August 2010 Convention
Anaheim, CA

Warm Up Workshop with Mary Karen Clardy

In the morning warm-up session, Mary Karen Clardy presented a new approach to practicing long tones, what she referred to as "the world’s longest long tone." She led participants through six "platforms," beginning with a single pitch for Platform One and creating a foundation upon which each of the following platforms builds. With each platform, Clardy instructed participants to add pitch changes that may include finger changes, change of octave, incorporation of harmonics, or addition of the concept of intervals/arpeggios. As these changes were presented, she stated that the changes "increase the responsibility we have of waking the flute up."

Clardy also addressed big concerns we have as players, among them "breath—do I have enough, did I take enough, am I going to have time to take enough?" Embouchure is another big thing flutists worry about, and she quoted William Kincaid: "When the air column is moving, it carries the lips forward." Mary Karen stresses lots of practice in front of the mirror and "spotlighting" your warm-up based on the repertoire you are learning.

—Rebecca Hovan