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Your Clarinet Summer Glow Up Guide

Happy summer! (If we’re being pedantic, it doesn’t officially start until next week, but these high temperatures could have fooled me!)

If you want to use your summer break for a major musical glow up, you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re unfamiliar, a glow up is a positive transformation, whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual, and now…musical!

There are tons of ways you can improve this summer to complete your clarinet glow up, and here are a few of my recommendations:

  • Set goals. A glow up is all about feeling more confident with yourself, so in order to do that, you should make a list of goals or skills you want to develop this summer. Do you want to improve your technique? Polish your sound? Increase your articulation speed? Learn a new piece? By taking stock of your goals, this will help you add structure to your glow up plan.
  • Work on your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself – what clarinet skills do you need to improve? What would you like to change about your playing? These are the things you should spend a significant amount of time focusing on this summer (and in the future). By tackling these weaknesses, you can begin to improve, which will help you develop confidence both in the practice room and onstage.
  • Get organized. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m kind of a neat freak, but I think it’s so important to cultivate an organized space. Take some time to organize your music, your clarinet case, your digital files (wow at all the digital files I’ve accumulated during the pandemic!), and anything else to help you gain clarity and focus as your work towards achieving your goals.
  • Go back to the basics. There’s a reason you’ve heard this over and over – practice your scales and long tones! The basics might seem boring, but they serve as the foundation as everything we do as musicians. Dedicate a significant portion of each practice routine diving back into scales, long tones, articulation studies, excerpts, and other foundational exercises to help you improve all aspects of your playing.
  • Find inspiration. What is your musical motivation? Why do you want to share music with others? Not to get too deep, but I think that pondering these questions and more will help you remember your “why.” This is important for when the going gets tough, so take some time to revisit old inspirations and discover new ones for an extra dose of motivation this summer.
  • Explore other arts. I believe that the best musicians are the ones who find inspiration all around them, and not just in music. Visit a museum, take a class, do a deep dive on the web, watch some YouTube videos, read a book, or explore other arts this summer. I think you’ll find the experience enriching, and it will only help you become a more well-rounded artist and musician.
  • Get social. A glow up isn’t as fun unless you share it with others! (Or maybe that’s just me…) Share your progress on social media to connect with other clarinetists. Not only will you make new friends, but listening to other musical ideas will give you outside perspectives to consider.

If you’d like to find specific blog posts about your glow up goals, such as improving your articulation, technique, or sound, I’ve created several resources on this website to help you along your journey! Use the search bar to explore topics, articles, and other resources to help you glow up this summer and beyond!