Instruments: Saxes, Clarinet, Flute, Piano
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What is a Clarinet?
The clarinet is a musical instrument in the woodwind family. Clarinets have a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet, having a cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed. The clarinet was invented in Germany by Johann Christoph Denner around the turn of the 18th century. There have been several different key versions and sizes of the clarinet since. Over time though, additional keywork and airtight pads were added to improve tone and playability. The most popular clarinet today is the Bb version.
Clarinets were soon accepted into orchestra in the late 1700’s. Those late 18th century models had a mellower tone than the originals. Mozart liked the sound of the clarinet (he considered its tone the closest in quality to the human voice) and wrote much music for it and by the time of Beethoven, the clarinet became a standard fixture in the orchestra of the day.
Today, the clarinet is used in band, symphony orchestras and jazz as a solo instrument. In bands, clarinets are a particularly central part of the instrumentation, occupying the same space in bands that the strings do in orchestras. Bands usually include several B♭ clarinets, divided into sections each consisting of two or three clarinetists playing the same part. The clarinet was also a central instrument in early jazz starting in the 1910s and remaining popular in the United States through the big band era into the 1940s and today. Famous clarinets such as swing clarinetists Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Buddy DeFranco and Dixieland players such as Pete Fountain and even movie maker, Woody Allen keep the instrument popular even today.
Source: “Clarinet.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Sean Wright teaches clarinet students at the Fabulous School of Music starting at age 9. Teaching methods and materials will vary depending on the age and experience of each student. The overall goal for students is to develop an expressive yet analytic style of playing. Students are encouraged to constantly think and make musical decisions about their playing using all of their senses so that they may develop an independent and responsible approach to listening, analyzing, and also performing their music.
For clarinet, either classical and/or jazz styles can be taught depending on the student’s preference. There is an emphasis on the fundamental skills necessary to create music that is proficient in sound, technique and creativity. Every student learns to play the notes, but each student is unique with regard to their own personal sound and expression. Listening helps students to play in a way that is in line with their own personal style. For this reason Sean will use professional clarinet player CD’s as listening exercises for the student, that he will provide.
Some of Sean’s method books used will include the “Rubank’s Clarinet (Beginner-Advanced) Method”, “Celebrated Method for the Clarinet” by H. Klose, and “Melodious and Progressive Studies” by D. Hite. More advanced students can learn to play from Real Books (the industry standard of jazz tunes) where they can learn the methods of improvisation, transposition, and jazz musicianship. Each lesson is meant to be a fun learning experience where the student grows as a player, learning to create expressive and unique music built upon the fundamentals.
Below is a list of teachers that teach the Clarinet at the Fabulous School of Music. Click on a profile to learn more.