• 101 Clarinet Compositions Written by Women Composers

    Happy Women’s History Month! To celebrate, here are 101 clarinet compositions written by female composers. I know there are many more wonderful works than the ones I’ve included here, so I am planning on making this a multi-part series. Leave a comment below with your favorite piece(s) for me to include on the next part! By the way, if you want to learn more about female clarinet history, here are some other articles I’ve written you might be interested in reading: Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History 100 Famous Female Clarinetists 100 More Famous Female Clarinetists Clarinet method and étude books written by women Without further ado, here are 101 clarinet compositions…

  • Clarinet Articulation Troubleshooting Guide

    Let’s talk about tonguing, shall we? For something so simple in theory, there are certainly quite a few variables which might impede your progress. Articulation on string instruments or the piano can clearly be seen, but it is much more difficult to identify potential articulation issues on wind instrument since we must rely only on what we hear. (Unless you go high-tech and film the inside of your mouth while playing.) If you aren’t satisfied with the quality of your articulation, ask yourself these questions below to see if you can identify possible problems. Most importantly, never neglect the quality of your articulation in pursuit of articulation speed. (You might…

  • 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 to develop stable rhythm, but this rhythmic stability in turns creates more precise technique. (imperfect rhythm leads to imperfect technique) If you’ve already embraced the power of the metronome (good for you!), make sure you aren’t making any of these mistakes which could diminish your progress. Metronome mistakes you might…

  • 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 around the turn of the 18th century by Johann Christoph Denner in Nuremberg, Germany, and it quickly gained traction as both an ensemble and solo instrument. Early clarinets had very few keys, and as a result were not able to access all key signatures. For example, in order to perform…

  • 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 as a clarinet performer, researcher, and pedagogue. Band directors reading this know the ability levels of their students and can make specific recommendations and decisions based on their musicians.) If I had to give a universal answer, I would say that no, clarinetists shouldn’t be expected to double tongue (at…

  • 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 I’m here to help! I’ve performed and adjudicated several virtual auditions and interviews, and here are my top tips so you can focus on the music and rock your audition: Make sure you have the tech info. There are few things worse than frantically digging through your inbox before an…

  • 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 right consistency to hold all the pieces together, collect an assortment of candy decorations, and a plethora of other methodical steps to ensure a beautiful (and delicious) final result. When you’re building a gingerbread house, you might encounter bumps and bruises along the way – that’s just how the cookie…

  • 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 ones this holiday season. The best part? These gifts are procrastination-proof! Since all of these gifts are entirely online, you don’t have to wait for shipping! There are hundreds of amazing online retailers which offer valuable goods and services tailored to musicians, and this list is just a starting point…

  • 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 to help you discover new music. What’s your birth month? Choose your birth month for a new book to add to your warm-up routine! January – Preliminary Exercises & Etudes in Contemporary Techniques by Ronald Caravan February – 26 Cadenzas in the Form of Preludes (Vingt-Six Cadences en forme de…

  • 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 the true story of how Carl’s dumplings and strudel inspired Mendelssohn to write a famous piece of clarinet literature! I think it’s safe to say that I’m a big fan of Baermann and his contributions to the clarinet (particularly his scale exercises). Now, I’d like to introduce you to my…