Your First Clarinet Lesson
Many students are concerned about their first clarinet lesson – what will I have to do? What if I don’t understand what my clarinet teacher is talking about? Some first time teachers of the clarinet are also concerned when it comes to give their first lesson – their first time was so long ago they can’t remember what a clarinet player needs to learn first. However, there is no need to worry – first time lessons on the clarinet should be all about fun, with introductions to the clarinet and no pressure.
Your first lesson will probably be all about the embouchure. Embouchure refers to how the mouth is shaped when playing a brass or woodwind instrument. Getting your embouchure right when playing the clarinet can take a bit of getting used to, so don’t be worried if in your first lesson or two you produce a lot of squeaks, or no sound at all! Your teacher should show you how to shape your mouth, using little effort, before you put your clarinet mouthpiece anywhere near your mouth.
You will then probably practice making a sound just using your mouthpiece. This can be disappointing to some beginners, as they just want to get on with playing their new clarinet, but it is important to learn the basics first if you want to develop good playing.
Your first lesson will also probably include some time spent learning how to put your clarinet together, and how to keep it in good condition. Your teacher may also talk about the history of the clarinet, or the type of music you can expect to play after a few lessons. Remember, there is nothing wrong with asking questions, and that you are there to enjoy yourself!
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