EASY PRACTICAL EXERCISE

   Suppose that you have a public performance in a week. You will perform the piece that you have already learned well, but now you appear to have a dose of uncertainty.

To be mentally prepared for the future situation, (what might happen or what will happen) apply the following exercise that takes only 4-5 minutes. It might help you.

At night when you lie down and relax, think of your performance lively as if it is happening at that moment.

Imagine yourself completely calm and cheerful, and with the only motive that you are going to present yourself and your music to a wonderful audience. Imagine that the program has began, you hear the applause, you are being announced, you come to the stage smiling and full of confidence. Think how you are doing the preliminary action before the performance (as described in this booklet) and how you begin to play. You feel comfortable. You see how everything goes on according to the plan and how the audience enjoys in your interpretation.

  Imagine yourself also when you make mistakes, but despite them you are calm and you continue playing without panic. You see, for example, that someone is talking in the hall, or that someone is laughing or shouting at you angrily in the moment of playing, but you are calm, you overcome the situation, and continue to play well.

You can imagine any situation in which you can find yourself but it is important to conjure images of a happy outcome.

What do you actually do in this way? You prepare yourself for a future event, ie. how to “come out” of it successfully.

This can also be practiced in the morning when you wake up. So, it means 2-3 times a day until the day of performance when the whole situation becomes clear to you. Many people think about it only on the day when it happens. But it is too late then, because they have not been through the future performance.

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet III


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MAINTAINING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS YOURSELF AND PERFORMANCE ANXIETY

No one likes and cannot stand to see oneself in a bad condition and bad light (to be embarrassed, not to be able to handle the situation and to lack self – confidence). These are unpleasant states of the soul. Everyone likes to feel good.


Keep in mind that errors are normal. Students’ time is to make mistakes, and “not to know everything”. Otherwise, you would not be students but already mature artists (although you will often hear that they also make mistakes).

There is no successful man who has not suffered a defeat, but there are those who just can not bear it. A successful musician accepts a flexible life and himself in it.

Success is the sum of defeat and the favourable outcome of something attempted.

Taken from my book 
I Am Studying Clarinet III


MUSIC-MAKING

  Music-making is a nice, clear  and expressive performance of a musical piece, the correct interpretation of the composer’s ideas, with the addition of personal experience (emotional impact) to be transferred to the listener.

    Compared to fine arts a note text is a drawing (sketch), music-making is an art painting, with all its effects — the feeling of space, perception of color, light and shadow.

     The conditions for good music-making are primarily talent and musicality, sense of beauty and extent, and music education and possession of an analytical mind. You need to know and feel what to put in the foreground and what is the second or third, which music units there are — phrases, what and where should be noted.

  You need to tell it all to yourself in advance, but only after learning the whole piece as written notes. Ask yourself: how do I want to play this piece — here I will begin a wide-cantabile, and I will emphasize this tone, I will start in this dynamic, and here I will make a crescendo or diminuendo, and so on.

      Do this several times during several days before the performance, until you are sure that you want and just need to play-make music and that is has become your property.

Taken from my book 
I Am Studying Clarinet IV


CLARINET IN ORCHESTRA AND CHAMBER MUSIC

   Since the time of the early classicism (Mannheim school) clarinet has been more represented in the symphony orchestra.

Clarinets in the symphony orchestra.

      Double wind instruments are usual for classicists (2 of each: flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and trumpets). In the scores, it sometimes refers to the B♭ clarinets, and sometimes to A, depending on whether the composition is with flat or sharp keys. Today, if necessary, it is played in transposition (see the chapter on this.)

     Romantics increase the orchestra to “triple” or “quadruple”, so that, apart from two B clarinets (or A),  the bass-clarinet and possibly the Es clarinet are included. The first clarinetists in the orchestra is often entrusted with expressive, technically difficult and responsible solo parts.

   In the military wind band clarinets are present in larger numbers in various sizes, because there they usually have the main melody (like the violin in the symphony orchestra).

Clarinets in the military wind band.

       In chamber music, where the clarinet takes part, the most important is wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon), then the wind trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon). There are different settings: for example, Mozart, Brahms and Reger wrote a quintet for clarinet and string quartet, and Brahms trio for clarinet, cello and piano, Beethoven has a septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon and string quartet, Schubert – octet for the same three wind instruments and string quintet. French composer Florent Schmitt has even Sextet for clarinet (one in Es, two in B, alto in Es, bass and contrabass clarinet).

      Of course, the clarinet is also used for solo performances with the orchestra in concerts and other similar pieces as well as accompanied by the piano (Sonatas, various pieces).

Taken from my book 
I Am Studying Clarinet IV


HOW IS KNOWLEDGE OF STYLES ATTAINED AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR

  Every clarinet player who wants to be a music professional must know the characteristics of the musical styles of different periods (epochs). He also needs to know the composers who created in a given time and their styles of writing.

        Surely it is unacceptable to play Mozart as Weber is played, or  for example,  Debussy  as Stamitz.

   It is therefore essential that you now read and study the history of music, music theory and harmony as much as possible. And particularly: listen to good performance of the work from different periods – at concerts, on radio or TV, records, CDs or cassettes.

       Listen, and think and analyze. Only in this way, your interpretation may be stylistically correct, ie. in the spirit of the author and time when the composition was made.

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet IV