Posts for August 2012

August 30, 2012

Required recordings, fall 2012

Here, once again, are my required recordings for the new semester. These are recordings I select each semester for my university students, a different one for each instrument (I teach oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone), so that over the course of their degree program they build up a collection of great players playing great repertoire. ...

August 22, 2012

Review: Rico Reserve clarinet mouthpieces, part II

I mentioned in my recent review of the new Rico Reserve clarinet mouthpieces that Robert Polan, Rico Product Manager, was shipping me a few additional samples for comparison. I received three X5 mouthpieces this week, and I have been inspecting and playing them side-by-side with each other and with the one X5 from the original shipment. ...

August 14, 2012

What I learned about practicing from my summer fitness class

Exercise has always been a challenge motivation-wise for me, but now that being over 30 appears to be a chronic condition, it’s something that I’m trying to do better about. I find it easier to motivate myself to practice my instruments, but I see connections between my exercise aversion and some of my students’ practice ...

August 10, 2012

Review: Rico Reserve clarinet mouthpieces

I was pleased to hear from a representative of Rico about their new “Reserve” clarinet mouthpieces, which they seem to be promoting very heavily and which are generating some buzz (no pun intended) among curious clarinetists. She was kind enough to send me a few to check out for myself and to review here, and ...

August 9, 2012

The myth of beginning band instrument “tests”

I’ve ranted about this previously, but since we are heading into a new school year, I thought it might be worth covering again and in more detail. Some beginning band programs kick off the year by allowing prospective students to “try out” the various instruments, ostensibly to determine which instrument they have the most natural ...

August 2, 2012

Brand snobbery

I recently met a fellow woodwind player, and the conversation inevitably turned to gear. We had each recently tried out an instrument by a relatively new maker. My new acquaintance found it not to his liking. “I’m a _____ snob,” he proudly explained, naming a very popular and well-established instrument maker. I also recently read ...
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