Beginning Method Books

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This section contains excerpts from a survey of KLARINET list subscribers taken in November 1995 by Richard Faria, Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the Ithaca College School of Music.

Rubank Method, 10 votes

First/Second Book of Practical Studies for Clarinet, by Nilo Hovey, 4 votes

A Tune a Day, vol. 1 and 2, by Carl Herefurth, 3 votes
The Progressing Clarinetist, by Leon Lester, 3 votes
Yamaha Band Method, 3 votes

Others, less than 3 votes.

The following were described as supplemental to the Hovey Practical Studies as part of a Belwin Mills series:

Clarinet Student, Fred Weber/Robert Lowry, Belwin Mills
Tunes for Clarinet Technique, Fred Weber/Robert Lowry, Belwin Mills

This book wasn't available during the initial survey; it has high recommendations:

The Galper Clarinet Method - Book 1

Comments about the Rubank Method

"I really like the Rubank books--they have exercises, etudes, and duets that are all very fun to play. When I first started taking lessons, this was the book I used, and I loved it."

"If you're talking about private or group instruction, as opposed to band method books, the best is easily Rubank."

"My favorite book(s) for beginners is the Rubank series -- a perennial choice of many school programs. I also think that the Baermann volume III book is invauluable to all levels of clarinetists, and should be introduced at the beginning high school level."

"When my students are ready for longer exercises I move to the Rubank series. I like the Rubank Advanced Method (volumes 1-2) as a scale, technique and duet book. I supplement this method with David Hite's Melodious and Progressive Studies, Volume 1."

"I have over the past several years avoided Rubank (at one time a standard) until the student is ready to handle the Advanced Volume I material. The Rubank Method is in any case not suitable for school instrumental music classes because it moves too quickly to too diffcult a level."

"Of course there is always the good old Rubank methods...VERY good, but my younger crowd seems a bit bored with it..."

"I have had success with Breeze Easy I and II and with the Rubank series, depending upon the student."

Comments about Hovey's Practical Studies and the Belwin Mills Series

"There is a nice series published by Belwin Mills with three levels. Each level has a basic book, viz. the Clarinet Student, with supplemental materials including solos, duos, Tunes for Technique, etc. Rubank is still feasible in that it has a plethora of methods and various levels too."

"Nilo Hovey put out a book called "Practical Studies"...looks good..."

"Practical Studies Book I and Book II Nilo Hovey, Belwin. Not a 16th note in book one but loaded with good basic materials."

"I use the Clarinet Student series for my youngest students (5th through ?). It has a faster pace than some of the other series, but it has optional supplemental books that may be used for extra practice. The extra books include a technique volume, a melodious etudes volume, a volume for solos with piano and a duet volume. There are companion books for each of the three levels..."

Comments about Some of the Other Methods

"My favorites for beginners are Tune a Day for Clarinet, vol 1 & 2. They come for all instruments, but are not a band method."

"When I first started teaching I looked down my nose at Tune-A-Day, figuring it was bad pedagogy to let kids play tunes they knew, because they'd play by ear, and not learn to read. But if the teacher is diligent, and makes the kids read *carefully*, the kids learn to read, they like practicing the tunes, and from the teaching point of view, the material is pretty progressive, and not too fast for the average kid."

"I start my students with the Yamaha Band student book 1. I also use the James Collis method book 1-6, and the Ed Suetta Band method books 2-3 (really good). Later I use the Hite Melodious/Progressive Studies Book 1-2 before using the Artistic Studies by Hite. ... I also taught the 2nd prize 1992 ICA Young Artist Competition."

"As supplemental material for beginners I used the Yamaha Ensemble Books and for more advanced students (2nd and 3rd year players) I used Three's a Crowd Junior Book A or Book 1 by James Power."

"For absolute beginners, I start off with the two books in the Pro Arte series for clarinet. I like these a little better than the Rubank's, but Rubank's are also good. After that, I have them working out of the Leon Lester books, depending on the students (60 Rambles, The Progressing Clarinetist, and Advancing Clarinetist) Then, for intermediates, the first book of David Hite's "Melodious and Progressive Studies" book. Finally, the Rose 40."

"Some of the sources I have found most useful are the Leon Lester studies for the beginners: Melodious Studes, and The Progressing Clarinetist. These are short enough to be learned in a week or two, and are melodically interesting and varied."

"I have always been fond of the first book in the series of two by Jack Snavely published by Leblanc. Book I stays entirely in the chalumeau register but introduces many rhythmic concepts, fingerings, etc. while giving the student a real chance to develop in the basic register while not having to over-reach themselves and develop really bad hand and finger problems with the "break". Downside - in a school situation the band wants more notes--quicker."

"A good source for a course of study for all band instruments is The University of Iowa's "Black Book". The professors here have included a complete course of study along with solo and ensemble materials ordered by level of difficulty. This book may be obtained from Eble Music."

"I really liked Peter Wastall (I may not have got his name right!), "Learn As You Play Clarinet". It is very clear and moves students on quite fast."

"For private instruction, I generally use Peter Wastall's Learn as You Play Clarinet."

"I think that Bruce Pearson's "Standards of Excellence" is one of the best method books on the market today."

"Standard of Excellence by Bruce Pearson. Before that I used "Best in Class" also by Bruce Pearson, but I like the new one better."

"I've was taught using 'Abracadabra Clarinet'. I think its tons better than 'a tune a day.' It has lots of nice pieces which everyone knows, and it's just ace, really."

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