For the Love of Music and Woodwind Instruments

Lisa Canning • February 2022Wind Talkers • February 23, 2022

I asked SBO to allow me to create our column, Windtalkers, because I want to help music educators like yourself be able to use my knowledge, and those of our writers, to increase the “falling in love quotient” for those who pursue music, and especially those who choose to invest their energy into learning the most popular woodwind instruments in band: clarinet, saxophone, and flute. Don’t get me wrong. Double reeds are amazing, as are brass, strings and percussion, but the majority of musicians in band play just these three woodwind instruments.

My thought process for this column is if we can help you improve attitudes, increase motivation and advance performing abilities of just those learning to play these three instruments, together we can increase sustained participation for everyone in band.

Now, if you have become a regular reader of this column, then you know February’s column was supposed to be devoted to selecting the right saxophone mouthpiece. However, because of the sudden and dramatic restart of live musical performances at the beginning of 2022 for professional musicians, it has caused me to push the release of that article back to the March publication.

With that development and all the craziness and havoc COVID has brought to all music educators trying to teach remotely and equally struggling with all the changes and safety protocols in the classroom, devoting my February column to the celebration of the things we love about music education seemed appropriate, given what we all have gone through in different but similar ways.

First and foremost. We are still here because of our love of music. Remember, it is the joy you have felt through your own music making, and how it has transferred into teaching others to experience it too that brought us to music education.

Initially, it was the teachers who taught us, who helped us fall in love with music, which spurred our willingness to continue to invest and to learn and to grow into being the kind of musicians and music educators we are today.  And while it may seem difficult to feel anything right now BUT emotionally and physically weary, and as a result to not be very open to learning anything new, I can assure you are in a safe place to learn, and it is to your benefit to commit to your own personal growth.

What has motivated me for 41 years to educate and help others to rapidly advance their abilities through quality repair and understanding how to select the right equipment, is the love of seeing what these contributions do to help young musicians become instantly more excited and more committed to playing a musical instrument.

The more musicians we cultivate on earth, as either hobbyists or specialists, the better humanity will become, in my opinion. Music changes us profoundly and teaches us how to become more open, more permeable, more forgiving and more trusting of each other and most importantly ourselves. It takes a village of trust and support to develop as a musician.

Your experience in the classroom, your goals and objectives, and our ability through our knowledge of repair and the proper fitting of equipment to a developing musician, will help you solve problems so much faster and increase excitement and commitment among participants. How do we know? Because we see it happen daily. Just like you have teaching tricks and techniques that spur growth, so do we.

While I know you may have read some of the articles we have written so far and have every good intention to act on one or more for them, it’s likely what stopped you is the need to have someone help you sort out how to implement it in your program. And indeed, this is why we are here sharing our knowledge with you. We are here to help you… for free!

Wind talkers write because we are looking for your comments and excited by your questions and outreach.  We are happy to provide insight and guidance. After all, we share values and common goals; to improve participation and increase motivation to learn to play a musical instrument.

Despite how difficult COVID had been for all of us, by choosing to be open to learning and collaborating in new ways with those who have different experiences and insights than you, students’ abilities, their enthusiasm, and level of commitment can advance more quickly and more easily. That will translate into more music participation and a deeper love for playing that will become increasing infectious throughout your entire program as more fall in love.

The information we are presenting in our articles is time-tested and proven. So, in the name of shared values and a love for music, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your questions or seek guidance. Your vulnerabilities are safe with us. Your questions are welcome. We are here to help you and your program improve through what we can do to increase motivation, participation and outcomes.  For the love of music and woodwind instruments we are here for you. And we are better together for it too.

Lisa Canning
[email protected]
773.756.2163 ext. 700

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