When Is It Time to Upgrade Your Clarinet?

Learning the clarinet isn’t easy! If your child is playing on an instrument that doesn’t fit their needs, succeeding in music becomes far more challenging. Everything from finding the motivation to play to mastering clarinet fundamentals becomes more difficult when they outgrow their current instrument. Stepping up to a more advanced instrument will inspire your clarinet student and improve their playing. However, it’s not always easy for parents to identify the signs that its time to commit to a clarinet upgrade. Let, alone which clarinet to switch to. In this guide, we’ll help you decide when the time is right, and which type of clarinet best fits your child’s unique needs. 

Does my child really need a new clarinet?

The answer to this question is going to be different for every parent. However, there are universal signs to look for that show when a student needs higher quality instrument:

  • The student’s playing is being held back by their current instrument – Side by side, a plastic clarinet and one made of grenadilla wood look similar, but these instruments couldn’t be more different in terms of sound quality. Plastic models are typically student level instruments. They’re fine for an introduction to the instrument, but they’ll hold your child back if they use it for too long. This applies not only to the inspiration to practice and learn, but also to the sort of material your child can perform. Some starter clarinets are so basic that even moderately challenging material can’t be performed on them. Professional level clarinets and even some intermediate models feature great response and sound quality, and  key systems that will allow for every sound available to be accessed. 
  • Your child loves playing their instrument and is eager to learn more – If your child loves playing their current clarinet, moving them up to a superior instrument is critical for supporting their musicianship and rewarding their hard work. Learning the clarinet isn’t easy, and it’s a huge positive sign when a student takes their lessons seriously and begins to thrive on their instrument. Empowering your child with a clarinet that matches their dedication, talent, and ambition is the best way you maintain their musical momentum during this exciting time. Show them you are just as invested in their musical growth as they are.
  • Your student hasn’t made meaningful progress after months of practice – The clarinet is not an easy instrument to pick up. But if your student has been working at it for months with little progress to show for it, the quality of their instrument could partially be to blame. Student clarinets are typically designated for inexperienced kids because they’re inexpensive, not because they’re easy to learn on. These models are cheap and designed to take a beating. And sadly, they’re often hard to play. If your child is far enough along to know they want to play this incredible instrument, get them a model they can truly thrive with. Material that once seemed impossible will be far easier to master on an intermediate or professional instrument. 

Things to consider when choosing an instrument upgrade

Before you run out and reward your child with the nicest clarinet you can find, it’s important to ask some questions first. For example, if your student plays a bass clarinet, you’ll need to upgrade to that specific type of instrument to meet your child’s needs. Talk with your child and their music instructor about how their musical progress is going and what they need to succeed. This will help give you an idea of which instrument to choose. Features like adjustable thumb rests, leather pads, and nickel plated keys could be significant to the music teacher, so make sure you ask plenty of questions. 

Clarinet upgrade recommendations for students 

  • L225 Serenade Intermediate Clarinet – if your child needs to move up from a student instrument to something way better, this instrument is a great way to go. Featuring granadilla wood with silver plated keys, this instrument is known for its terrific sound.
  • E12 France Intermediate Bb Clarinet – another stellar intermediate option. This instrument features a pristine reedy sound, stunning look, and comes with an ergonomic carrying case.
  • Buffet R13 Bb Professional Clarinet – For talented and advancing students needing to move up to professional instruments, is stunning clarinet offers an unparalleled playing experience and unforgettable look. 
The L225 Serenade Intermediate Clarinet with French design elements. Developed in partnership with Buffet Crampon, this Giardinelli clarinet is a great choice for advancing students.





Picking the best clarinet for your child’s needs

Once you know what you’re looking for, a Music & Arts expert will pair you with the perfect instrument for your student. It’s a good idea to shop with your child and let them have a say in the matter. They know better than anyone else which instrument will inspire them. 

Upgrade their clarinet with Music & Arts 

With special discounts, no-interest financing, and a vast assortment of incredible clarinets, Music & Arts’ Upgrade Your Sound event is the perfect time to up your student’s game by purchasing an amazing new instrument. This year’s event ends soon, so browse deals on clarinets now! 

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