The teacher advises the student at a rehearsal with the piano


 Rehearsals with the piano accompaniment present an important factor in the development of a young musician.

   Each piece gets its significance and becomes a whole only in rehearsals with the piano (this is not applicable to pieces without accompaniment).


The rehearsals with the piano should be
performed in two phases:

1st Phase: Adjustment of the piano and the clarinet part

  — At this phase we are trying to play the piece rhythmically precise, without the dynamic changes. The piece is rehearsed as an etude with the piano accompaniment. At the adjustment rehersals it is necessary to understand the parts of the clarinet performance and its pauses. More difficult parts should be separated and then practiced slowly several times with the piano accompaniment. Pieces at a faster speed should be practiced at a moderate speed.

   * At this phase there is no need to play by heart.

2nd Phase:  Playing as a whole

  — This phase occurs after 3-4 adjustment rehearsals.
The piece is played by heart, the required tempo, dynamics, and agogics are apllied, the personal emotion and understanding of the piece are brought into it.

   It is very good that before the adjustment phase a teacher analyzes the piano score with a student. In this way rehearsals are efficient and the time is not wasted needleslly.

   At rehearsals, apart from practicing pieces, playing pieces by heart is also checked. The parts which have not already been memorized can easily be noticed i.e. the parts which should be better learned.

From one musical rehearsal

   The rehearsal with the piano should prove whether the chosen reed is really the best one for performance.

   The student should come to the rehearsal as if coming to the clarinet class and play at least 5 minutes before the rehearsal, so that the temperature of the clarinet could equal to the indoor temperature (for tuning of the instrument). This is also necessary for warming up the fingers and lips.

   At the rehearsal with the piano accompaniment a beginner student usually blows stronger than at the class in order to sound louder than the piano. This naturally leads to a constraint and failure in the sound of the clarinet. There are frequent changes in the concept of the piece.

   The general rule would be: Do not change anything without a note from your teacher!

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet III



   In this year you should slightly extend the practice period. It is best to practice one hour and fifty minutes or at least one hour

        It is the most important to practice regularly and on a daily basis.

The following schedule is suggested:

       * Breaks should be taken when necessary.

        You can reduce the specified minutes of practicing proportionally or devide them into two stages.

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet III


    Way to practice, schedule and how to plan the working day has already been  described in the notebook I Am Studying Clarinet I.

          In this year of learning the clarinet you should practice a little longer. You will achieve the best results if you practice 1 hour and thirty minutes or at least 45 minutes. It is very important to practice on a daily basis.

The following schedule is suggested:

         You can reduce the specified minutes of practicing and devide the total time into two stages.

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet II





We still have fresh memories of the 42nd International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade in the clarinet category and brilliant clarinet performance of twenty-six year old clarinetist Jumi Ito from Japan


RL: At the beginning of our interview could you tell me, please, where do you come from?

– I was born in Japan, more precisely in the place called Nagano.

RL: At the 42nd International Jeunesses Musicales Competition held in Belgrade in the category of clarinet, you have won the deserved second- place award?

– Yes. Besides the second award, I have also received the award for best performance of the compulsory Bruno Brun’s composition Four Miniatures.

Bruno Brun: Four Miniatures. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: Are you satisfied with the awards and did you believe in your winning?

– Of course, I am delighted. I would not have competed if I did not believe.

RL: What are your impressions about the competition and your staying in Belgrade?

It was really a nice competition. People here are so warm and nice. Everything has been well organized. I am so grateful to all who I have met in Belgrade.

RL: Have you already, apart from the awards at the afore mentioned competition, won any important award?

– I won the “most excellent,” award from the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education for the 11th Annual Kobe International Music Competition in Japan.

Claude Debussy: First Rhapsody for Clarinet and Piano. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: When did you start and how long have you been playing the clarinet?

Next year it will be 10th  anniversary of my clarinet life.

RL: It would be interesting to find out more about your musical education.

I got the Diploma of Musical Performers from Musashino Academia Musicae, I finished Master studies at Manhattan School of Music, and I have Performance Certificate from the Mannes School of Music in New York.

RL: What are the names of professors who you have mastered playing the clarinet with?

– During the study my teachers were Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima, Masaharu Yamamoto and Takahiro Denda.

RL: Do you intend to continue studying?

I will pursue an Artist’s Diploma at the Hartt School in the fall of 2012.

RL: I have been informed that you had delighted the audience around the world with your excellent performances, so tell me where did it all happen?

Yes. I love to perform, it fulfills me. I am very active as a soloist on the clarinet and also as a chamber musician. I had a lot of concerts across North America, Asia and Europe.

RL: Which compositions and composers do you prefer to perform?

All that is new is a big challenge for me. I intend to put some pieces for clarinet which you have composed on my repertoire. They are very nice and music is beautiful.

Dejan Despić: Nine Dances for Clarinet Solo (I. & II.), Op. 62. Jumi Ito – Clarinet, Antonela Grgin – Piano

RL: It will be a great pleasure for me to hear your masterful performance of my compositions.

RL: Now, tell me what brand of clarinet do you play?

– I play on the clarinet Buffet RC (B-flat), and also have got Prestige (A) clarinet.

RL: The young clarinetist, readers of this website, will  certainly be interested in what brand and type of mouthpiece and reeds do you use to play on?

– I play on the mouthpiece of a Vandoren B40 brand and I use reeds of a Vandren brand, silver box No. 3 ½.

RL: In the end, tell me will you come to Belgrade again?

I wish I would come to this city soon for some concert or just visiting.

The author Radivoj Lazić and clarinetist Yumi Ito

RL: Then, see you again in Belgrade and until our new interview for the readers of this site, I wish you all the best and a very successful artistic career.

Thanks and best regards to all the young clarinetist and visitors of this site.


   Sight-reading is commonly used term by musicians for the reading of a piece of written music, specifically when the performer has not seen it before (ital. prima vista, which means to play music at first sight).

   This technique is neccesary to every future musicianinstrumentalist, and therefore it needs to be learned.

      Usually, before rehearsal, orchestra musicians get their parts (musical sections that they play) and read them slightly. After that, a joint rehearsal starts – a group playing (playing in the group or orchestra).

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet III