• Metronome Mistakes You Might Be Making

    Just like most people know they should be staying hydrated, sleeping more than 6 hours every night, and not subsisting on an abundance of caffeinated beverages, most musicians know that they should probably be using a metronome when they practice. My students already know that I’m a bit of a metronome fanatic. Not only does regular metronome use help you…

  • The Evolution of the Clarinet Choir

    The clarinet is #blessed to have so many members of its family, and amazing things happen when these instruments are combined together to create a clarinet choir. Despite the wide variety of clarinets in different keys throughout its history, the clarinet choir as we know it is a relatively new concept. Let’s start from the beginning. The clarinet was developed…

  • Band directors: Should your clarinetists be double tonguing?

    Throughout the years, I’ve taught quite a few sectionals and have worked with many school clarinet programs, and a common question band directors ask is if their clarinetists should be double tonguing. There are no definitive answers because it depends on the ability level and repertoire of your band program, but here are my thoughts: (Disclaimer: These are my opinions…

  • How to rock your virtual audition

    Another audition season is upon us, and this one will probably look a lot different than many of the previous auditions you’ve taken! Even if you know your way around Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and the multitude of other essential platforms this past year, a virtual audition is a lot more pressure than your average class or meeting, which is why…

  • How practicing is a lot like building a gingerbread house

    If you’ve ever built and decorated a gingerbread house, you know that there’s a process to achieving a festive, Instagram-worthy result. When you’re building a gingerbread house, you can’t expect all the pieces to come together at once – you have to start with a solid foundation, measure and create patterns for the walls, make sure the icing is the…

  • Online Gift Ideas for the Musicians in Your Life

    The holiday season undoubtedly looks a lot different this year than most of us had planned. Even though many traditions and festivities have changed, that’s no excuse not to find the perfect gift for the musicians in your life! You can buy all items on this gift guide online, so you can stay socially distanced and musically connected with loved…

  • What clarinet music should you practice next based on your birthday?

    Are you looking for new musical inspiration? Perhaps you have the end-of-year blahs and just need some new repertoire suggestions? I’m here to help! Find your birthday below for a warm-up book and repertoire suggestion! Note: As much as I enjoy Kroepsch, Kell, Rose, Mozart, Brahms, Weber, and other clarinet classics, I tried to include a wide variety of pieces…

  • Baermann Scale Showdown – A Competitive Way to Gamify Scales

    It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Carl Baermann’s iconic clarinet scale book. In 2017, I created the Baermann Boot Camp (revised in 2019), which served as the catalyst for dozens of my other Boot Camps and digital clarinet products. I created a semi-fictitious holiday to celebrate our buddy Carl’s birthday. Although not directly scale-related, I even shared…

  • Clarinet cryptograms: Are there hidden messages in our repertoire?

    Last week, I began exploring the history of musical espionage (as one does) and found myself delving into the world of musical cryptography. Musical cryptography is using the musical alphabet, notation, solfège, and other elements to encrypt messages into music. Bach, Shostakovich, and many other composers throughout history have used musical cryptography to spell their names. Bach used B-flat-A-C-B natural…

  • This former school is haunted by the ghost of a clarinetist

    The quaintly named Valentine, Nebraska is a small town near the South Dakota border with a population of only a few thousand people. It holds the honors of housing Centennial Hall, Nebraska’s oldest standing school, built in 1897. According to local legend, a student at the school was murdered in Centennial Hall in 1944. The young unnamed girl was a…