3rd Annual Clarinet Day

We are excited to announce our 3rd Annual Clarinet Day at MMI!  April 13, 2019 from 10am-5pm.

Jonathan Gunn -clarinet professor from University of Texas - Austin, will be our featured guest artist. Jonathan will performing a small recital and giving a master class event.

Masterclass Participant Request:
- Participants will be selected based on repertoire and age. 4 performers will be selected by the artist; all decisions are final.
- Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing your name, age, contract information and selected repertoire to tori@mmimports.com by EXTENDED DATE April 1, 2019 5:00pm.

Masterclass registration link

New! Solo Competitions
Performances open to the public

Junior division - ages 14-17:
§ 1st place = $200 cash price

§ 2nd place = $100 cash prize

§ 3rd place - $50 in-store credit

Senior division - ages 18- 26:
§ 1st place = $500 cash prize and invitation to attend Buffet's Clarinet Academy in July!

§ 2nd place = $200 cash prize

§ 3rd place = $100 cash prize

Submission deadline for solo competition is EXTENDED DATE April 7, 2019 at 5:00pm

Submissions can be made through the link below or by emailing tori@mmimports.com with your name, contact information and repertoire.

Solo Competition link

No accompanist required.

Schedule of Events

10-10:30am: Jonathan Gunn Performance

10:35-11:05am: Relaxation and Performance Techniques: Jennifer Gerth and Karrin Meffert-Nelson

11:10-11:40am: Clarinet Maintenance and Crack Prevention: Tori Okwabi and Caleb Rasmussen

11:45-12:30: Audition and Performance Preparation: Scott Anderson

12:30-1:00: Lunch break

12:45-1:45: Junior and Senior Solo Competitions (Open to the Public)

1:55-2:35: How to play in tune: Intonation and Voicing: Sang Yoon Kim and Gabriel Campos Zamora

2:40-4:20: Jonathan Gunn Masterclass

4:30-5:00: Clarinet Choir directed by Rena Kraut

Free small repairs throughout the day and a small lunch will be provided.

Competition Rules and Regulations:
1. Prepare 5 minutes max. of music from the standard solo clarinet repertoire. If you have questions about repertoire please
email Tori@mmimports.com.
2. Accompaniment and memorization is NOT needed. (Piano optional)
3. Entrants must supply 1 copy of their music for the judges.
4. Proper performance attire is expected.
5. Limit of 20 entrants per division allowed. Therefore performers are selected on a first come, first served basis. A wait list will be created in the event of cancellations.

Bassoon Brands and Models

Choosing the right bassoon can be a daunting task. This guide will clarify what bassoon brands and models we offer as you seek the right instrument for you. We are always happy to speak with you over the phone, so please don't hesitate to call us at 1 (612) 331-4717. Click on the model number of each listing below for a link to our store page for that instrument.

Midwest Musical Imports is proud to offer:
Fox Bassoons
Heckel Bassoons
Puchner Bassoons
Walter Bassoons
Wolf Bassoon
Yamaha Bassoons
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Tips from our Techs--Humidity Issues

 

Tip from head repair technician, Eric Anderson

Summer is that time of year when humidity increases and the wood body of instruments begins to expand.  This happens along the width and length of the wood grain affecting both the fit of keys, levers, and tenons.   When the wood expands in the summer months, woodwind instruments often don't fit together without a struggle, if they even fit together at all! We find that this issue is most prevalent during the first year of a new instrument's life, and especially prevalent in newer clarinets.

If this happens with your instrument to the point where abnormal force is required to take it apart, it's best to have an experienced repair technician take care of it.  A technician will be able to adjust the fit of the tenon cork, the exposed wood on the tenon, or sometimes both.  Ignoring the problem and blowing warm, humid air down your instrument will only make it worse!

The humidity will also make keys fit looser, but don't worry!  We never fit keys too tightly in the summertime because they will most likely expand in the fall/winter and potentially bind once the humidity drops.  Loose key fittings won't harm your instrument, they only cause them to be slightly noisier.  If you can live with the loose key fitting in the summer, great!  It should return to normal in the fall/winter.  If it is an issue for you, we can certainly fix it, and if we do, don't forget to come back to get the fit readjusted after the humidity changes.

If you ever experience issues with your instrument and don't know what to do, remember we are only a phone call away and are happy to help!!

Virtual Tour of Our New Location

We absolutely love our new location and think you will, too!!  The store has doubled in size!!  We've added practice/lesson rooms, a recital hall, increased the size of our repair shop and sales floor.  Please stop by for a visit!  We'd love to show you around!

Our repair staff working hard in the new repair shop!

Our new recital hall with seating capacity of 60!

One of our new teaching/practice studios!

A street view of our new space.

We look forward to welcoming you in the store soon!

Mindful Wellness for Musicians

Join MMI's Ginny Dodge for a two-hour event on mindfulness, healing and intentional goal setting on Saturday, June 17th.  Stop by in person or virtually with our Facebook Live broadcast.  We’ll be offering four interactive and informative sessions on popular topics in personal development and holistic wellness, specific to musicians!  Learn about and try essential oils, practice using powerful vocabulary, learn why goal setting hasn’t worked in the past and what to do about it, and build your knowledge of breathing exercises and meditation.

10:00-10:20 Session I: Meditation and Breathing Exercises
10:30-10:50 Session II: Affirmations, Gratitude and Mindfulness
11:00-11:20 Session III: Essential Oils for Musicians
11:30-11:50 Session IV: Goal Setting in the World of Music

We’re excited to see you!

Thank you for attending our grand opening celebration!

I would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to everyone that came to our grand opening celebration! For those of you that came, emailed, sent flowers or called with your best wishes, we are extremely grateful. Below are some photos from the event.

A big thank you again to our generous sponsors/vendors: Buffet-Crampon, Fox Products, Loree, Puchner, Heckel, D'Addario, Peak, and Clark Fobes.

We look forward to many more events and please keep an eye on our calendar for updates!

Best wishes,
Jessica Nelson, General Manager

Owner and founder, Mike Aamoth gets a thumbs up after the Friday night reception from long-time customer, David Braslau.

Katie with customers at the Friday night reception.

Friday night reception.

Friday night reception.

 

Friday night reception.

Eric thanks a customer after work in the repair shop.

Our first customer during the celebration on Friday!! Jessica with her friend and oboist, Siri Garnaas

Friday was repair technician, Matt Reich's birthday! We surprised him with a cake.

Julie Gramolini William, Chris Marshall, and Greg Williams, of the MN Orchestra during their trio performance
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Instrument Cases - Is Yours Damaging Your Instrument?

Instrument CasesAs many players know, our instruments travel just as much as we do.  Our instruments spend quite a bit of time being removed from and placed into their cases.  If you're investing in your instrument, be sure to invest in an instrument case that cares for your woodwind too.

Many instruments that come through our repair shop suffer from ill fitting cases.  Some cases can actually be detrimental to your instrument's safety.  Reoccurring problems on your horn (rods becoming loose, keys going out of alignment) might actually be caused by the way an instrument fits in the case. We have seen bent keys from cases fitting both too tight or with excessive movement.  If your current case is not fit to your instrument, be sure to attend to this issue.  Scratched plating and blemishes in the body of an instrument can be caused by a loose bocal, screwdriver or other items left in the case.  Consider a case with an outer zipper pouch to collect all of your accessories!  We're here to help and our sales team has many options to offer when considering updating your case.   Visit our online store to see our options for cases:  oboe casesbassoon casesclarinet casessaxophone cases.  We can also special order cases--call us for more details.

Choosing the Right Instrument

The staff at Midwest Musical Imports has extensive experience performing and teaching on our respective instruments, in addition to the sales we do every day. We want you to make an informed decision and purchase an instrument that will serve you well for years  We hope that these guide will give you a more clear picture of what we have to offer as you seek the right instrument for you. We are always happy to speak with you over the phone, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-926-5587. Click the appropriate link below for your instrument buyer’s guide so you can get started on your research.

Choosing the right Oboe or English Horn

Choosing the right Bassoon

Choosing the right Clarinet

Choosing the right Saxophone

Extending the Life of Your Bassoon Reed

Merz-bassoon-reedBassoon reeds are expensive, either in terms of cost of buying a hand-made reed or in your own time for making your own. If you buy hand made reeds you are paying for not just the raw materials, but the years of experience of learning to make a good reed, and the time if takes to make that individual reed. If you make your own, you know how much effort and skill (and a bit of luck) goes into making a good reed. So naturally you want them to last as long as possible. Here are some really simple guidelines for extending the potential playing life of a bassoon reed.

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Oboe Summer Goals

Oboe Summer Goals

Not going to a festival or studying privately, but want to up your musical game between the summer months?  What can you do on your own to improve your playing?  Grab a tuner, metronome, and one of these methods!  Challenge yourself with my picks for the top oboe method books for practice and self-teaching:

Barret Oboe Method- These progressive etudes have an opera aria influence, and chiefly are used for studying musicality.  Valuable technique studies are also included in this method.  There is a version edited by Martin Schuring, which is much easier to read; it is missing some prose discussing oboe basics, including breathing and articulation.

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4 Reasons Music is Good for Your Health

music-for-health

Whether you’re the person behind the instrument or you’re listening to it through your earbuds, science supports the long-believed fact that music is good for more than the soul. A good song has the ability to add fun to even the most mundane workout and creating that song can relieve stress and improve cognitive function. Here are five clear health reasons you should make music a part of your everyday life.

Listening to Music Motivates You to Exercise

After determining that people tended to choose the least strenuous cadence while walking or running, researchers studied the effect music could have on altering that cadence. The study found that, by using the correct type of music, exercisers could trick the brain into overcoming that automatic cadence and work harder. There’s even an app for that. With Cruise Control: Run, runners can challenge themselves by picking up the pace using their own playlists. Whether someone uses an app or just runs a favorite playlist, listening to music makes working out more fun, which is a motivator in itself.
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