Photo credit: Lucie Bigo / Henri Selmer Paris

Hi, hello, salut, bonjour, and welcome to Jenny Clarinet, your virtual clarinet haven!

My name is Jenny Maclay, and I’m a self-proclaimed clarinetologist. I created this blog in 2015 to combine two of my biggest passions – clarinet and writing. There are few things I enjoy more than researching the clarinet’s history, repertoire, performers, pedagogues, and cultural significance, and I hope my blog is a treasure trove of information and resources for clarinetists and musicians of all kind.

If you’re new here, thanks for stopping by – it’s so nice to meet you! Here are a few frequently asked questions to help us become better acquainted:

  • Is your name really Jenny Clarinet? Sadly, no (at least not yet…). My friends gave me this nickname around 2007 when it became abundantly clear that I would probably never outgrow the clari-nerd phase.
  • Why did you start Jenny Clarinet? I created Jenny Clarinet (the blog) in 2015 as a resource for my private students when I moved to Paris (more on that in a bit). I wanted this to be a helpful tool for any clarinetist to use to learn and improve on their musical journey (kind of like Google, but for clarinets).
  • Where are you from? I’m from Alabama, but I have completed my clarinet performance degrees in three different countries – United States; Paris, France; and Montréal, Canada.
  • Si tu as étudié à Paris et Montréal, tu parles français? Bien sûr!
  • Besides clarinet and writing, what do you like to do? I love travelling! I’ve been to over 30 countries, and I would like to visit as many different places as possible. I also enjoy reading books about clarinet and music history (especially biographies of composers and performers), and my favorite non-music author is Stephen King. I also like cats and coffee, and I’ve been a vegetarian since 2004.
  • If you had to play another instrument, what would it be? Since 2018, I’ve become mildly obsessed with the theremin and learning how to play it. I’d also like to learn accordion and bagpipes.
  • What’s your favorite holiday? I absolutely love Halloween, which is why you can find several thematic articles in October, such as the bizarre deaths of historical clarinetists and the curse of the yellow clarinet.
  • Do you offer virtual clarinet lessons? Yep! I’ve been teaching virtually since 2013, and you can contact me if you’re interested in joining my online studio.
  • Don’t you do those Boot Camps? Indeed I do! I’ve created several different Boot Camps, intensive practice plans devoted to standard clarinet repertoire, and you can find out everything you wanted to know about them here.
  • What’s your setup? I play the Henri Selmer Paris Privilège clarinet (Bb and A), Vandoren M13 mouthpiece, Vandoren M/O pink gold ligature, Vandoren V12 reeds (strength 3.5)

Now that you know a bit about me, it would be great to hear from you! Feel free to send me a message and introduce yourself!