Clarinet Lessons in Newark

clarinet lessons in newarkIf you are looking for clarinet lessons in Newark, Nottinghamshire, then you’ve come to the right place!

Experienced music teacher Lois Diskin offers clarinet lessons to students of all ages and abilities in Newark and surrounding areas, including Coddington, Balderton, Farndon and Ollerton.  The clarinet is a wonderful instrument to learn and can lead the way to a lifetime of enjoyment playing a wide range of music from classical orchestral music through to jazz and swing!

On this page you can find a selection of questions that I am often asked by parents and new students who are interested in booking clarinet lessons.

Q. How old does my child need to be to start clarinet lessons?

A. Due to the size of the instrument, as a general rule most children are not physically able to play a full size Bb clarinet until around the age of eight.  However, an alternative to consider is the Clarineo, a lighter, easier to play instrument designed with younger children in mind.  Children as young as 6 or 7 make good progress with the Clarineo and the transition to a full size Bb clarinet or even saxophone after a couple of years is seamless.

Q. What equipment do I need to start clarinet lessons?

A. Firstly, a clarinet!  Choosing a clarinet can be daunting, but do get in touch for advice before making a purchase.  There are instruments out there for all budgets, used and new, but for a beginner a clarinet such as a Buffet B12, Yamaha YCL255 or Hanson HE3-V would be an excellent choice.  All three of these models are under £400 for a new instrument, or less if buying second-hand.  Many music shops offer a hire-purchase scheme on instruments which can help spread the cost.

You will also need reeds for your clarinet.  Recommended brands are Rico, Vandoren and Juno.  When you are starting clarinet lessons you will need to buy reeds that are strength 1.5.  Reeds Direct are an excellent, competitive online supplier of the above reeds.

A pull-through cleaning cloth for your clarinet is also essential, but will hopefully be included with your instrument when you buy it.

Other equipment that you will find useful:

  • a music stand – much better than leaning at an awkward angle trying to read music propped up on the back of the sofa!
  • a clarinet stand – handy for putting your clarinet down for short breaks between practice sessions, but remember to clean your clarinet thoroughly if you’ve you’ve finished practising
  • a thumb-rest cushion – a moulded piece of rubber that makes the thumb-rest a bit more comfy for your thumb!
  • mouthpiece patches – adhesive rubber patches for your mouthpiece which protects the mouthpiece and provides comfort during playing
  • cork grease – usually included with a new instrument and useful for lubricating stiff joints on the clarinet

Q. Will I be able to take clarinet exams?

A. If you want to follow the graded exam system then yes, absolutely.  For younger learners there is also the Clarinet Prep Test, which is like a pre-Grade 1 test that gives children the chance to experience an exam situation without the pressure of being marked.  ABRSM graded exams offer a structured progression through a wide range of repertoire, technical and general musicianship training.  Trinity Jazz exams provide an opportunity to learn more contemporary styles and develop skills required in the world of jazz.

Q. I’d prefer to play for fun and not do exams – can I still have clarinet lessons with you?

A. Of course.  Exams are useful, but not compulsory and many students choose not to follow the graded exam system but focus on repertoire that they want to play and develop their technique by exploring a range of different pieces.

Q. Do I have to do music theory or aural training?

A. Music theory is encouraged for all students who are taking clarinet lessons, because it gives you a deeper understanding of the music you are playing.  Grade 5 theory is also a pre-requisite for Grade 5 clarinet, so it’s extremely useful to study music theory alongside learning to play the clarinet.  Aural skills are another essential aspect to learning the clarinet and these are developed in a variety of ways during the course of lessons – you probably won’t even realise you’re improving your aural skills!  Both music theory and aural training are areas that will transfer to learning any instrument and not exclusive to clarinet lessons.

Q. Which books do I need to get started with my clarinet lessons?

A. Everyone is unique and there are a number of different tutor books available, so at your first lesson we will discuss the most appropriate books for you. Many also come with accompaniment CDs which can be really useful when practising at home. Below is a selection of the most commonly used, but please wait until you have started clarinet lessons and been advised which book is best for you, before you make your purchase.

Abracadabra Clarinet

A New Tune a Day for Clarinet

Clarinet Basics