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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, November 14, 2011


The PMC Quick Note is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest. The Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues!

Bands of America Grand National Championships

We would like to congratulate the 2011 BOA Grand National Champion Pride of Broken Arrow! Three Tulsa-area schools represented the area with incredible class and dignity by finishing in the top seven. Broken Arrow finished with a 95.95. Union finished sixth, and Owasso seventh. Congratulations to the staff and students for a weekend of spectacular, artistic performances!

Clarinet Pinky Chart

Here is a great idea to teach clarinet pinky combinations. I saw this when I was in the Ozark Junior High band room this week. D. J. Faught has a chart hanging in the front of the room with color-coded pinky fingerings. You can see a photo of the chart here in this article.

Some notes, like Eb, can only be played with the right hand. Other notes, like B, C, or C# in the staff can be played with either pinky. It is important for the students to know which key works for each note. Using a chart like the one pictured can help remind the students which key on the upper stack "pairs" with the key on the lower stack. You can even go a step further and have the students place a very small piece of colored electrical tape onto the key to correspond with the chart.

When you are teaching a piece of music that requires specific alternate pinky fingerings, you can say "show me the first note of measure four and let's use the right hand red key to play B natural, then let's use the left hand yellow key to play the C natural." This type of instruction will allow the students to instantly learn which key to use, how the pinky fingerings can be played with either hand, and will speed rehearsal time.

Here is a link to another great article on Clarinet Pinky Fingerings.

Good luck!

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center Representative


Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


Springfield Bob Hopkins, Wayne Blades, Jason Moore, Mike Steffen, AAron Bryan (417) 882-7000
Columbia Paul Bowen (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp, Harlan Moore, and Victoria Clymore (816) 792-8301
Joplin AAron Bryan (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Mark VanVranken and Bryan Snyder (918) 286-1555


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