Jane's Blog

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Impressive Improvement Practice Plan

It was quite hard for me to choose an aspect of playing the bass clarinet to work on, as there was a lot of room for improvement for all of the aspects like articulation, finger dexterity, rhythm, etc. However, while playing warm-ups like running fifths, I’ve noticed that my tongue gets really tired and clumsy easily, so I decided to work on my articulation.

I chose a pretty easy piece, consisting of a repetitive eighth note – sixteenth note – sixteenth note rhythm. Because this piece is so straightforward regarding rhythm and so on, it’ll be easier for me to focus on the aspect of articulation. I started off being able to play the piece correctly, but at a pretty slow pace, and throughout the month I hope to increase the speed in which I’m able to play it.

I chose multiple warm-up pieces that are similar in style to the piece I’m being tested on. Some of these pieces were designed for clarinet players (and not bass clarinet players), so I’ll be making adjustments to the pieces to fit my instrument and current level of playing. I will incorporate any or all of these pieces into my normal practice routine, meaning I’ll be practicing these pieces at least a few times each week. I will use a metronome to keep time, and as my skill level improves, the speed at which I’ll play will increase too.

Band Reflection: Aug. 13 to Aug. 31

The first three weeks of class were pretty much exactly how I imagined it. It took a few lessons for me to get used to playing the bass clarinet again. My jaws became tired really easily when I played repeated, fast rhythms, and my fingers don’t move as fast as it did at the end of last year, but I think a few more weeks will be enough for me to get used to these aspects of playing my instrument. Something I really want to work on this year is probably a better sense of rhythm when there’s a syncopated rhythm or a 7/8 time signature. I’m pretty prepared during class and always have my music, because I have a studyhall now and so I have a lot of time to print music out. I’ve started bringing my entire pencil case in the band room too. I really like this year’s band, and I’m glad we have another tuba and more percussionists, but it’s kind of sad that we only have one oboe now :(. Overall, I have a pretty good feeling about band this year!

PS: Mr. Long’s new glasses are very trendy and hip