Healing Through Music

Posted on March 27, 2020 by Zi Wang

Clarinet students can connect with others while learning techniques for free, thanks to the live stream workshops offered by the Academy’s Mason Summer Clarinet Academy co-director, Ms. Catina Franklin Sweedy.

Ms. Sweedy is running weekly live-streams in support of those young clarinetists who have lost access to their band programs due to school closings.

Through her YouTube channel, The Clarinet Project, Ms. Sweedy offers three different workshops: Bass Clarinet Basic, Ask A Clarinet Teacher, and Pop Song Tutorials. Audiences in the live stream sessions can ask questions about the instrument and learn basic clarinet techniques and songs such as “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II” and “Duel of the Fates” from “Star Wars.”



Through those live streams, she hopes to provide teaching continuity for those students’ clarinet studies and an opportunity for them to maintain a social connection with the outside world while being quarantined at home.

“The Pop Song Tutorials are my favorites,” said Ms. Sweedy. “It’s always fun to learn how to play songs that make us happy, but it gives me an opportunity to teach strong fundamentals and technique. I am also excited about Bass Clarinet Basics because there aren’t many resources out there for young bass clarinet players, so I enjoy adding more videos to help.”

Serving as an educator, lecturer, and adjudicator in the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Sweedy is the founder and co-director of Academy’s Summer Clarinet Academy. She was a former orchestra member for several groups in Florida and Prince William County and performed nationally and internationally as a solo artist.



Ms. Sweedy said The Clarinet Project YouTube channel provides a space for her audiences to share their feelings with COVID-19 and its impact on a personal level, and she values the opportunity to be a listener and mentor who helps navigate their struggles along the way. She reminds us to use this time to slow down and care for one another.

“We are experiencing upheaval, fear, grief, anxiety, loneliness, and disappointment among many other emotions right now,” said Ms. Sweedy. “As musicians, we have an opportunity to play and create music for healing and joy, for ourselves and for others.”

For aspiring musicians, Ms. Sweedy encourages them not only to focus on technical studies but remembering to share their music with friends and family.

“We are lucky that we have music to help us through this time,” said Ms. Sweedy. “Pull out your favorite pieces, learn a song that you love, even if it isn’t written for your instrument. Let’s share it with others if we can.”

The Clarinet Project’s live stream is open to everyone.  To join the next session, visit Ms. Sweedy’s YouTube channel HERE. Upcoming workshops include: