How to find your private clarinet teacher?
Find your local clarinet guru. Via the internet and social media, finding a local clarinet teacher should not be a problem. However, comb through the list below to help your search. The music world is very small. Your network of musicians might know where the nearest and/or best clarinet teacher is. Who do you start asking?
1. Your band, orchestra or choir teacher
2. The county or state music educators association
3. The local college, university or conservatory music department
4. Your church organist or any local musician of any instrument that might have connections to other professional musicians
5. Successful student colleagues and their parents
6. The local community or professional symphony orchestra
7. The local musician’s union
8. The local military band
9. The local music shop
10. The internet
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #1
Your band, orchestra or choir teacher
You are already familiar with these teachers. Hopefully, it is easy for you to inquire about local clarinet teachers. Try asking them if they’ll give you extra instruction before or after school. This is a good way to test the waters and see if you are ready for private instruction.
The instruction they offer during school hours is usually for the masses: The entire band, the entire woodwind section or the entire clarinet section. Getting individual attention during this time is slim and none unless you are cutting up too much.
Your band director went to college to study teaching and playing music. What was their major instrument? Was it clarinet or another woodwind instrument? If not, they probably still have plenty of good information to teach you, but if you wish your clarinetistry to take off, find someone who specifically performs and teaches clarinet.
Hopefully, your band director has list of private teachers. Get his/her references to clarinet and call everyone on the list.
It goes without saying that your orchestra director probably has a strong string background and choir director a strong vocal background. It is worth referencing their professional acquaintances. Once you ask them, they might response with, “Yeah, I played (or sang) the Mozart Requiem last week and heard the greatest clarinetist on that gig. I’ll find out if they teach.”
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #2
The county or state music educators association
County and state music educators associations usually have very impressive websites. They might list local private music teachers, but if they do not, email or call the president of the association or perhaps a board member that lists woodwinds as their specialty.
Again, ask all of the above mentioned questions. It is probably worth asking which private clarinet teachers have a high success rate in getting students into all-county or all-state bands or orchestras.
Check this site out. It's a great example of a county music educator's association with a very informative website. Click here for the Orange County Music Educators Association in New York.
If you belong to a state or county music educator's association and would like to have have your webmaster exchange links, please contact me here.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #3
The local college, university or conservatory music department
Even if you are a beginner looking for clarinet lessons, it is worth calling the local college, university or conservatory music department for lessons. The studio teachers might not take beginners because they are already swamped with the college students. But, perhaps their students wish to get experience teaching and a little extra pay.
Associating with this university, clarinet network has numerous benefits:
1. Your teacher is currently taking clarinet lessons
2. Your teacher is actively performing (should notify you of recitals and concerts)
3. You have a direct link to the university professor and will know of his/her clarinet recitals, concerts and master classes
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #4
Your church organist or any local musician of any instrument that might have connections to other professional musicians
Do you or your family already have a professional musician as a neighbor, church member or family member? Ask them if they’ve performed with any clarinetists lately. If they have not, again, this is a lesson in networking, they might know the best local university or music shop to call.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #5
Successful student colleagues and their parents
Who is first chair clarinet in your band? Who is first chair clarinet in the middle school or high school band? Have any students in your school district made it into middle or high school honors or all-state bands? Ask yourself all of these questions.
If you do not know these students or families directly, get to know them and ask if they are taking private clarinet lessons. One of the best ways to get to know your future clarinet teacher is by asking those who study with him or her.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #6
The local community or professional symphony orchestra
If there is a community orchestra in your backyard, call the orchestra director or personnel manager to pass your phone number and interest in private lessons to the orchestra clarinetists.
If your community is Chicago, perhaps it’s a little early to take your first clarinet lessons with the principal clarinetist Larry Combs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. However, who is studying with Mr. Combs in Chicago? Are they offering clarinet lessons? Again, try the music shops or universities of Chicago and ask who those teachers are or have studied clarinet with recently. They might list Larry Combs on their biography or resume.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #7
The local musician’s union
The local musician’s union has lists of clarinetists. These are members paying annual dues and playing shows and jobs in the area. Not everyone on the list wishes to teach clarinet, however, this is another great resource in finding a clarinet teacher.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #8
The local military band
Not every community has a military post and not every military post has a military band. But, if you live near a military base, look up the military band on the web and in the community papers. Military bands offer free concerts and parades year-round. Go check out these events and ask the band members if they teach clarinet.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #9
The local music shop
Often, a local music shop will service your school. Ask your band director if a store supplies the school with instruments, reeds, music, repairs, etc… After all, your instrument had to come from some place whether you bought the clarinet or are renting it.
Perhaps this shop does not offer lessons. Again, try your networking skills. Do they know of anyone who teaches private clarinet lessons?
Now, it’s time to look up their competitors. Pick up your local phone book and search under music stores. See if they list webpages, then search the websites to see if they offer music lessons and a list of teachers. It’s okay if they don’t go into that much detail. If they offer music lessons, call them and ask about the clarinet faculty.
Music shops do charge rates higher than some private teachers because they are “renting out” the teaching space.
PRIVATE CLARINET TEACHER REFERENCE #10
If any of the above mentioned references strike a chord for you, open the yellow pages or seek out the local symphony or military band websites. Remember, personal references from a trusted professional or a student you know at school is the best way to learn about your future teacher.
It is best to study with someone in person. However, with Facetime and Skype and no telling what other kinds of media, you can take lessons with teachers from great distances.