A great way to help clarinetists know how much of the mouthpiece to have in their mouth, and prevent the all too common problem of them using too little, is to have them play an open G, then take a tiny bit more mouthpiece into their mouth, and play another open G. Have them repeat this until the instrument “squeaks.” Then, have them take a tiny bit less mouthpiece. Basically, this gets them to have as much mouthpiece in their mouth as they can without making the instrument squeak! It works every time, though I will caution you to do this with the band room door closed!

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He has also been named Director of Education for KHS America. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”