Clarinet Mentors | Clarinet lessons and videos

Where clarinetists play beautiful music more easily through online lessons and videos

Do you teach clarinet? The resources on this page will help you to teach more easily. Enjoy! (BCMEA Resources at the bottom of this page)

Do you teach clarinet? Michelle is proud to be part of a series of videos produced by Backun Musical Services that are designed to help you teach clarinet more easily. Each video is designed to help you with a specific common clarinet challenge so that you can identify these, and help your students to fix them.

You can find the entire playlist here:

Here are the specific videos that can help you to teach the clarinet better (and reduce frustration in your clarinet section):

How To Assemble Your Clarinet Properly
Teach your clarinet students to assemble the clarinet in the best way possible to avoid damaging the instrument. This video shows you step-by-step instructions on assembling each piece of the instrument, as well as how to place the reed on the mouthpiece. This is great for those of you that teach beginning students, but may also be a great review for more experienced ones as well.

Clarinet Maintenance 101: Proper Cleaning and Swabbing
Why should your clarinet students swab and clean out their clarinets? Aside from removing their personal inner-clarinet mould garden, swabbing enhances the life of the instrument and prevents some mechanical problems that could make it more difficult for students to play. This video demonstrates how to clean out the clarinet properly after a music class or practise session.

Clarinet Reeds - What Kind Should Your Students Use?
Many clarinetists do not play on reeds that support them in producing the best sound that they can. Often they do not realize that they have outgrown their reed strength, and their high notes sound loud and squawky, or wimp out all together. This video gives you some clear guidelines as to what strength might be best for your clarinet students. Michelle also discusses some reed types that she likes and recommends for students.

How To Correct The Most Common Clarinet Tone Mistakes
Would you like to help your clarinet students play with be7er tone? This educational video will help you to identify the most common challenges young clarinet players have in producing good tone, and show you how to correct them. This video identifies three things that can make a big difference in how easy it is to play the clarinet and produce a good sound. This includes how the angle of the clarinet affects tone, how to determine the best reed strength and some important embouchure pointers.

More Advanced Tone Improvements to Teach To Your Clarinet Students
This video will help you to teach your more advanced students how to refine and beautify their tone quality. These same technics will improve their high register, and make it feel easier for them to play. This video includes some embouchure, voicing and tuning exercises.

Clarinet Squeaking – How and Why?
All clarinetists squeak. Do you know the most common causes of squeaks, and how you can help your students to identify and solve their squeaking problems? If your students can recognize what they are doing wrong, they will be able to correct things themselves. This video covers three common squeak-causers - soft reeds, fingers not covering holes properly, and a “biting” embouchure.

How To Teach Tonguing On The Clarinet
For many students, it feels challenging to learn how to tongue properly on the clarinet, and as a result, many students create their own, problematic, systems for tonguing. This video will show you a reliable method to help your students learn properly, right from the start. This includes proper blowing, tongue position, and how to help students who have learned incorrectly, to identify and fix their problems.

How to Tongue Quickly and Play Staccato on Clarinet
Many clarinet students have trouble tonguing quickly enough, and also playing staccato while maintaining good tone. This video will give you some systematic pointers on how to teach your students to have great tone when they tongue (especially in the high register), and to improve tonguing speed.

Better Clarinet Finger Technic - Especially “Crossing the Break”
It is very common for clarinet students to have trouble moving their fingers quickly on the clarinet, and to move between the low register and the high register. Often, they do not realize that most of their struggles come from improper hand and finger positions. This videos teaches you some simple exercises that your students can use to train their fingers to move much more easily on the clarinet.

How to Teach Proper Air Support for Clarinetists
To produce good sound on the clarinet, your students need to learn how to blow much faster than they have been. There are some technics for air support on the clarinet that differ from other wind instruments. This video will show you how you can teach your student clarinetists to radically improve their air support on the clarinet. These simple exercises will help your clarinet students to play with a richer tone, and achieve a better dynamic range on the instrument.

Clarinet Mouthpieces: The Most Important Gear Upgrade
The clarinet mouthpiece makes a big difference to the tone a clarinet player produces, and how easy it feels to play. Here are some recommendations for how to choose an appropriate mouthpiece. This should be one of the first equipment recommendations that you make to clarinet students who want to upgrade their tone quality, and play higher notes more freely and easily.

Clarinet Equipment Upgrades: The Barrel
The clarinet barrel can make a huge difference in the tone of a clarinet, and a wooden barrel is a great way to upgrade a plastic clarinet. This video illustrates how barrels affect tone, and will help you to make recommendations to your clarinet students. A barrel upgrade not only improves tone and resonance, but can be useful to regulate intonation as well.

Clarinet Equipment Upgrades: The Ligature
There are many different clarinet ligature designs, which are all intended to help the reed vibrate better, while still sealing well on the mouthpiece. A good ligature will add more sparkle and resonance to a clarinetist sound and tone quality. This video explores some of the different ligatures materials and designs, and gives you some information to help your students to choose a good ligature for their level of performance.

Recording Clarinet Auditions
Many All-State bands and other auditioned groups require clarinet students to submit recordings. Michelle gives some practical pointers on how to help your clarinet students prepare a good recorded audition. This includes some technical recording suggestions, as well as how to prepare the audition pieces.

Clarinet Calamities: The Secret Challenges Of Your Clarinet Section (and how you can help them)

There are a few things that can really frustrate your student clarinetists, taking the joy out of music-making. There are many fussy little aspects of clarinet playing that simply would not be familiar to most non-clarinetists. Knowing how to recognize a few key, (but sometimes obscure), of these challenges in your clarinet section can make a big difference in your ability to help your students navigate their way to success. Michelle Anderson will demonstrate the most common challenges that she has observed working with hundreds of clarinet students, and show you how to fix them.

Here are the resources from this presentation and the
British Columbia Music Educators’ Association Conference, Oct. 21, 2016

To download all of the slides from this presentation, click here.

Here is a video replay of the live presentation: