• 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 favorite books to get you started: Beethoven’s Skull by Tim Rayborn. This book explores the “Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond.” These are the tales you probably never learned in music history! Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius by Colin Dickey.…

  • 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, math, and other intellectual hobbies (he was also apparently an expert marksman and fly fisher – who knew?). Here are the published books Artie Shaw wrote during his life: The Trouble with Cinderella: An Outline of Identity (1952) – an autobiographical account of his life, music, and other endeavors I…

  • Brymer Burns ūüĒ•

    Celebrated English clarinetist Jack Brymer was not one to mince his words. While reading his book Clarinet, I’ve noted some of my favorite subtle critiques he offers, which I’ve dubbed “Brymer Burns.” Repertoire On the Bernstein Sonata: Possibly better to play than to hear, but makes its mark with audiences. On the Brahms sonatas: Little needs to be said about these two masterpieces except that they do belong to the clarinet and not to the viola. On the Antony Garlic Sonata for E flat clarinet: Modern, not difficult, and (dare one say?) highly flavoured. On the Saint-Saens Sonata. Slow movement is weak. On the Templeton Pocket Sized Sonatas: Should not…

  • Kroepsch Boot Camp

    After the success of my Baermann Boot Camp from last October, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to do another boot camp. After all, scales and technical studies are much more palatable when you suffer practice together, right? For this boot camp, I’ve chosen the Kroepsch 416 Progressive Daily Studies for the Clarinet, which are one of my ride or die¬†clarinet studies. And a lot of you agreed – the Facebook poll I created on Jenny Clarinet resulted in an overwhelming majority of Kropesch fans (sorry Jettel, you’ll have to wait your turn!). So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce the Kroepsch Boot Camp, a practice routine designed…

  • Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History

    In honor of National Women’s History Month, I’d like to share some truly inspirational barrier-breaking female clarinetists past and present. To all my fellow female clarinetists out there, let’s keep breaking boundaries, supporting other women, and sharing our history through music! Margaret Knitel (1788-unknown).¬†Knitel holds the distinction of being the first documented female clarinetist in history, as well as the earliest basset horn player in America (and perhaps in the world!).¬†She moved from her native Switzerland to the United States, where she gave her debut concert in Philadelphia. Her critics were mostly kind in America, but she did face criticism for bending the gender norms in Europe. In 1816, the¬†Allgemeine…

  • Books Every Clarinetist Should Have on Their Bookshelf – Part 2

    There’s something about these cold, dreary days that makes curling up with a good book extra appealing. I’ve always been an avid bookworm, and I especially love reading books about clarinet or music in general. There’s only so much you can learn in a practice room, and these books are great supplements to your music education. Longtime readers will remember one of my first articles,¬†Books Every Clarinetist Should Have on Their Bookshelf (Or Kindle). This list has only grown over the years, hence the need for part 2! As before, this is not a comprehensive list. Some of these books are currently out of print, but many used copies can…

  • 2018 Jenny Clarinet Boot Camp

    The 2018 Jenny Clarinet Boot Camp is a downloadable practice plan and guide created to improve clarinet fundamentals. Each month contains a different method book or solo work, which I have organized into daily assignments. Each day features specific exercises to be incorporated into your practice routine. Make 2018 the year of building technique and improving fundamentals! Here is the schedule: January – Vade-Mecum de Clarinettiste February – Klos√©¬†Scales and Exercises March – Rose¬†32 Etudes April – Kell 17 Staccato Studies May – Kroepsch 416 Progressive Daily Studies, Vols. 1 & 2 June – Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622 July – Sti√©venard¬†Practical Study of the Scales August…

  • Books Every Musician Should Have on Their Bookshelf

    Introducing: your summer reading list, classical musician edition! As a lifelong bookworm, I have never quite outgrown the excitement of creating summer reading lists. I enjoy reading all subjects and genres, but I am especially partial to books about music. One of the great things about being a musician is being an eternal student – there is no definitive end goal for musicians. Like my idol Leonard Bernstein, my “contact with music is a total embrace.” I immerse myself in learning as much as possible about music theory, history, performances, repertoire, composers, and any other subject I can read about. Knowledge is power, and reading music literature will make you…

  • 12 Days of Clarinet Christmas, Part II

    Back by popular demand – the 12 Days of Clarinet Christmas, repertoire edition! My original 12 Days of Clarinet Christmas (which you can read¬†here) is a countdown¬†of scale, etude, and other exercises to improve clarinet¬†fundamentals. This second installment¬†is a collection of (mostly) standard repertoire for clarinet. This is by no means¬†a comprehensive list, and I hope my suggestions give you ideas for what pieces to play next.¬†Whether you’re looking for new pieces to perform in 2017 or searching for music to add to your bucket list, I hope these ideas inspire you and help you to share the greatest gift of all – music! 12 Orchestral excerpts Beethoven – Symphony…