Katie’s Thoughts


There are many right ways to learn how to play music and the clarinet.  I – as most teacher – will fight for certain ways as being more ‘correct’ than others.  So here are my thoughts on a few things that I put into WOOT!

In writing this I introduce subdividing in Lesson 1.  Pop music, especially Japanese and video game music, is very syncopated (lots of off beats).  I am amazed at how many musicians – even in the professional world – don’t have good subdivision!  Never stop subdividing.

Average attention span.
All exercises are short.  This gives teachers and students the flexibility to cater to individual attention spans.

When to teach 16th notes.
I teach 6/8 before I teach 16th notes.  I know this is not how our school system does it.  But the concept of 16th notes in 6/8 time is more graspable and helps with rhythmic integrity.

I did not include a fingering chart.  I believe that over use of a fingering chart can be a crutch that prevent critical thinking and put a barrier in ‘muscle memory’.  Fingerings of new notes are written in and emphasized in Appendix B.  There is no reason, other than to double check yourself or learn it the first time that you should need to play with a fingering chart next to you.

Never underestimate the power of a metronome.  I use mine every day, all my students are required to have one.  Until you develop internal pulse, it is the ONLY way to develop it and check yourself.  Especially as you get more fluid (I don’t stress this too much when people are first starting depending on the study and style of learning.

Book level.
This book is intended to go quickly for fast learners and has lots of extra practice for those struggling with concepts or wanting extra practice.  Learning slow and steady is not a sign of your intelligence, but a reflection of how thoroughly you learn and how easily more advanced concepts will build on your foundation.