Since seeing "The Benny Goodman Story" in the '50s I wanted to play the clarinet. My mother, lord knows how, bought me a clarinet and lessons. I played for 20 years, winning awards for solos in high school music contests. I went on to study in college under John McGrosso at Illinois Wesleyan University. I was also privileged to study under John Brodie, former principal clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I love to teach as much as I love to play and I like to make learning music fun.
Clarinet is a beautiful way to express yourself but music will fire neurons in your brain that will increase the likelihood of your academic and social success.
I stress fundamentals including breathing, tone, articulation, technique, style, phrasing, etc,etc. I make sure we have fun and I explain everything in a very understandable way. Since your ambition is to play music you will be able to play a simple melody after the first lesson. If you are an advanced student the focus is more on discipline and improving on fundamentals followed by works in the student's interest. (Jazz, classical, ragtime, blues,etc.
Music history could be a monumental undertaking if one were to begin before ancient times when some scientists believe "sounds" made to communicate were the first forms of music, even predating language. One could begin with Ancient times where there is a little more historical evidence of what was happening. Or one could start with any of the other periods in order, medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and finally contemporary music.
My focus is on the 20th century evolution of music, basically because it is the most influential in the contemporary sounds we hear today. Beginning with the ethnic influences of music of select regions we also examine the influences and evolution of gospel to blues to ragtime to jazz and big band leading to today's contemporary styles.
Music theory, otherwise referred to as the language of music, is essential if spatial, mathematical, and mental development is to be benefited at all.
Simply stated, the student learns a new alphabet (notes) and how the are put together to form phrases. The student learns what notes are emphasized to give greater meaning to the music.
Real developmental advantages are realized when things like rhythm, beat, time signatures, dynamics, phrasing and the myriad other aspects of music are taught.