I know the advice I am about to offer will garner great dissent. But I simply have to share it nonetheless. I am not trying to trample on tradition, but rather offer what I think is sound advice for young (actually any age!) clarinetists. By using a neck strap to hold up and bear the weight of the clarinet, the right thumb simply balances and positions the instrument. This allows the right wrist, thumb, and fingers to be relaxed and more flexible as they move, far less encumbered by tension. Have your clarinetists try it and watch as their posture, instrument position, and fluidity of motion improve while their fatigue issues subside, all with the simple use of a neck strap. 

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, 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. 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.”