Learning about clarinets in the music classroom

Here is a couple of lesson plan ideas that can be used when teaching students about the clarinet in your music classroom. There are lots more ideas for music lesson plans in the printable music lesson plans series at this webpage.

A simple single reed instrument can easily be made in the classroom You will need: pieces of paper and plastic combs, about 5cm x 5cm (two inches by two inches) Instructions: Hold a comb with the teeth pointed toward you. Place a piece of paper on the comb in line with the edge of the teeth and hold it in place with your thumbs. Simply blow to make a sound with your lips around the paper and the comb. This activity should make clear the concept of a single reed vibrating to create sound.

Spotlight on clarinet players: Share this information with your class in the manner that best suits you. You could also give the students a class project to learn about one or more of these musicians/

An American clarinetist, best known for his jazz musicianship was Benny Goodman. He was born in 1909 to jewish immigrants in Chicago He learned the clarinet very quickly and worked as a professional musician while still a teenager. Goodman led a band in New York City in the 1920’s and 30‘s. Goodman even became known as “The King of Swing” as his music was very popular during the swing era Benny Goodman is known as one of the best jazz clarinetists of all timse, as he continued to make recordings for the rest of his life He was one of the few jazz musicians to cross over to the classical realm and make recordings of well known classical pieces.

Thea King (1925-2007) was an important English clarinetist. She played with many different groups, but perhaps her most significant position was principal clarinetist of the English Chamber Orchestra from 1964 to 1999. She was inducted into the Order of the British Empire in 1985, becoming “Dame Thea King.”

Richard Stoltzman (born 1942) is a well known American classical clarinetist. He has made both classical and jazz recordings Studying at Ohio State University, he majored in both Music and Mathematics He is in high demand as a clarinet soloist with orchestras around the world.

Sabine Meyer, a German clarinetist born in 1959, was the first ever female member of the Berlin Philharmonic. The other members didn’t accept her, however, and after a short time she left to become a full-time clarinet soloist. She is also very involved in chamber music (music for a small group of players).