Peter Stoll and Willis Delony
Peter Stoll is one of Canada’s preeminent clarinetists with a distinguished performing career and recognized for his skills as a teacher. Using both of these gifts, Stoll has worked to create a comprehensive exam-based teaching series for clarinetists. The series includes volumes for technique and étude materials but also repertoire volumes which are divided into List A (technical) and List B (lyrical) for each level, starting with a young primer and advancing to collegiate/professional level repertoire. Features of the materials include playalong piano tracks (as well as a clarinet and piano track recording to study), a well-sequenced and programmatic approach to isolating specific issues (such as fingering choices), a variety of styles including classical, jazz, klezmer, and contemporary, and an opportunity to involve the student in the decision-making process.
–Notes by Dr. Mary Alice Druhan
Dr. Mary Alice Druhan is the Associate Professor of Clarinet, Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Buffet performing artist.
Filed under Day 5, lecture
In 2009, Dr. Diane Barger began a unique teaching experience in her studio at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During their lessons, Barger would record a short clip of the student’s playing. The clip was then uploaded to a private Facebook group where all of the students made comments, including on their own lesson’s video. In the fall of 2013 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Alabama Birmingham studio (of Dr. Denise Gainey) started the same exercise of recording weekly lessons, and then four times throughout the semester the two studios would have lesson videos uploaded onto a collaborative Facebook group where students would posts comments on the other studio’s lesson videos. This new collaborative approach has several advantages for both students and teachers. The teachers are better able to see how their students are learning through the students’ own comments. The students find their own voice and open up to becoming future teachers, and are exposed to peers outside of their own institution with instant collaboration among people their own age. The students’ learning continues past the lesson for a better experience, and gives them something to go back to later. Students also learn to model their comments from their teacher’s comments during these virtual masterclasses. A cross-pollination opportunity for the two professors emerges to share pedagogical ideas between themselves and their studios. An interesting and effective use of technology to create a collaborative and interactive learning experience!
–Notes by Sam Davies
Sam Davies recently completed his first year of DMA study with Dr. Guy Yehuda at Michigan State University. At MSU Davies can be heard performing with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and new student compositions
Filed under Day 4, lecture
University of Georgia Clarinet Professor D. Ray McClellan outlined important concepts in preparing to apply and interview for college teaching jobs. He had five components which he discussed and supported with examples and anecdotes. In the category of performance, he identified four basic areas in which all clarinetists should have experience: orchestral playing, chamber ensembles, concerto soloist, and recitals. Additionally, it is important to record as much as possible in a variety of styles and genres in preparation for a well-rounded demo CD.
For pedagogy, McClellan stressed organizing your thoughts about teaching so that you know how to describe fundamental techniques and your own learning process. He gave tips on teaching masterclasses, as well as answering interview questions about teaching philosophy and style. The last three elements (profile, paperwork, and personality) covered aspects of your public presence, such as regular clarinet-related activities, preparing paperwork and websites, and knowing your teaching/interviewing personality. The session included great examples from McClellan based on his own experience as well as that of his colleagues and students.
–Notes by Jennifer Tinberg
Jennifer Tinberg is currently Adjunct Clarinet Faculty at Troy University and a doctoral student at Florida State University.
Filed under Day 4, lecture
Leigh Lafosse, clarinetist with the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”, gave an energetic lecture on “Mastering the Masterclass: Preparing Graduates to Teach.” In her research, Dr. Lafosse spoke with pedagogues to gain an understanding of strengths and weaknesses of most masterclasses. During her lecture, she focused on public speaking with emphasis on inflection, eye contact, and smiling. Dr. Lafosse interacted with the audience to show various ways to engage with both the performer in the master class and the collective audience. She achieved this by asking the audience to describe three ways to form an embouchure, to raise their hands when hearing a rest held too short, and to pinpoint issues that the performer experienced. Finally, she emphasized the importance of being able to emulate common mistakes by students, which included articulation, support, and tongue placement. She stated at the beginning of her lecture that one of the biggest keys in getting a teaching job is through giving a masterclass, however, most musicians are not prepared when given this opportunity. Overall, the master class was highly informative and showed a great understanding by Dr. Lafosse in terms of how to approach a master class.
–Notes by Dr. Michael Bartnik
Dr. Bartnik recently joined the faculty at Nicholls State University as Assistant Professor of Music where he teaches woodwinds and performs regularly with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
Filed under Day 1, lecture