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Teaching Clarinet: The Fourth Lesson

It's Day Four of Beginning Clarinet Class! Today, the students will be doing lots of review and continued development of skills learned in the previous three days as well as adding in a few new things. The students took their instruments home for the first time yesterday, so I am anxious to hear how things went. I always start this particular lesson by asking a few questions. 1. How many of you played your clarinet at home yesterday? 2. How many of you got better? 3. Did anybody have anything happen in their practice time that they want to discuss? This last question is the most important of the three. I want my students to know that it is always OK to talk about their successes and th

Teaching Clarinet: The Third Lesson

It's an exciting day! Today is the day that my students will take home their clarinets for the very first time. Read more about how I structure the third lesson for my clarinet class so that students are set-up for success! As the students arrive for class, I ask them to do the following: 1. Retrieve their instrument case. 2. Sit on the floor and open their case carefully, making sure that the top of the case is up. 3. Put cork grease on all of the tenon corks. 4. Wait patiently for further instructions. Refining the Body Position Once everyone has completed those steps, I ask the students to close their cases for now and set them to the right side of their chairs. We stand and review

Teaching Clarinet: Day Two

After spending the first lesson getting acquainted with our new instruments and learning a little about body awareness, it's time to delve a little more deeply into our interactions with our clarinets. As we move forward with instruction, it is important to remember to review concepts and skills that were practiced in lesson one. On my list of items to review include: 1. Names of each part of the instrument 2. Reciting the musical alphabet forward and backward. Today we will add a twist! We won't always start on the same letter. 3. Posture and body position If we have time, we will also learn our finger numbers at some point during the lesson when I feel the students need a break in th

Teaching Clarinet: The Very First Lesson

In June, I teach a three week summer band class for beginning students along with my colleagues. We teach Summer Band as an entire district with teachers and students from all three middle schools coming together for the camp. There are many benefits to this arrangement, but one of the things that I love most is that the directors, for the most part, get to teach their instrument specialties. This arrangement makes for very detailed, specialized instruction for all the students who attend! This summer, I taught two clarinet classes and a saxophone class. Each class was 55 minutes in length and had about 25-30 students. I have changed my approach to teaching beginners quite a bit over th

© 2020 by Wendy Higdon