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Teachings, Learnings

Teachings, Learnings is a piece that I have written as a tribute to Paul Garritson, who was my very dedicated clarinet teacher for eight years at the University of Missouri.  He has been a constant source of guidance and inspiration throughout my musical journey, helping me always to refine my playing and challenging me to grow both as an instrumentalist and as a musician.  To quote one professor, “He is a teacher you can never outgrow.”  I would have to say that I agree.
The two clarinet parts in Teachings, Learnings represent two roles that are played out throughout the work: the first represents the student, while the second represents the teacher.  The piano then fills out the texture and provides occasional commentary to the others’ antics. 
The first movement, “Exuberance Versus Experience,” explores the dynamic of the over-eager student and the much wiser teacher by assigning each an appropriate theme: the first (student’s) theme is highly energetic, but fraught with trips and “mistakes,” while the second (teacher’s) theme is smoother and more refined.  The movement is then built on the separate introduction of these two themes, and then the playful interaction between them.
The second movement contains canonic elements, representing an important aspect in teaching: imitation.  The slower tempo and gentle tone of the movement signify the thoughtfulness and care that go into both teaching and learning, as the teacher presents the material and the student repeats it one half-bar later.
The third movement represents the maturation of the student, as both student and teacher present material from the first movement, but on equal footing.  Instead of moving conversely, the two lines complement each other, responding in kind and playing together in harmony.  I have incorporated some jazz influence into the middle section to add to the fun and virtuosic feel of the movement.
Duration: 10 min.
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