• 10 Mildly Irritating Moments in Clarinet Repertoire

    You know those times when you’re playing through your clarinet music (the classics, if you will) and it’s all smooth sailing? You’re getting all the accidentals, tricky rhythms, and life is good…until you reach one of these infamously annoying sections. Nothing impossible, but gosh darn it, why did the composer have to do that? Kudos to you if you can name each piece! What other mildly irritating moments in clarinet repertoire can you think of?

  • Why Distractions Make You a Better Performer

    The crisp snap of the opening Coke can was followed by the rude guzzling of the ice-cold refreshment.  The fizz of carbonation gradually lessened after its owner noisily placed the soda on the folding table in the makeshift band room.  The entrance of a second soda-wielding woman was announced by a slamming door, causing the snare drums to sizzle.  As the two soda-slurping women discussed their lunch options, I focused on the manipulated sound of the electric keyboard playing the accompaniment to the lyrical movement of Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 73.  This wasn’t a casual practice session – this was the final…