Clarinet Stocking Stuffers
For most of these items, I have provided a link to a site called Woodwind Brasswind (wwbw), which is a reliable source to buy instrument supplies and music from. However, you can also find all of these items in your local music stores, at Menchey Music, and even on Amazon! New: Menchey Music recently opened their online shop
, where you can find supplies, music, and fun accessories at the click of a button!
As everyone is aware, instruments are incredibly expensive. So, it makes sense that we should take good care of them! It is possible to purchase Clarinet cleaning kits that come with a bunch of supplies, but you might not need everything that comes with it. In fact, you might already have some of it! If you do decide to purchase an entire Clarinet care kit, make sure either you alread have the following items, or the following items are in the kit:
- Clarinet Cleaning Swab - Cleans out the moisture inside of the clarinet; helps protect the pads under the keys. You will also need to make sure it has a weighted end. Note: I do NOT recommend the super cheap little yellow ones. They break easily! Not only will a handkerchief cleaning swab (such as the one below) last longer, but you can also wash them!
- Clarinet Polishing Cloth - Polishes the keys of the clarinet, protecting them from oils and keeping the keys shiny!
- Cork Grease - Used on the corks of the Clarinet to make it easier to put together. Most Clarinets come with cork grease, but it's great to have a spare just in case the original gets lost!
- Clarinet Pad Guard Set - This should only be used AFTER you use a cleaning swab. They are meant to be kept inside of the clarinet to absorb the little bit of moisture that the cleaning swab didn't absorb already. These are not commonly found in Clarinet care kits - you might need to order this one separately.
- Mouthpiece Guard - If there was one thing that I could recommend every Clarinet player have, it would be mouthpiece guards! When you play the Clarinet, the vibrations can sometimes hurt the top teeth, and cause students to develop bad habits in order to get around the discomfort. Mouthpiece guards (or patches) stick on the mouthpiece of the clarinet and give the teeth a cushion. When these are used (correctly), there is an IMMEDIATE difference in sound quality and ease of playing; I wish every Clarinet came with them!
- Thumb Rest - Cushions the thumb on the bottom hand. If you've ever heard your child complain that their thumb hurts after practicing, a thumb rest might be a helpful product!
- Clarinet Neck Strap - Holds the weight of the Clarinet in order to take tension off of the bottom hand.
- Clarinet Stand - Perfect for holding the Clarinet in a safe spot while the student takes a break from practicing! Great for use at home, as well as at school and in concerts.
- Clarinet Reed Holder - Built to hold a larger amount of reeds. These are often easier to use than the little cases that reeds usually come in. They protect the reeds and they help them dry out a little better.
If you are purchasing reeds, I recommend purchasing size 2.5 instead of 2. They will last slightly longer (as long as your child doesn't chip them), and there isn't much of a difference in playing them! The below brands are brands I recommend - any other brands I cannot guarantee the quality of.
One of the reasons most kids sign up to play an instrument is to play music they enjoy. So why not purchase some music they're interested in? If you go to any of your local music stores, you'll find countless Clarinet music books, including ones with songs that are easy enough for even the most beginner Clarinet student! They make these books for movies (including Disney), Pop songs, TV shows... There's a book for everyone! For this, I recommend physically traveling to the store to purchase the books so that you can preview the song first and make sure it is at a level that your child will be able to play.
During the school year, I only see the students once a cycle. That means some weeks go by that I do not see the students for a lesson at all, especially if the student is absent or has difficulties remembering their lesson. There is a lot of time between lessons, and every child could benefit from more instruction time on their instrument. If you are financially able, a trial of private lessons (maybe 3-5 lessons) is a GREAT gift for any musician! Not only do lessons open the student up to more than double the instructional time that they usually receive, but it also introduces them to more clarinet music that they might enjoy!