Listen to an orchestra play the opening 54 seconds of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue.” Then read this rest of this post. Okay. Seriously, go listen to it. We’ll wait.
How was that clarinet, eh? Wasn’t that clarinet fantastic? Didn’t those runs and peals and glissandi send a shiver up your spine?
Clarinet is a remarkable and versatile instrument, at home in a Dixieland rave-up as much as it is in a wind ensemble or a klezmer band.
The clarinet is also a wonderful instrument for beginning musicians. For a student entering his or her first school band, the clarinet provides a comparatively easy entry point into collaborative music-making. The keys are small enough for young fingers to play melodies without strain. It is light enough to carry around easily. And school bands usually need a large clarinet sections, so a clarinet student will find many other empathetic clarinet students to befriend.
Playing the clarinet is also relatively linear, compared with other band instruments. To play a scale – or a melody that ascends or descends – the fingers move in sequence, in order. The partials and intervallic jumps that can torment young brass and string students are not an issue for woodwind players. As with piano, down is down. Up is up.
For students who may want to explore the rest of the woodwind family – particularly the double-reeds of oboe and English horn and bassoon – the clarinet is an ideal place to begin.
Here in Cincinnati, we are honored to have James Thomas teach clarinet at Toedtman School of Music. James taught music in the Cincinnati Public Schools for 31 years, and he brings a wealth of experience to bear. We are lucky to have him teaching with us.
For Cincinnati clarinet lessons, contact Toedtman School of Music by phone at 513.772.7900, or with the contact form below.