Christine Damm D.M.A., associate professor of music, recently published an article entitled “Give Me a Break! Tips for Facilitating the Clarinet Break.” The article addresses one of the most difficult points in a clarinetist’s development —overcoming the clarinet break, and provides ideas for educators to use to help their students improve their technique.

Damm encourages music educators to first inspect the instrument the student is using. A clarinet that is not in excellent working order will discourage a student’s efforts. She also encourages educators to enlist the use of an experienced clarinet player, such as a music education major from a nearby college or university. An extra pair of eyes and ears can help catch errors and make corrections. Damm offers several suggestions to help educators troubleshoot hand position, air control and embouchure as well as student exercises for improvement.

The article was published in the October 2019 issue of The Instrumentalist, which is a national music education publication. The Instrumentalist is published ten times a year by The Instrumentalist Publishing Co.

Damm is the director of the Hawk Express Jazz Band and teaches applied woodwind lessons. She is Principal Clarinetist with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and maintains a successful private woodwind studio. She has performed with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and the Prairie Winds. In addition, she regularly gives music clinics to area schools. Damm received her D.M.A. in clarinet from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, M.M. in clarinet from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in music from Quincy University.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University ( is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.