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Natasha Zahor

Private Lesson Plan: Clarinet
Music level: Beginner
Lesson Plan
Lesson plan title: Clarinet Basics for Beginners
Topics to teach: The parts of the clarinet, the proper way to assemble a clarinet, the
proper way to hold the clarinet, how to form a clarinet embouchure, the notes E, D,
and C, and how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the clarinet.
Students will have basic knowledge on how the clarinet works and will be able to
play the instrument with a pleasant sound.
Specific Objectives
identify the parts of the clarinet
assemble a clarinet correctly
hold a clarinet correctly
form a proper embouchure for the clarinet
identify how to finger E,D, and C
play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the clarinet.
Required Materials
Clarinet (2)
Music stand
Sheet music for Mary had a little lamb
1. Start the lesson with a friendly hello and a few questions on their knowledge
of the clarinet
2. Hand the student a clarinet with the case right side up. Explain why this way
is the correct way to open a clarinet.
3. Open the teacher and student clarinet together. Go over what each part of
the instrument is before taking any pieces out of the case.
4. Give the student a new reed for them to wet. Assemble the mouthpiece by
attaching the barrel to the mouthpiece, putting the reed in place correctly,
and tightening the ligature.
5. Explain to the student how to form an embouchure. Stretch your bottom lip
across your bottom teeth, Slide the reed across your lower lip so that your
mouthpiece is behind your top teeth, and seal the lips around the

6. Have the student blow fast air into the mouthpiece and barrel. Listen for
concert F#. If pitch is low, tighten embouchure or blow faster air. If pitch is
high, loosen lips and jaw.
7. Time to assemble the instrument.
8. Check the cork to see if cork grease is needed. Apply as needed. Remind the
student that this is something they will want to check every time before
assembling the instrument.
9. Remove the bell and the bottom joint from case. Attach the bell to the cork
side of the bottom joint. Close the bottom three pads on the bottom joint with
one hand and gently twist the bell on with the other hand.
10.Place partially assembled instrument in right hand and pick up top joint with
left hand. Explain to the student about the bridge key and the need to hold
down D while attaching the two parts.
11.Rest the instrument on the knee and hold close to the top of the top joint.
Attach the barrel and mouthpiece by gently twisting.
12.Explain correct positioning by resting the bell of the clarinet on the right thigh
and placing the right thumb under the thumb rest. The right thumb knuckle
is under the thumb rest and inside edge of the thumb near the thumbnail is
against the body of the clarinet. We want to have a soft U shape.
13.Position the left hand by hovering the pointer, middle, and ring finger over
the first 3 holes with the pinky above E/B and the thumb covering the back
F/C hole.
14.Go over and tell the student the note names for each fingering of E, D, and C.
15.Have the student try and play each note just learned. They can play in whole
notes first and then try playing them in half notes.
16.Once the student has successfully played each note covered in the lesson,
give them the notation for Mary Had a Little Lamb and ask them to play it.
17.Congratulate the student on their hard work during the lesson and encourage
practice over the next week.
Goals for individual practice
Continue working with getting a sound out of the instrument. Experiment with
what positions of the mouth make what noises. See what you do right and
what you do wrong.
Practice holding a note out for a duration of 4 beats, 2 beats, and then finally
1 beat. You can stay on one pitch or you can move from pitch to pitch on the
beats given.
Learn three new notes and bring them back for me to hear next lesson!
Thank the student for their hard work during the lesson and give out their goals for
individual practice. Give them a piece of candy as they leave and wish them a good

Prepare for next lesson a small quiz on correct fingering of the three notes learned
in todays lesson, how to properly hold the clarinet, and how to form an