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Back to Clarinet after 30 years


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#1 helenm

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:42

I've just picked up clarinet again. I hadn't played since O Level music exam!
It's so much more fun now and feels totally different to learning as a child. You can buy popular sheet music, musicals etc with a CD to accompany! I've been playing themes from Harry Potter and Frozen, which is brilliant. 

I've got myself a Buffet B12, some music and a teacher who can take me to grade 5. I am not planning on taking exams but I have just bought a scale book as I was feeling guilty about not practicing properly. My ultimate aim is to play in a group but I'm not good enough yet. There are groups in my town but they want a grade 5 standard and I know I am not up to it at the moment.

I'd love any top tips and I am wondering how long it might take me to get back to the grade 5 that I was just about at when I stopped playing. I'm finding time to practise 4 or 5 days a week. 

Thanks 


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#2 Wai Kit Leung

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 13:24

Congratulations on picking up the clarinet again! I am also new to the clarinet, after 27.5 years playing the oboe.

May I ask why your teacher can only take you up to Grade 5?
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#3 helenm

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 14:18

She is not advanced enough herself on clarinet I think.  She mainly teaches brass and piano.  I know her well because she is actually my son's brass teacher so I am starting out with her initially and we plan for me to move on after she has coached me through the first stages.  She is mainly helping me to read the rhythms of the music again and be encouraging.  Learning as an adult feels very different to what I remember as a child.   I feel I can direct my practice better and help myself learn keying the notes.  As a child I think I needed an adult in a lesson telling me exactly what to do and drilling me on each note but I can do that for myself now in a much more intelligent way.  I will need a clarinet specialist in time I guess, but not just yet.  I only picked it up again 3 months ago


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#4 Wai Kit Leung

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 15:45

I am a bit concerned that she may not be able to steer you down the right path on the clarinet. I wouldn't imagine a brass teacher would know a lot about clarinet embouchure or proper hand/finger positions. Bad habits, once picked up, are hard to get rid of, from my experience teaching students who started with someone else.

She is not advanced enough herself on clarinet I think. She mainly teaches brass and piano. I know her well because she is actually my son's brass teacher so I am starting out with her initially and we plan for me to move on after she has coached me through the first stages. She is mainly helping me to read the rhythms of the music again and be encouraging. Learning as an adult feels very different to what I remember as a child. I feel I can direct my practice better and help myself learn keying the notes. As a child I think I needed an adult in a lesson telling me exactly what to do and drilling me on each note but I can do that for myself now in a much more intelligent way. I will need a clarinet specialist in time I guess, but not just yet. I only picked it up again 3 months ago


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#5 helenm

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 19:24

The other issue is actually finding a clarinet teacher
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#6 sopsaxharpflute

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:50

I think it's best to prevent developing bad habits with your breath and your posture. You may start with looking at some of the many free video clips of Michelle Anderson. You can really learn a lot from them.

 

But it would be really great to buy one of her online clarinet courses and/or joining the monthly live group internet lessons of an hour and a half in which one gets the chance to get a 10 minute mini lesson. 

 

I am a great fan of Michelle Anderson and thanks to her personal feedback I have been able to make real progress on the clarinet.


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#7 barry-clari

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 18:00

The other issue is actually finding a clarinet teacher


Midlands obviously covers a large area, but I wonder if Birmingham Conservatoire can point you in the direction of a good teacher? Maybe one of their students? :)
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#8 Clarimoo

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:03

Some bands have a "starter band" for people who are just learning or who haven't played for a while. This could be great fun and a sourrce of new friends with similar interests for you to play with. Look for "Amateur Orchestras UK / midlands" for a list.


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#9 helenm

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 21:34

Yes I've done a big internet search and they want a decent, approx grade 5 standard to join all the groups near me.
There is one in Warwick that might do but that's tricky to get to
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#10 helenm

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 21:34

I'm a bit too far from Birmingham but that was a good idea!
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