Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Margaret Donaghue

Second Committee Member

Robert Carnochan

Third Committee Member

Gabriel Beavers

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Zdzinski


The purpose of this study was to identify the specific fundamental skills of clarinet playing that need the most support in middle and high school clarinet students as well as which fundamental skills middle and high school band directors do not feel comfortable teaching their students. To identify these skills, middle and high school band directors were surveyed to assess the skills of their clarinet students, self-assess their own personal knowledge of clarinet fundamentals, their comfort level in teaching various clarinet fundamentals, as well as the band directors’ previous instruction in addition to instruction they have sought out concerning clarinet fundamentals. The first part of this essay discusses the need for the study, a review of literature, the method of the study, the results of the study, and the summary/conclusions section which includes potential options for further research and elaboration of this project. The second part of this essay is the fundamentals resource guide for band directors. The fundamental skills that were selected to be included in this guide are: Embouchure, Altissimo/Voicing, Articulation, Hand Position/Technique, and Intonation. Each chapter includes the researcher’s teaching approaches, exercises for student development, a compendium of other sources to reference to build on these fundamental skills, and links to instructional videos created by the researcher for students to view.


clarinet; band directors; music; woodwinds; pedagogy; teaching