1. Explain how you believe you are progressing on your instrument so far this year.
I feel like I have passed the beginner level this year and I’m starting to develop more playing skills. The most important thing that I learned this year is “crossing the bridge” (reaching the higher notes). I am now able to reach the higher notes, playing those notes in tone and then immediately going back down to the lower notes. However, I didn’t improve as greatly as I did in the previous years since I am now a lot more familiar with my clarinet, it is harder to advance. Therefore, I need to make a greater effort to improve and move on to the next level.
2. Explain specifically what you are currently doing to improve your level of skill.
When practicing at home (unfortunately, I only practice one to two times every week), I go back and review the songs that require more technique to play. I play songs with a mixture of high and low pitched notes, a variety of articulation markings and greater difference in dynamics. When playing the different scales in music class, I try to play the section that is higher in pitch to strengthen my newly developed skills and achieving a high tone quality for the higher notes across the bridge.
3. How often do you practice?
To be honest, I only practice once every week on average (yes, this is something I need to work on and take initiative for reminding myself). In the first term (before Christmas), I was in Concert Band, so I practiced every other day during that time in preparation for the winter concert. Now, as the school year goes on, I find much harder to practice. It takes time for me to set up and pack up my instrument after I practice and I’m so lazy that I don’t bother to do so. Additionally, my work load increases, so it becomes harder for me to find time dedicated for practicing.
4. Which of these are you most successful at: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?
My articulation is the best. I tongue very precisely on the staccato notes and I can hold my breath to play the slur notes to create a smooth and connected sound.
5. Which of these are you the least successful: note accuracy, rhythm accuracy, articulation, dynamics, tone quality, breathing/phrasing?
I find that I will need to improve on rhythm accuracy because