Posts in category “Woodwind playing and pedagogy”

December 4, 2017

Interview: flutist Tammy Evans Yonce

Flutist Tammy Evans Yonce is an active recitalist, writer, clinician, speaker, contributor to various conferences and professional organizations, and professor at South Dakota State University¬†(plus: she is my former classmate). Her thoughtful blog is a favorite of mine and my regular readers will recall that I have featured her posts on a number of occasions. ...

November 21, 2017

Hercules stand clip modification

I made a small modification to my Hercules instrument stands so I could clip them onto my instrument cases for easier carrying. The stands all have this same yellow sort of teddy-bear-head piece on the bottom: Remove the nut from the center of the bear’s forehead: I bought a handful of these. They are almost ...

November 9, 2017

Be suspicious of instrument bling

photo, AyaaaIf you are considering buying the newest, hottest instrument, accessory, gadget, etc., it’s worth asking yourself a few questions: Is this item made out of materials that are usually used for fine jewelry or the dashboards of luxury cars? How likely is it that the most visually-attractive materials also happen to have the ideal ...

October 28, 2017

Sample woodwind methods syllabus

Shortly before the beginning of fall and spring semesters, I usually get a few emails from new university professors and adjuncts looking for advice and resources on teaching woodwind methods courses. I’m happy to hear from folks, but thought it might be helpful to make available a generic syllabus based on how I teach my ...

October 18, 2017

Connecting observations to techniques

For instrumental music teachers' feedback to be useful, it needs to connect an observation to a technique.

September 6, 2017

Naming the low E-flat (contrabass? contra-alto?) clarinet

Every so often I hear from people about what I call the E-flat contrabass clarinet (or “contrabass clarinet in E-flat), such as in my woodwind doubling in musicals list or in my woodwind methods book. Some prefer the term “contra-alto” or even “contralto,” but I find “contrabass” to be the most accurate and useful description ...

August 8, 2017

Homemade EWI stand

There are a few stands commercially available for the Akai EWI, and lots of folks have made their own or repurposed other items. I wanted one that was inexpensive and compatible with the Hercules stands I mostly use these days, and decided to try the DIY route. I came up with something workable but not ...

July 20, 2017

Aspects of articulation

photo, Zachary SumnersThe concept of “articulation” in woodwind playing is really a bunch of concepts mashed together. Suppose one of my students comes in for a lesson and I tell them their “articulation” needs work. Do I mean they should:

June 12, 2017

Woodwind doubling on both oboe and bassoon

Mid- to late-20th-century music written for woodwind doublers, such as musical theater “books,” largely solidified around three main types of doubling specialists. The most common of these is the clarinet/saxophone/flute player. Less common but still widely used are the oboist with passable single reed skills, and the “low reeds” bassoon/bass clarinet/baritone saxophone player. In the ...

May 25, 2017

New book! Woodwind Basics: Core concepts for playing and teaching flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone

I'm pleased to announce the release of my book, Woodwind Basics: Core concepts for playing and teaching flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. I wrote it with woodwind methods/techniques classes in mind, but I think it also works well as a reference for private teachers at any level, or for woodwind players, especially woodwind doublers.
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