• The Importance of Musical Prompts

    One of the challenges in performance or audition situations is transitioning smoothly from one piece to another. It can be difficult to instantly switch from one style or musical character to another, so how you can practice these changes before you perform? By using musical prompts. If you’ve ever given a presentation, you’ve probably used cue cards. Instead of printing…

  • Introducing the Jenny Clarinet Academy!

    I’m beyond excited to announce the launch of the Jenny Clarinet Academy, a comprehensive online clarinet curriculum created to help improve your knowledge of the clarinet and its performance fundamentals, history, pedagogy, repertoire, and a variety of other subjects. I’ve been working on this project for quite some time, and I’m happy to finally share it with the world. I’m offering…

  • Clarinet World Records

    Music is a competitive field, especially if you’re trying to set or break a world record! Here are a few clarinet world records (official and unofficial): Guinness World Record for longest career as a clarinetist. Stanley Drucker received this award for performing with the New York Philharmonic for 62 years! Guinness World Record for largest clarinet ensemble. The largest clarinet…

  • Quick Fix Friday: Play scales musically

    It’s been a while since I’ve written a Quick Fix Friday! Here’s a quick fix to start your weekend on the right note: Do you practice your scales (or other technical exercises) with the same musical intention as you do when you’re working on études or repertoire? Chances are, probably not. Scales are music too, but a large number of…

  • Unsolved mysteries of clarinet history

    If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, it should come as no surprise to learn that I love clarinet history. I love learning about the people, places, and things that make the clarinet so great, and I especially enjoy learning about some of the more unusual bits of clarinet history. Although we certainly know quite a bit about…

  • How dumplings inspired this composer to write a famous clarinet work

    I have to be quite honest…I never would have imagined that dumplings played an important (albeit odd) role in clarinet history. Here’s the story, according to Carl Baermann’s 1882 Erinnerungen eines alten Musikanten (Memories of an Old Musician): In addition to being prominent clarinet virtuosi, German clarinet Heinrich Baermann (for whom Weber wrote his clarinet concerti) and his son Carl…

  • How to stay cool in the practice room this summer

    If you’re living in the northern hemisphere, you might be experiencing a heat wave at the moment. These languid days of summer make finding the motivation to practice extra difficult, so I’m here to help you stay cool in the practice room! Practicing any instrument requires lots of physical and mental energy. Especially for wind players, practicing is very much…

  • 10 mistakes you might be making in the practice room

    Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that even if you’ve mustered up the motivation to practice, you might still be losing out on those practice session gains if you’re not practicing effectively. The good news is that I’m here today to share 10 of the most common mistakes I’ve seen…

  • How often should you clean or replace your clarinet swab?

    If I ask you a question, do you promise you’ll give an honest answer? When was the last time you cleaned or replaced your clarinet swab? If you’re like many clarinetists (especially younger students who are learning the ins and outs of the instrument), chances are it’s been a while. Before I share my advice, I would like to offer…

  • How to use the Pomodoro Technique in the Practice Room

    If you’ve never heard of the Pomodoro Technique, it’s a time management skill used by people around the world. This technique utilizes specifically timed intervals (traditionally 25 minutes) called pomodoros, which is the Italian word for tomato. Why tomato? This is the design of the kitchen timer Pomodoro Technique creator Francesco Cirillo used while in university. During each pomodoro, you…