Notícies sobre clarinet

Jenny Maclay Clarinet

  • Quick Fix Friday: Avoid Monotony During Repeated Notes
    by jennyclarinet on 13 maig 2022 at 08:43

    Happy Friday! Sometimes, a composer likes a note so much that they use it again…and again…and again…. These repeated note sequences can become monotonous if you’re not careful with your phrasing. Anytime you find repeated notes in your music, be sure to add variety through dynamics, pacing, articulation, or other interpretative devices to make these passages more musically compelling. Et voilà – this is an easy way to add some spice to your music! Happy practicing! The post Quick Fix Friday: Avoid Monotony During Repeated Notes appeared first on Jenny Maclay.

  • Quick Fix Friday: Your Sound Imitates Your Air
    by jennyclarinet on 29 abril 2022 at 09:00

    Happy Friday! This week, I wanted to share something I constantly remind my students… Your sound is a direct reflection of your air. If there are dips, bumps, or inconsistencies in your air speed, pressure, or quantity, your sound will be affected. If there is a break in the air, there will be a break in the sound. If there is a waver in the air, there will be a waver in the sound. Think of it like this – when you stand in front of a mirror and raise your hand, your mirror image does the same. Your air and sound are mirror images, so be sure to always play using your best air (speed, pressure, and quantity). Have a great weekend, and happy practicing! The post Quick Fix Friday: Your Sound Imitates Your Air appeared first on Jenny Maclay.

  • The Musician’s Guide to Artist Residencies
    by jennyclarinet on 25 abril 2022 at 17:46

    Hello from Austria! If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you know all about my Austrian adventures, including my recent and upcoming projects and performances. I’m currently in Krems an der Donau as an Artist-in-Residence Niederösterreich, where I am researching and performing the clarinet compositions of Ernst Krenek in collaboration with the Ernst Krenek Institut. I’m very thankful to have done artist residencies around the world, and I wanted to share my advice to help other musicians learn more about artist residencies. What is an artist residency? Simply put, an artist residency is an opportunity for artists (from a multitude of disciplines) to live, work, and collaborate in a designated space. Artist residencies can be anywhere from a traveling shipping container to a remote village (like my artist residency last summer in Tjørnuvík, Faroe Islands, where I studied Faroese clarinet compositions). Who can apply for artist residencies? Each artist residency invites applicants from different disciplines, such as visual arts, photography, writing, and music. When researching and applying for artist residencies, make sure that performing musicians (not just composers or sound artists) are eligible. How long is an artist residency? Residencies can last anywhere from a few days to a few months (or even longer). Some residencies depend on the duration of the project, while others are more flexible. Do I need a project to apply for an artist residency? Again, this will depend on the artist residency. I’ve found that having a specific project or goal can improve your chances of being selected. That being said, some artist residencies are simply to give the artist an opportunity to create their art in a new environment, and don’t require a specific project. How do I find out about artist residencies? Research, research, research! If you have a specific project in mind, try searching for organizations or locations that will be useful in conducting your project. If you don’t know where to begin, try searching for “artist residencies music/musician/music performance.” I also like searching by location (such as “artist residency Australia” or other geographic area). Advice for musicians applying to artist residencies Tailor your project to the artist residency. When applying for artist residencies, make sure to explain how this particular residency will help you complete your project or proposal. For example, if you want to study or perform the music of a particular composer, apply for residencies with ties to that particular composer, whether it’s through location, partner organizations, or other connections. Embrace interdisciplinary opportunities. Part of the fun of artist residencies is meeting and working with other artists from around the world in a variety of different disciplines. See if other artists area interested in collaborating, whether it’s now or in the future. Explore new ideas. There is always more to discover about Mozart, Brahms, and other mainstream composers, but you might also enjoying exploring new musical territory by pursuing a project on an under-researched subject. I hope this helps you learn more about artist residencies! The post The Musician’s Guide to Artist Residencies appeared first on Jenny Maclay.

  • Band Directors: Quick Fixes to Help Improve Your Clarinet Section
    by jennyclarinet on 10 març 2022 at 13:58

    Hats off to all the band directors out there! I truly respect what you do for music and music education. I think one instrument is challenging enough, and it’s amazing that you make all of them sound great together! Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several band programs at the middle school, high school, and university levels. During these clinics, I’ve created the following list of quick fixes to help your clarinet section sound even more awesome than they do now: Ligature before reed. (This one is especially important for beginning band) From day one, train your clarinetists to always put on the ligature before placing the reed on the mouthpiece. This will save countless reeds from being chipped by the ligature, and it will also save your students money on replacing said chipped reeds. Check chin position. One of the quickest ways to improve a clarinetist’s sound is to make sure they are playing with a good chin position. If their chin is dipped towards their chest, it can constrict the air. When working with students, I find a focal point on the wall to have them look which encourages good chin position (it can be a clock, poster, or you could even create a “clarinetists look here” sign if you feel so inclined). Check the right hand ring finger placement. If any of your clarinet students is squeaking, particularly as they cross the break or reach the lowest notes (low G, F, and E), the right hand ring finger is a likely culprit. This is the largest tone hole on the clarinet, and if there are any air leaks caused by not completely covering the tone hole, it will most likely result in a squeak. (This is especially true for younger players or those with smaller fingers who might need to practice this more.) Make sure they are using enough mouthpiece. Generally, clarinetists will want to play with 1/4 to 1/3 of the mouthpiece (teeth at 10mm). The way I describe this to beginning clarinetists is by having them turn their clarinet to the side so they can see where the reed and mouthpiece meet, then having them use this much mouthpiece. Too little mouthpiece creates a thin, brittle sound, and too much mouthpiece creates a wild, unfocused sound (often with horrendous squeaks). Check the left hand thumb position. If a student is struggling to hit the high notes, it might be related to their left hand thumb position. I instruct students to angle their thumb towards two o’clock, which allows them to hit the register key while still covering the left hand thumb hole. If their thumb is sliding off the tone hole to hit the register key, this will make it difficult for them to cross the break or hit the high notes, so it’s important to work with them to find their ideal thumb position to prevent this from happening. Save money on instrument repairs. In my experience, two of the most common instrument malfunctions are easily fixed. If a student complains that their clarinet isn’t working, you should first check that the bridge key (the key connecting the upper and lower joints) is in complete alignment. This can be adjusted by simply shifting the position of either the upper or lower joint so the bridge key lines up. If this isn’t the issue, check the spring towards the bottom of the lower joint (found under the long rod directly over the bell’s logo). Sometimes this can pop out if a swab snags it (or if students get too curious and start experiment with clarinet mechanics). What quick fixes have you found to help your clarinetists? The post Band Directors: Quick Fixes to Help Improve Your Clarinet Section appeared first on Jenny Maclay.

  • Repertoire Research Checklist for Students
    by jennyclarinet on 28 febrer 2022 at 15:03

    As much fun as it is to perform well-loved (and well-practiced) pieces, there’s something extra exciting about beginning to work on a new piece of repertoire. New piece, new possibilities, new performances… But as you begin learning a new piece, here are a few questions I encourage my students to research to better understand a new piece of music: Who is the composer? When did the composer live? Was this piece written for a specific clarinetist? Who performed the premiere? Are there recordings available of this piece? What era/genre/style of music is the composer known for? Did the composer write anything else for clarinet? How would you describe the style of this piece? Does the style match other music written during this time? What inspired the composer to write this piece? Are there any unusual techniques in this piece? If so, do you know how to perform these? Students should research these questions (and develop their own questions) to better understand the piece as they begin practicing it. This will also save time during lessons to allow more focus on curating thoughtful interpretations and more confident performances. Happy practicing! The post Repertoire Research Checklist for Students appeared first on Jenny Maclay.

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