Female Clarinetists In U.S. Part Two – College Professors/Teachers

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Note: this list is a work in progress. If I’ve inadvertently left out a female clarinetist in the USA who teaches at the university level, my deepest apologies! Full-time/part time/adjunct—it matters not. You are all important.  If you teach at the college level please contact me at singlewinder@yahoo.com so I may add you to my list. Also, please alert me with any spelling errors or incorrect links. Thank you!

 

On my website DianaHaskellClarinet I have added a list of female college teachers in the United States. So far we are at 75! Update as of October 13–we are at 130 female college teachers!

Click below to go to the list:

Female Clarinetists Who Teach At the College Level

Female Clarinetists In U.S. – Part One – ICSOM Orchestras

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Note: this list is a work in progress that I’m fitting in between my job with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. If I’ve inadvertently left out a female orchestral player in an ICSOM orchestra, my deepest apologies! Please contact me at singlewinder@yahoo.com so I may correct my mistake. Also, please alert me with any spelling errors.

List of Female Clarinetists in ICSOM Orchestras

I have been searching for a list of female orchestral clarinetists online — to no avail. (Please write in the comments below if you know of such a list.) On my website DianaHaskellClarinet I have added a list of female orchestral clarinetists in United States  International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) orchestras.

It is good to see progress! There are far more females now than ever before sitting in premiere orchestras in our country. Brava!

My next list will be female clarinet professors in the US, followed by females serving in ROPA orchestras. 

 

Listen to – and Learn From -Experienced Musicians

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Last year a friend of mine offered a really great idea to help our orchestra. This person is a long-time member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. When I suggested this person talk with our management, the response was “No, no one wants to hear from someone my age.” I was taken aback and saddened by this comment from someone who has done fine work in the SLSO. Others in previous orchestras I’ve performed with have expressed similar sentiments.

This is not unique to orchestras. It’s part of life in many fields, and frankly, I believe it is short-sighted. I dare say it is even disrespectful, as those who go before us pave the path that we are lucky enough to walk upon. In the case of orchestras, past musicians fought for better working conditions and better salaries. I am thankful for every one of them.

Before rehearsal one day with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, veteran principal bassoonist Nelson Dayton was warming up and talking about changes in his playing as he grew older. I asked him what had changed the most in his playing. “Tonguing!” he almost shouted. He went on to talk about how much harder he had to work as he aged in order to achieve the same results. He gave me tips on how to work. As a 27-year old who could tongue easily I didn’t understand, but I filed it away. Now that I am in my fifties I totally get it and am grateful for his insights. Nelson was a gracious, caring man who became a mentor to me. If I had not asked for his advice or had neglected listening to him, I would have lost valuable information….and lost an opportunity to be friends with a fine musician.

I would like to suggest that we buck the trend of ignoring older musicians. Go to players outside your circle of friends and age group. Ask questions about their families and about their approach to music. Ask them to tell stories about weird conductors or tour mishaps.

But go even deeper: respect them and BE THEIR FRIEND. You will learn many valuable musical…and life…lessons.

Thank you, Nelson Dayton, for your mentoring and friendship.

 

 

 

 

Character Traits of Great Clarinet Students…and Musings On Ego

Clarinet, Clarinet Tips, Clarinet Wholistic, Classical clarinetists-female, Classical clarinetists-male, Practicing, Teaching, Uncategorized

One of the greatest teachers of young clarinetists today, and someone I greatly admire, Eva Wasserman-Margolis,  recently wrote a profound statement: ‘The quality of music is of utmost importance …. but it is really about the human being behind the music that is most important to me’. I have maintained that in teaching, the heart of a student is more important than their playing ability. In a very real sense we educate hearts in lessons, instilling compassion for music, for others, and for ourselves.

After reading Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, I decided to create a document for college and high school students. My ‘Characteristics of A Great Musician’ is given to all of my students. You will find the document at the end of this post or it may be downloaded from my website here.

I asked several students to expand upon my ‘Character Traits’ definitions. It will come as no surprise that they gave terrific answers. What you read in the document below, then, is a list of character traits developed from my own experience, from information online, and partly defined by students.

Note: Students are most curious about humbleness as it applies to music. I find humility is often thought of as a negative concept. Students think it means lack of ego, self-deprecation, shaming self or others, low self-esteem….or worse, that it means allowing others to abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. I like to use this quote to define humbleness: ‘True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.’

Indeed, that quote might lead to a fun discussion. What is ego, and is ego good, bad, or neither? What part does ego play in performing?  Is it possible to play in humbleness? What might that look like? How might humility help or hurt performance? Hmmmm…….

Enjoy!

81D10DF7-B8AC-4143-9A16-3FCD07E9C678

 

Teaching Philosophy Statement Is Up On My Website

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‘Done is better than perfect.’ This is my motto for Clarinet Divas, my website and life. Flylady gets the credit for this great motto. This motto especially applies to the writing of a Teaching Philosophy Statement!

It took me a few weeks, but my Teaching Philosophy Statement is now up on my website HERE.

It is also copied and pasted below. Enjoy!

My goal is to discover, nurture, strengthen and encourage the creative talent within each clarinetist while always making artistry the highest objective. My teaching endeavors to guide students towards becoming the best musical version of themselves by developing all aspects of playing — musicianship, tone, technique and performance skills — in order to reach their highest potential, whatever their goals.

My experience as a professional performer, educator, soloist, and chamber musician informs my teaching practice and philosophy.

I employ a pedagogical approach that is rooted in a deep understanding of clarinet fundamentals and musicianship helping students to gain the skills necessary to succeed. Students study standard and contemporary works at their level. Discussion of phrasing and style in the manner of D. Stanley Hasty and Mitchell Lurie is ongoing. Joe Allard’s attention to releasing excess tension was the foundation for my study of the body. Because tightness can affect the ease of performance, I address tension issues and quickly find solutions. Students receive a thorough foundation for becoming outstanding clarinetists and exceptional musicians. This includes learning how to read pop and jazz charts, working on opera music, preparing for any type of audition, and reviewing strategies for starting teaching studios in urban centers.

When recruiting, I look for students who not only are superb musicians with keen rhythm, excellent tonguing and facile technique, but those who are patient with themselves, creative, kind, eager and engaged in the process of learning.

In addition, my studio is:

Results-oriented

The ultimate objective is to prepare students musically and technically for future aspirations, whatever they may be. Mastery of the clarinet will be accomplished by the study of etudes, methods, excerpts and repertoire, appropriate for each level.

Customized

Lessons are adapted to the individual’s needs and abilities. I am not interested in clarinet clones, but rather am passionate about guiding students to be the best versions of themselves as musicians. In short, I will strive to help students find their own unique ‘clarinet voice’.

Supportive in problem-solving

Issues and challenges of playing will be identified and solutions introduced in music being studied. If necessary, exercises specific to the problem will be given.

Thorough in studying best practice techniques

Intelligent practice is an art that must be learned in order to excel. In high school and college I largely sight-read music because no one showed me how to practice. My effective practice strategies only came about by playing weekly orchestra concerts, where large amounts of music must be learned quickly and thoroughly. This was trial by fire and nerve-wracking. Therefore strategies I have learned for efficient, intelligent practice will be shared in lessons. Based on years of teaching and performing, these methods are effective.

In closing:

The real challenge of the clarinet is as much about creativity, good phrasing, color in the sound and style as it is about brilliant technique. I believe that performing is not about our egos or how many notes we can play; it is truly about singing through the clarinet, serving the composer, and connecting with our audience.

 

 

Book List For Advanced High School Clarinetists (and two videos)

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I’ve never seen a classical music book list for high school clarinet students. Rather than waste time looking through the bottomless Google pit, I decided to ask my book-reading, fun-loving music friends what they might suggest for eager young students. My buddies did not disappoint! Below find a wide-ranging selection from colleagues in orchestras, at universities, who have private teaching studios and from several conservatory students. I will add any books that look interesting and appropriate for high school readers, so feel free to present your ideas in the comments.

Note to teachers: vet these books carefully! I have not read everything on this list. If you notice a book that is inappropriate with foul language or other issues, let me know ASAP.

BOOKS

“Marsalis On Music” by Wynton Marsalis

“Lessons From A Street-Wise Professor: What You Won’t Learn At Most Music Schools” by Ramon Ricker *

“The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle

“Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found” by Diane Peacock Jezic

“Joys and Sorrows” by Pablo Casals

“The Time of Our Singing” by Richard Powers

“Gentlemen, More Dolce Please!: An Irreverent Memoir of Thirty Years in the Boston Symphony Orchestra” by Harry Ellis Dickson

“Women In Music: Source Readings From the Middle Ages to the Present” by Carol Neuls-Bates

“The Rest Is Noise” by Alex Ross *

“My Young Years” by Arthur Rubenstein *

“Moving To Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life” by Wynton Marsalis

“The Mastery of Music” by Barry Green *

“Benny Goodman and the Swing Era” by James Lincoln Collier

“For the End of Time: The Story of the Messiaen Quartet” by Rebecca Rischin *

“With Louis and the Duke: The Autobiography of a Jazz Clarinetist” by Barney Bigard

“The Soloist” by Steve Lopez *

“Jacqueline du Pré: A Biography” by Carol Easton *

“Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History” – a blog article by Jenny Maclay —many women are missing from this list, but it is a beginning. Click here:  Jenny Maclay, Clarinet

“A Soprano On Her Head” by Eloise Ristad *

“The Inner Game of Music” by Barry Greene *

“Art of the Possibility” by Ben Zander

“Gentle Genius: Story of Felix Mendelssohn” by George Richard Marek

“What To Listen For In Music” by Aaron Copland *

“The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten

“Indivisible By Four” by Arnold Steinhardt *

“Afternoon of a Faun: How Debussy Created a New Music for the Modern World”    by Harvey Lee Snyder

BONUS — VIDEOS

“American Masters: Itzhak” — full-length feature film about Itzhak Perlman. Find more information here:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/itzhak-full-film/10786

Victor Borge —with the recorder phenomenon Michala Petri. Listeners should be aware that Borge did not share his antics with performers until the performance. His improv skills were unmatched. This made for many moments of genuine laughter. Watch as Petri tries valiantly to hold it together as ‘the straight man’ while Borge, who obviously has great admiration for her, clowns around. Amazing!