During the last few months I have been entertained creating a new project for my students: a clarinet ensemble.
Some of these students were already belonging to other amateur orchestras around Bristol. Most of these students had also participated in clarinet ensemble pieces in my previous pupils’ concerts, but these pieces weren’t generally prepared in advance.
With this new ensemble it is my intention to bring them a step further in clarinet playing. Rehearsing together every week has already made them improve their ability to listen to the other players. They are trying hard to blend their sound with each other and gaining more balance by following dynamics and being more aware of whether they are playing melody or accompaniment.
When playing in an ensemble every single member of the group is essential for the development as a whole and I am very pleased to see that they practise their own part individually before our rehearsals.
As a music teacher I believe that students should have enough performing opportunities to grow as musicians. In my view, obtaining grade exams is a very small part of developing musicianship.
Even if still a long way to go, I am grateful to see that these students are enjoying and benefiting from this experience as much as I am.