• Clarinet cryptograms: Are there hidden messages in our repertoire?

    Last week, I began exploring the history of musical espionage (as one does) and found myself delving into the world of musical cryptography. Musical cryptography is using the musical alphabet, notation, solfège, and other elements to encrypt messages into music. Bach, Shostakovich, and many other composers throughout history have used musical cryptography to spell their names. Bach used B-flat-A-C-B natural…

  • This former school is haunted by the ghost of a clarinetist

    The quaintly named Valentine, Nebraska is a small town near the South Dakota border with a population of only a few thousand people. It holds the honors of housing Centennial Hall, Nebraska’s oldest standing school, built in 1897. According to local legend, a student at the school was murdered in Centennial Hall in 1944. The young unnamed girl was a…

  • Horror films which feature the clarinet

    If this is your first Jenny Clarinet Halloween, you’re in for a real (trick or) treat! If there’s one thing I love nearly as much as clarinet, it’s Halloween. During October each year, I share the spooky side of the clarinet world, from unusual history, haunted pieces, and even mysteries of the clarinet. First up, you can’t properly celebrate Halloween…

  • Crypto-musicology books to read this Halloween

    It’s no secret that I enjoy exploring the dark and spooky corners of clarinet and music history, such as the bizarre deaths of historical clarinetists, final resting places of famous clarinetists, or the curse of the yellow clarinet. If you’re looking to discover more strange tales from music history (which I’ve officially dubbed crypto-musicology), here are a few of my…

  • The musical medium who holds a clue to the missing Mozart clarinet concerto manuscript

    One of clarinet history’s greatest mysteries is the whereabouts of the manuscript to Mozart’s beloved Concerto for Clarinet in A Major, K. 622, written in 1791 for Anton Stadler. We know that Mozart gave his fellow freemason friend Anton Stadler the manuscript of his new concerto on October 10, 1791 (only two days after he finished orchestrating the piece), along…

  • Books written by Artie Shaw

    If you’re a clarinetist, you’re probably familiar with the great Artie Shaw. (Even if you’re not a clarinetist, you’re probably familiar with the artistic talents of this incredible musician!) While you probably know about his hits like “Begin the Beguine” and “Frenesi,” you might not know that he was also an accomplished author. Besides clarinet, Shaw was interested in writing,…

  • Clarinet method and étude books written by women

    This article was inspired by Dr. Victor Chavez, clarinet professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, who is having a Women Composers Festival for his studio this semester. Here is a list of clarinet method and étude books written by women (listed alphabetically by last name). I hope this will be a valuable resource for anyone who is trying to curate…

  • Common Clarinet Tuning Mistakes

    How do you tune a clarinet? No, this isn’t the start of a band joke (although I’d love to hear your punchlines if it were). Learning how to properly tune any instrument takes time – time to train your ears, time to learn how equipment responds to adjustments, time to listen and adjust to others, and many other variables. If…

  • 9 Educational and Engaging Ideas for Zoom Studio Classes

    Although teaching online will never replace in-person lessons, digital platforms like Zoom can present many opportunities to explore new methods to teach and share information. Here are a few ideas to shake things up at your next Zoom studio class: Organize a listening quiz. Create a playlist and use screen share to see how many students can correctly identify each…

  • 9 Benefits of Online Music Education

    Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. There is no substitution for in-person music education. These past several months have had their share of trials and tribulations. However, I have also seen a large number of unexpected benefits and positive effects among music students due to online music education. For example: Students are learning more about…