• AI Chooses My Clarinet Warm-Up Routine

    Artificial intelligence platforms such as Chat GPT are taking the world by storm! It seems like nearly every sector of society is exploring AI’s capabilities. I’ve even tried it out to see what AI has to say about clarinet pedagogy. I’m back at it again today to see what AI suggests for my clarinet warm-up routine. Here are the results: (tl;dr and my thoughts on AI and clarinet at the end of this article – click here to jump down) Prompt: What’s a good clarinet warm-up routine? Response (copied from Chat GPT): A good clarinet warm-up routine should gradually prepare your body and mind for playing the instrument, and help…

  • Quick Fix Friday: Say Cheers to Good Hand Position

    Happy Friday! This week, we’re saying cheers to the weekend, but also to good hand position! 🥂 So, raise a glass (mugs, coffee cups, and others work best) and notice your hand position as your fingers wrap around the cup. (Don’t hold the cup by the handle.) Do you see how your fingers are slightly curved? The fingers should be relaxed, and there should be no unnatural positions or tensions. Another way to check your hand position is to bring your arms to your side and let your fingers relax. This is also great hand position to use when playing clarinet! Happy Friday, and happy practicing!

  • Quick Fix Friday: Tongue the Ties

    Happy Friday! This week’s quick fix is one of my favorites, since it’s helped me improve my rhythmic precision. Are ties messing up your rhythm? If so, you’re not alone – ties are great to create musical tension and suspension, but they can also obscure the rhythm. The quick fix? Practice the passage a few times, tonguing the tied note so you can better feel the rhythm and subdivision. After this feels comfortable, add the tie back in for more solid and stable rhythm. A lot of times, like in the musical example below, the tie connects to a downbeat. If the rhythm isn’t precise, it can also interfere with…

  • All About the Clarinet d’Amore💕

    Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than by taking a look at this historical clarinet which has been making a recent comeback? Throughout the clarinet’s existence, the clarinet family tree has seen several additions in nearly every key, from the tiny A-flat clarinet to the mighty octo-contrabass clarinet. One peculiar member of the clarinet family is the clarinet d’amore (sometimes spelled clarinet d’amour) – literally the “love” clarinet. The clarinet d’amore was developed around the mid-18th century in Germany, and is most recognizable by its bulbous bell, which is similar to that of an English horn. (Fun fact: this bell is called Liebesfuss in German, which literally translates…

  • The Best Clarinet Romances to Perform this Valentine’s Day

    What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with one of these beautiful Romances written for the clarinet? These lyrical pieces were written to evoke tenderness and heartfelt emotion, so whether you perform them on February 14 or year-round, both you and your audience will surely love them. ❤️ Here are some of my favorite Romances for clarinet: Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • The Beginner’s Complete Guide to the Clarinet

    Congratulations for beginning your clarinet journey! ♫ The clarinet is by far the best instrument out there (or at least it is according to me and this small corner of the internet), and I have several resources to help you get started. I’ve written several articles which will help guide you along as you navigate the process of learning clarinet, and I’ve organized these into a sequential step-by-step outline below. 1. First things first – do you own a clarinet? If yes, proceed to the next step. If not, here are some articles which will help you determine the best choice for you: 2. Now that you have a clarinet,…

  • Quick Fix Friday: Check Your Pivot Points

    Happy Friday! What if I told you that I had a simple solution to pesky technical problems? Good news – I do! Let’s talk about pivot points. Pivot points are when the musical contour changes directions, or “pivots” (hence the name). For example, a technical passage can move upwards before descending or vice versa. I’ve found that a large number of technical issues happen around these pivot points. What usually happens is that your fingers (and maybe your mind) gets used to going in one direction and can’t pivot as quickly as the music calls for. (Think of it like running down a hill and not being able to regain…

  • AI Generated Clarinet Pedagogy

    If you’ve been reading the news lately, you probably know that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming much more prevalent. As I learn more about AI, I was curious to see what it had to say about clarinet pedagogy, so I fed it a few prompts to see what responses it has. Disclaimer: The responses below were generated by AI and should not be considered accurate clarinet pedagogy. Always consult trusted and qualified sources for your clarinet information. No matter how sophisticated technology becomes, there is nothing that can ever replace the specialty skills musicians spend their entire lives developing. AI Generated Clarinet Pedagogy Prompt: How do you assemble a clarinet?…

  • 13 New Year’s Resolutions Ideas for Clarinetists

    Happy New Year! I’d like to take a moment to send you wonderful wishes for a happy, healthy, and musical year! If you’re thinking about making any clarinet-related New Year’s Resolutions, here are 13 ideas to get you started: What are your clarinet New Year’s Resolutions this year? Leave a comment to share yours!

  • Clarinetists’ New Year Refresh

    New Year, new you! (at least that’s what every post this time of year seems to say!) I love a good refresh, and New Year’s Day is always a great time to revisit your goals and start exploring new ideas. Here are a few quick tips and updates you can make so you can set yourself up for success in 2023: P.S. You might also like my articles on New Year’s Resolutions Every Musician Should Make and 9 New Year’s Ideas for Musicians. Happy New Year, and happy practicing!