• Clarinet Method Books to Help Develop Diverse Musical Genres and Styles

    It’s no secret by now that I love method books (as witnessed by my slowly increasing number of clarinet boot camps). Can’t get enough of ’em! I have a few favorite method books which are never too far from my music stand, but I do like to spice things up occasionally. I’ve worked through most of the standard books at this point – Baermann, Jettel, Klosé, Rose, Kell, Jeanjean, etc – and I thought it would be nice to explore a more diverse range of genres and styles for a change of musical pace. The clarinet is such a versatile instrument and can play music from a diverse repertoire, including…

  • Clarinet Double Lip Embouchure: Overview, History, and Significance

    To double lip, or not to double lip, that is the question (at least for many clarinetists)! There are few topics of debate which spark such spirited discussion among clarinetists as the decision to use a single or double lip embouchure. If you don’t already know, a single lip embouchure is one in which the lower lip covers the lower teeth, and the upper teeth make contact with the top of the mouthpiece. In a double lip embouchure, both lips (upper and lower) are curled over the teeth (again, both upper and lower), and the lips – not the teeth – make contact with the mouthpiece. This embouchure is like…

  • The Complete Guide to Clarinet Articulation

    There are more than a few…controversial…clarinet topics. Once you learn the basics, you learn that nothing is really as basic as it first appears. One of these hot topics? Articulation and tonguing. This is why I’ve waited so long to publish this complete guide. I’ve done guides on tuning, resonance fingerings, long tones, and other clarinet fundamentals, but discussing articulation to an audience of predominantly clarinetists seemed a bit ambitious, to say the least. Please note: Before we dive into this complete guide, I want to make it very clear that there are many different articulation beliefs, philosophies, fundamentals, and concepts in the clarinet world. Ask a room full of…

  • National Schools of Clarinet Playing

    National schools of clarinet playing describe a group of clarinetists who share similar ideas of sound concept, pedagogy, fundamentals, and other ideological beliefs as they relate to the clarinet. These shared beliefs have been historically shaped by cultural, sociological, political, nationalistic, and other influences. These national schools are not as pronounced today due to technological advances and the blending of disparate cultural influences. I have included several major national schools of clarinet playing, but it is important to note that each country and larger geographical region has its own unique pedagogy and stylistic similarities. There are countless other prominent schools, including the Russian, Spanish, Israeli, Portuguese, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese,…

  • The Complete Guide to Becoming a Musicpreneur: Using Networking, Social Media, and Digital Marketing to Enhance Your Career

    This blog post was originally presented as a live lecture on February 29, 2020 at Brandon University (Manitoba, Canada) during the 10th annual Brandon University Clarinet Festival hosted by Catherine Wood. What is a musicpreneur? A musicpreneur (musical entrepreneur) is a musician who can turn their skills, expertise, and opportunities into successful business ventures which can enhance their careers and from which others can benefit. What key qualities should a musicpreneur have? Ability to think outside the box. There are countless negative headlines claiming that there is no future for classical music. This isn’t true – there are more opportunities for musicians than ever, but careers are changing and look…

  • 100 More Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History

    Last year, I wrote a list of 100 famous female clarinetists throughout history (I also wrote a more in-depth article on historical female clarinetists). Obviously, 100 is barely breaking the surface of all the wonderfully talented female clarinetists from around the world (past, present, and future), so here is the much-awaited sequel to this list. As always, this list is not meant to be comprehensive. I intend to make this a multi-part series, so please comment below with other female clarinetists who you would like to see featured on subsequent installments. Juliette Adam Deborah Andrus Anaïde Apelian Arngunnur Árnadóttir Emily Bernstein Joséphine Besançon Marie Billotte Betty Bley Anne Boeykens Carmen…

  • The Complete Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation for Musicians

    Around a year ago, I began meditating as a way to regain focus and perform more intentionally (both onstage and in the practice room). Meditation has helped me grow creatively and artistically, and I’ve noticed its effects both in music and other aspects of my life. Meditation is completely risk-free, and I strongly believe that all musicians should consider incorporating meditation and mindfulness into their practice and performance routines. (Edit: It has come to my attention that some may experience adverse reactions to meditation, so please consult with a licensed professional or discontinue should you experience any adverse reactions.) Here’s everything you need to know to get started: What is…

  • How to Identify Counterfeit Clarinet Equipment

    In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of counterfeit musical instruments and accessories on the market. With the ease of online shopping, musicians can research a variety of options, compare prices, and read reviews. The downside to this is that many consumers unintentionally fall victim to purchasing counterfeit products. I spoke with François Kloc, President & CEO of Buffet Crampon USA about the rise of counterfeit clarinet products and red flags to avoid. Here are a few warning signs he mentioned which could indicate a counterfeit product: Be cautious of suspiciously low prices. This is the number one red flag for counterfeit products. Fakes will…

  • The Musician’s Guide to Studying Abroad: How to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

    Many musicians dream of one day studying abroad – to study with a certain teacher, experience different pedagogy, become fluent in another language, learn more about another culture, or just broaden their musical perspectives. But dreaming about studying abroad is where it ends for most people. I’m here to tell you how to turn your study abroad dreams into a reality. I’m an American clarinetist, and I’ve lived in 3 different countries and visited 30 countries (and counting!). I moved to Paris in August 2015 to study with Philippe Cuper at the Versailles Conservatory, where I received my master’s degree in Musique, interprétation et patrimoine (musical interpretation and cultural heritage).…

  • The Complete Guide to Developing Great Technique

    Ask any musician one thing they wished they could improve, and chances are most will respond with technique. Whether you’re trying to play faster, lighter, or more comfortably, technique is the vehicle that allows us to more comfortably express our musical voices. The secret to developing great technique is to think of technique-building as musical muscle training. Musicians are athletes, but we train our micro muscles (embouchure, fingers, wrists) instead of our macro muscles. Think of yourself as an athlete in training – listen to your body and don’t push yourself too much too soon. Keep this in mind as you embark on your journey to better technique. Once you’ve…