Monthly Archives: December 2011

Beginning Band 2

The flutists were doing great, so the band teacher had me move to clarinets, which I’ve played for a while. New clarinet students have it much easier than flutists. Getting the first sounds on a clarinet takes less trial and error than on flute.

The last four times I’ve gone I’ve worked with trumpets, which is a whole new experience. Since I’ve been going I’ve learned the fingerings for middle c, d, e, f, and g. I can’t play the notes, I don’t have a trumpet, but I play along with the clarinet. (The clarinet plays the same notes as trumpet and doesn’t have to transpose.)

It’s fascinating to watch the learning process on a completely different instrument. I’ve taught flute for years, but both trumpet and clarinet have different challenges for the beginner.

On flute the hardest part, for a beginner is figuring out how to place the flute on your lip and blow to get a good sound.

On clarinet out of a class of about ten only one had a hard time producing a sound and it was only because they were blowing too hard and tensing their lips so the reed couldn’t vibrate enough.

On trumpet the biggest challenge is finding the right note, because you can play many notes that have the same fingering, but you have to figure out how to shape your lips and air to get the fifths and octaves.