A Career in Clarinet Revisited

Dear Mr. Friedland, I am a 10th grader in high school and am thinking about pursuing career of playing the clarient in an orchestra. Do you have any advice for people my age who want to become clarinet players?Thank you,Ashley

Dear Ashley, Ordinarily I would respond with a flat negative statement, talking about the severe conditioning, the extreme competitiion in numbers alone, the fact that you would have to be a better player as a woman than any man in order to get a job in a symphony orchestra.I would continue with the late starting time , perhaps as much as ive years too late a start in order to be competitive with the ther aspirants.I would continue with the large numbers of clarinetists in music shool in the larger cities and the few jobs that pop up each year nd the resultant hundreds of people appearing at the auditions.One wonders if all the work is worth all that effort and if there not easier ways to have a performing career in music.Perhaps I would also ask you about your dental history to etermine if you even have the teeth for the clarinet. Without<bstrong and healthy teeth well formed you will have problems which ay prove insurmountable. I could go on and on.But I know how to test your want of the life of a symphonic larinetist. This is a question I heard Nadia Boulanger ask many sudents and I too believe in it. “If you would rather be deadthan not be able to play the clarinet, perhaps then you will beable to go through with all of the above, with joy and without dfficulty.”That is how much you must want the carinet. And, you shouldprogress with almost lightning speed and excellence and run intovery few problems.Lots of luck with all of your endeavors.Sincerely

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