Play for Your Students!
This week's post is directed at clarinet teachers. I cannot stress how important it is to play with and for your students. For the pre-college aged student, it is imperative that they consistently hear beautiful clarinet tone every week. You are most likely the only professional sound they hear on a consistent basis!
Many times, the best way to show and teach a supported sound is by modeling. Ask your student what they hear that is different from what they are doing. Simple language can be used here. Do you hear fuzz? Do you hear waves? Do you hear a clear sound? Does it sound silky? Does it sound smooth? Does it sound spitty? Do you like it? Why do you like it?
The college-aged student can be a bit more challenging because they are playing more difficult literature. The average full-time university professor may have between 12-18 students in a given week. It may be impossible to keep up and be able to play the repertoire that is being covered on a weekly basis. But you owe it to them, to at least read a duet before the lesson ends. If sight-reading is not on the agenda, perhaps play part of their etude with them. Challenge them with speed or dynamics. Modeling a good sound and facile technique will not be lost on these students.
And students give your teachers a break when they have to play on a cold instrument for you. They are going to be flat as you are the one who is doing all the playing (as you should) in a lesson.
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