Saturday, September 17, 2016

Website Watch (September 2016 column)

Adam Ballif
Adam Ballif teaches clarinet at Brigham Young University–Idaho. His website, www.adamballif.com, is an excellent example of a professional website, with his biography, audio samples of performances, and materials for his BYU-I students. It also has high-quality general clarinet resources including an annotated repertoire list and information on clarinet conferences and festivals. Ballif’s site is the home of the “ClariNotes” newsletter, a one-page publication with clarinet tips and exercises, as well as a blog covering pedagogical topics. Another interesting and useful feature is “Ballif Beats,” custom-made click tracks for repertoire that is difficult to practice with an ordinary metronome. Several are available for download, including the second movement of the Bernstein Sonata and several works by Eric Mandat.
Anne Bell's ABC
Anne Bell is a clarinetist and educator and the creator of ABC (Anne Bell’s Clarinet) at anne-bell.woodwind.org, which has been in operation since 1998. Bell’s site includes very comprehensive and carefully categorized link lists, pointing clarinetists toward resources related to all aspects of the clarinet and clarinet playing: repertoire, recordings, history, education, acoustics and more. If you are looking for clarinet-related information, try Bell’s site for a meticulously curated collection of high-quality links.
Clarineat
Sean Perrin’s website clarineat.com is the home of the Clarineat podcast, a fascinating interview show featuring clarinetist guests like Martin Fröst, Harry Sparnaay and Michael Norsworthy, plus inventors, composers, entrepreneurs and other people involved in the clarinet world. The website is the place to listen to the show or find subscription links. The site also includes web-only content like product reviews, discussion forums and an online store selling many of the products mentioned on the podcast. Be sure to sign up for the email newsletter to be eligible to win giveaways like products reviewed on the site and signed copies of guests’ CDs.
Audition Cafe
Orchestral auditions and vacancies are often announced through social media sites such as Facebook’s public group “Clarinet Jobs,” but another great resource for current listings of open auditions is at www.auditioncafe.org. Here postings from orchestras stretching across four continents are conveniently listed by instrument and easy to search. Each job opening contains links to separate webpages that give dates, deadlines, and other pertinent audition information. Don’t forget to check out the site’s audition tips section where viewers can read Richie Hawley’s article on “Your Next Audition,” which breaks down the audition preparation process into five stages, or listen to Ricardo Morales’s expert advice in his YouTube video on how to prepare for an audition. Even a short video by actor Bryan Cranston, who plays the lead character on the hit TV drama “Breaking Bad,” has good advice for musicians pursuing the orchestral audition circuit.
Sean Osborn
With an extensive personal website at www.osbornmusic.com, clarinetist Sean Osborn has created a site that highlights not only his career as a soloist, teacher and composer, but also provides valuable resources to both educators and performers. His educational links are worth looking into as his lengthy articles on improving technique and legato fingers are very insightful. In the orchestral guide link, Osborn presents mini-master classes written on commonly requested orchestral audition excerpts taken from a paper he wrote on teaching and performing excerpts. Viewers can access the entire 60-page paper or go to individual entries listed alphabetically by composer and excerpt. He covers topics such as phrasing, fingerings, tips and general background information on each piece, lending his expertise as an orchestral player to the reader. All of the master class entries contain links to YouTube videos of Osborn playing snippets of the excerpts. For the entire gamut of Osborn’s videos, visit his YouTube channel at SeanOsborn.
Bulletproof Musician
Applicable to all types of musicians at all levels, Noa Kageyama’s website www.bulletproofmusician.com is a wonderful resource for interesting articles and research on performance methods. As a violinist and performance psychologist on the faculty at Juilliard, Kageyama frequently posts his own articles on topics pertaining to practice techniques and learning processes, including mental strategies musicians can use to overcome lulls or setbacks in their own practicing. Addressing and analyzing commonly shared issues and obstacles faced by all musicians, Kageyama’s writings are enjoyable to read and can help any clarinetist become a better and more confident player.


Stay tuned for more useful and interesting clarinet content on the web, as well as an upcoming series of columns on building your own online presence! As we shift content to the International Clarinet Association's webpage, clarinet.org, you can now access Clarinet Cache electronic columns directly on "The Clarinet Online" component at clarinet.org/tco/.




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