribution via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and major online retailers. He is an Artist Endorser for Eastman Saxophones and Associate Professor of Saxophone at Texas State University. His professional website is www.toddoxfordsaxophonist.com.

Posted in All, News, Performance & Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


ClarinetMike says, “Swab Your Clarinet!!!”

Spring Break is over here in Texas, but the weather is beautiful and mild –  lots of sun and 70 degree temperatures! [Hang In There Northeast USA!] Nevertheless, there’s a lingering issue I must comment on.

  • It has come to my attention that many students do not swab their clarinets after every practice session. This is bad for a million gross reasons.
  • And I have come to understand that some clarinet teachers do not emphasize the importance of swabbing the clarinet. THIS IS REALLY BAD.
  • I have also come to understand that some clarinet teachers tell their students to NEVER swab their mouthpieces ever. THIS IS SUPER DUPER BAD!!!

So, here’s a small slice of clarinet instruction from ClarinetMike:

Common sense (the best tool in a teacher’s toolbox) clearly says you should swab out your clarinet, including the mouthpiece, after every practice or performance, etc. Also, swab your clarinet during these sessions as needed. Excessive water in the instrument, especially “Flooding Out,” damages good clarinet playing.

NOTE: The swab I’m holding up in the picture above is a GEM Swab. I recommend using “hanky” style swabs like this one. I do not recommend using the stubby little nylon cheapo ones that often come with new clarinets. These little demons can get stuck in your clarinet! And that is BAD!


Posted in All, ClarinetMike's Clarinet Teacher Tips, Performance & Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ClarinetMike Blog 7th Anniversary Contest: Subscribe by Email to the Free Blog and WIN A PRIZE!

ClarinetMike says, “Thanks for making the ClarinetMike Blog the #1 Clarinet Blog in the World according to Google Search. Subscribe by Email for Free to the Blog to Never Miss a Post and WIN A PRIZE!”

HISTORY: Early in 2011, Mrs. ClarinetMike said to me, “Hey, you should start a clarinet blog.” And then on March 16, 2011, I posted the following:

Welcome to ClarinetMike Blog!

Hello World! My name is Michael Dean (aka ClarinetMike) and this is my new blog.  I will be posting on all things clarinet (and saxophone, too).  To stay updated you may want to subscribe to my blog by email or RSS – see the buttons to the right. Thanks! Mike


CONTEST: To celebrate the 7th Anniversary of the ClarinetMike Blog and to encourage people to subscribe by email (FREE!),  I’ve decided to run a contest as in years past. (Note: Subscribing by email for free helps ensure you don’t miss a ClarinetMike Blog Post. Facebook is now heavily filtering what it puts out on News Feed, Groups, etc.)

Who? The contest is open to all. FIVE lucky winners will be randomly selected after Friday, March 23. (Note: Some prizes below have travel restrictions.*) Winners will be notified privately and not announced.

What? Possible Prizes include (but not limited to):

Clarinet CD
ClarinetMike Clinic*
ClarinetMike Skype Lesson
Clarinet CD Download Card
ClarinetMike One-Day Residency with Clinics, etc.*
Restaurant Gift Card (at one of ClarinetMike’s Favorites!)

When? Contest begins immediately (right now!) and ends Friday, March 23, 2018 at NOON Central Time USA (5 pm UTC or GMT).

How? To enter the contest, you must subscribe to the ClarinetMike Blog. Go to Email Subscription under the Archives at the bottom right side of this blog post. Just enter your email address in the box and then click “Sign me up!” If you’ve already subscribed by email and want to enter the contest, comment on this post or send me an email (clarinetmiketexas@yahoo.com).


THANKS! Hey, thanks for making the ClarinetMike Blog the #1 clarinet blog in the world according to Google Search.

Posted in All, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

JOB SEARCH HELP! ClarinetMike’s “LinkedIn, Lumpy, and Me”

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

It is Spring Break time here in Texas and I know many of you are looking for a job (or a better one!).  Some of you are soon to be spending lots of quality time at the TMEA Job Vacancy Search page – click here. Therefore, I am reposting the below.

[FYI, I’ve recently spruced up my own LinkedIn Profile with an updated bio, new videos, recommendations, etc. Join me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/clarinetmike/]

“LinkedIn, Lumpy and Me” by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

Scene: ClarinetMike is chatting with Lumpy, an assistant band director, between lessons outside a practice room in a large band hall.

ClarinetMike: I recently set up my own LinkedIn page, why don’t you connect to me?


ClarinetMike: It is a business-oriented social networking service. [See Wikipedia on it.]

Lumpy:  I don’t need more to do – I never even post on Facebook! Why should I care about LinkedIn?

ClarinetMike: Excellent question, Lumpy. LinkedIn is hot in the business world and there seems to be a lot of musicians and music organizations on it.  The key thing about LinkedIn is that it is focused entirely on job-related stuff. I’ve noticed that many music people who are not on Facebook have profiles on LinkedIn.

Lumpy: I know that Wally, the head band director here, is not on Facebook. Is he on LinkedIn?

ClarinetMike: Yes. I just connected with Wally on there yesterday.

Lumpy: He’s on there? Wow! What does LinkedIn offer? Will it help me get a better job?

ClarinetMike: Perceptive question, Lumpy! My brother-in-law, Ward, is a Human Resources Director at a large company. He told me that in the business world, “if you are looking for a job,  you need to have a profile on LinkedIn.”

Lumpy: So, a LinkedIn Profile is like an online resume for those looking for a job. Correct?

ClarinetMike: Yes, correct. And, there’s more. LinkedIn also has discipline-specific professional groups where people post and discuss various issues in a way similar to Facebook. However, it is all related to business – no pictures of June’s lovely new dress or Beav and Larry playing baseball, etc.

Lumpy: Sounds interesting. Tell me more….

ClarinetMike: I’m still new to it myself and learning about it. I also think that LinkedIn is evolving and changing much as Facebook did. I’ll send you a recent YouTube video that has information on setting up a profile.

YouTube Video: 

Lumpy: Thanks! I’ll check out LinkedIn. I’ll also have to connect to our friend Eddie, the horn teacher. I’m sure he’s on there!


ClarinetMike says, “Get a LinkedIn profile and connect to me HERE.”

Posted in All | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Immediately! (or almost immediately)

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” after an orchestra concert.

ClarinetMike says, “The granddaddy and best of all clarinet tone quick fixes is ‘More Air.’ Here’s 7 more.”

7 Ways to Improve Clarinet Tone Immediately! (or almost immediately)
by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

1. Show Me Your Reed! I suggest band directors and private teachers personally inspect the reed of each and every student. Don’t let the students play on reeds that are super old (soft) or badly chipped (however, sometimes slightly chipped reeds will play ok).  This leads to:

2. Get a Good Reed! Do what it takes to have high quality reeds to practice and perform on. Check out the newer reeds from Vandoren and D’Addario. Remember, the best clarinet player in the world sounds bad on a bad reed.

3. Don’t Pinch The Corners of the Reed. Be sure to keep the lower lip flat against the reed so as not to crimp the sides of the reed.  Once past the reed, the lips can seal to keep air from leaking out. Remember, clarinet sound is produced by the vibration of the reed. The more the reed vibrates, the more sound is produced. (This is E-Tip #2 from my 5 E-Tips for E-Lips Clarinet Embouchure Tips. For more on this tip and the other embouchure E-Tips, go HERE.)

4. Voice Eee’s.  I’ve found it very helpful to use different “Eee” syllables when playing in different registers on the clarinet. Go HERE to check out the syllables. (This is E-Tip #3  from my 5 E-Tips for E-Lips Clarinet Embouchure Tips. For more on this tip and the other embouchure E-Tips, go HERE.)

5. Sit Up Tall. Noted clarinetist Julian Bliss said something similar at a clinic I recently attended at TMEA. Check out a couple related ClarinetMike Blog posts HERE and HERE.

6. Project Your Sound. Think about it, work on it, and DO IT! Check out my article on sound projection HERE.

7. THINK! Pay Attention to Tone.  Students: Don’t just mindlessly blow. Listen! Teachers: Don’t put up with bad clarinet sounds – work on them! You will find my 5-C Clarinet Embouchure helpful: check it out HERE.

NOTE: The above is a revised and enhanced version of a previous post.

Posted in All, Performance & Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dogs, Baseball and Clarinet Playing! Harness the POWER of Great Clarinet Habits for You and Your Students!

DOG! Our beloved family Golden Retriever, Andy, was a creature of constant habit, just like people!

BASEBALL! When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. While fielding a position, my coaches taught me to keep my right thumb between my first two fingers when the pitcher started to make his pitch. This way, if a ball was hit to me, my fingers would go to the ball in my glove with perfect hand position for throwing a baseball (see pictures below).

I’ve noticed lately that when I’m walking around that my right thumb is often between my first two fingers! I haven’t played baseball in little league for decades, but the finger position habit I developed as a kid is still with me! [I just stopped typing, looked down, and there was my right thumb between my first two fingers!]

CLARINET! The above is a small, but significant, illustration of the power of habit to shape our lives.  In view of this, I believe it is vital that we constantly work to ingrain great habits (physical and mental) in our own clarinet playing and that of our students. This is true not only for the rhythms, notes and dynamics of a specific work one is working on, but with fundamentals such as relaxation, posture, confidence, embouchure, tone, tonguing, voicing, etc.  

Here’s an example of how this often works out in the clarinet (and saxophone, etc.) world. In late April, music majors at colleges and universities in the USA will be feverishly preparing scales, etudes, solos and such for upcoming music juries in May. Some will be in a panic because they did not spend enough time earlier in the semester learning their music slowly and carefully  – they rushed through the music playing it too fast for accurate learning. They made habits of no dynamics, poor rhythms, and even wrong notes.  Then in late April, they’ll spend lots and lots and lots of time frantically trying to fix the jury music and “unlearn” all the ingrained (or habitualized) crummy playing. (For help on practicing – GO HERE.)

ClarinetMike says, “Constantly Load GREAT HABITS!”

NOTE: The above is modified version of a previous post.


Posted in All, Performance & Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ClarinetMike at TMEA 2018: Free Clarinet Consulting!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”


I will be offering FREE clarinet advice and good cheer at the Texas Music Educators Association [TMEA] Clinic/Convention 2018 on February 14-17 in beautiful downtown San Antonio. I’ll be at the BG Franck Bichon Booth (#353) in the Exhibits offering free clarinet consultation on the below days/times. Also, below is a list of other great clarinet events during TMEA 2018 (please let me know if I missed any). Special thanks to Franck Bichon, Juan Garijo, Tim Elvy and all the great folks at BG!

ClarinetMike says, “Please feel free to text me at 682-888-7639 if you want to chat about clarinet at a different time during TMEA. I arrive in San Antonio on Wednesday at noon and leave Saturday in the early afternoon.”

ClarinetMike at TMEA 2018: Free Clarinet Consulting!
BG Franck Bichon Booth #353 in Exhibits, Hall 1 & 2
Thursday, February 15:  9-11 am and 4-5 pm (I can keep going after 5 pm)
Friday, February 16: 10 am-NOON and 4-6 pm


Clarinet Events at TMEA 2018
Thursday, February 15

9 am-5 pm: Exhibits Open

9-11 am:  ClarinetMike at TMEA: Free Clarinet Consulting! BG Franck Bichon Booth #353 in Exhibits, Hall 1 & 2

11:30 am-12:30 pm: David Shea (Texas Tech) Clinic “Clarinet Fundamentals Toolkit – Fix Your Clarinet Section,” CC Stars at Night Ballroom 1

2-2:30 pm: Texas Tech University Clarinet Choir Concert, CC West Registration Music Showcase

3:30-4 pm: all about 5: A Woodwind Quintet Concert, CC West Lobby Music Showcase

4-5 pm: ClarinetMike at TMEA: Free Clarinet Consulting! BG Franck Bichon Booth #353 in Exhibits, Hall 1 & 2 [NOTE: I can keep going with consulting after 5 pm.]

Clarinet Events at TMEA 2018
Friday, February 16

9:30 am-10 am: Texas Woman’s University Clarinet Quartet Concert, CC West Lobby Music Showcase

10 am-8 pm: Exhibits Open

10 am-Noon: ClarinetMike at TMEA: Free Clarinet Consulting! BG Franck Bichon Booth #353 in Exhibits, Hall 1 & 2

2:30-3:30 pm: all about 5: A Woodwind Quintet Clinic, “Using the Woodwind Quintet as a Teaching Tool,” CC Stars at Night Ballroom 1

4 pm-6 pm: ClarinetMike at TMEA: Free Clarinet Consulting! BG Franck Bichon Booth #353 in Exhibits, Hall 1 & 2

6:30-7:30 pm: Julian Bliss Clarinet Clinic: “Improve Your Clarinet Section” CC 221

Clarinet Events at TMEA 2018
Saturday, February 17

9 am-NOON: Exhibits Open

Noon-12:30 pm: Neo Trio Clarinet Concert, CC West Lobby Music Showcase

Posted in All, News, Performance & Pedagogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment