Norman Carrel, a wonderful clarinetist and teacher

Dear Mr. Friedland: I hope this e-mail will get to you. My name is M C Carrel) Norman Carrel was my dad. I have read about you on the internet and noticed that you mention him sometimes. He was great! He passed away about three years ago at 96. He could still play the clarinet right up until the end. If you get this, perhaps you could let me know. Than you for your time. M C


Dear Ms. C:
Hello and thank you so much for your note. Norman was my very first clarinet teacher and also the most gifted musician and cartoonist as well . My lessons with Mr. Carrel were always an event and many times in my writings on my site I recall that first lesson with him in telling students to find a teacher who is a real clarinetist. I am glad he lived a good and complete life. He was a wonderful influence on many many musicians and an inspiration. I loved his cartoons as well as did many many people. I loved him.
most sincerely,


But ,you know he was much more that just an excellent clarinetist. He was also a fine teacher and an inspiration because of the very unusually beautiful sound he made on the clarinet. He also sounded equally good on any instrument he picked up, including Saxopnone, Flute and even Oboe. He was a natural and I consider myself fortunate for having met and studied with him.
60 years ago this March I had my first lesson with “Mr Carrel” in room 217 of the New England Conservatory of Music. I had been asking to learn to pay the clarinet for several years when my parents finally consented and they placed this ad in the Boston Globe: “Wanted to buy, used clarinet, cheap.”
Well Norman, being Norman called and complied, but also offered lessons and they agreed.
It must be the same for everybody taking their first lesson. Of course he demonstrated first and I think I shall never forget that sound, that incredibla sound with which I fell in love. I did nothing but squeak the first lesson and vowed to myself that I would not squeak for the second, which I did not, and I progressed very quickly after that, placing principal clarinet in what was a very good high school band.
I guess in retrospect was the he said I should definitely go to the Curtis Institute, in itself a great compliment, but my parents would think of it, nd it was years before I realized that I should have , or at least tried to attend, which I did not.
In any event, I would hope that all who read this will be looking for a teacher who can inspire you as was I by Norman Carrel



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