Clarinet Pages

 

FINDING A CLARINET TEACHER

The most common feedback I get from this page is "I've read your site, now what can I do to get better?"

You cannot study the clarinet on the internet, or as a correspondance course. At some point, you need one-on-one feedback about your embouchure, hand position, sound quality, and rhythmic sense, to start with the basics. If you are serious about improving, private lessons are a necessary investment. The following are suggestions about finding a teacher.

1) Find the clarinet players your age you most admire and respect - the ones who make All-State and win the competitions and such. Ask them who their teachers are.

2) Ask your school band/orchestra director.

3) Call the office of the nearest professional orchestra and ask whether they can put you in touch with their clarinet players to arrange lessons.

4) Call the nearest conservatory or college/university with a strong music department. Ask whether they have any programs or advice for someone in your situation. Some schools have "preparatory divisions" that offer lessons and sometimes chamber music, theory, and ensemble experience.

You might consider taking some trial lessons with several people before settling on one. Remember, if one teacher doesn't work out for you you can always try another. Do give yourself long enough with a teacher to see if you begin to improve. Realize that a good teacher will insist on hard work and discipline in your practice: scales, long tones, other things you might not consider fun and interesting at first. Expect a teacher to be demanding and honest, though not verbally or emotionally abusive - though if you have a sensitive personality it might be hard to tell the difference sometimes! Do not accept any sort of physical abuse from a teacher EVER, and report any to an adult you trust.