Movie Studio Clarinet

Movie Studio Clarinet Goal – What is your clarinet goal? 

My goal is to play the clarinet in a band that makes the music we hear in movies. I've had a little taste of how it works, and it was an amazing experience. I am also striving to improve my ability as a musician, which led me to this site :)



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Hello Rayanna,

Isn’t it awesome to watch a movie, witness a nice emotional moment, and then hear it accompanied by a beautiful clarinet melodic line?

Congratulations! Rayanna, you’ve chosen one of the top goals available for professional clarinetists. Movie studio clarinet requires a good deal of training and practice and I’ll write out some goals for you here. The great thing about movies in general is that they are mainstream and popular. In other words, nearly everyone either sees them on the big screen, on-demand, on DVD, or buys them via DVD.

The point I’m making is that movie studio clarinet jobs should stay relatively safe in this world of cutting the arts. However, getting a movie studio clarinet job is not easy.

To be clear, I’ve never recorded the soundtrack to a movie, so what I’m writing here is how I perceive these jobs from my own experience and reading articles on movie studio clarinetists as well as studying with Kalman Opperman (who played daily in studios in NY City).

A-Number-1 Studio Clarinet Goal – Studio clarinetists have to sight-read with incredible accuracy and correct musical style.

That goal alone has so much knowledge base; it is hard to write it out. But it means this, you have to:

1. Know all your scales (major, minor, chromatic, whole-tone, etc…)

2. Know every possible variation of those scales (arpeggios, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, seven chords, etc…)

3. No. 1 and No. 2 will give you a good fundamental base to sight read well because you will know key signature and patterns well enough to read them at sight and not have to practice them (or practice with very little work)

4. However, No. 1, 2, 3 comments really only give you the technical knowledge base, you have to learn all sorts of musical styles so that you give the music the correct flavor. Classical, jazz, Dixieland, blues, and all sorts different ethnic world music like Celtic, Afro-pop, Caribbean (just to name a few)

5. Make sure you sight-read sight-read on a daily basis

6. Also, mastering a beautiful sound and getting proper legato and rapid articulation are great goals

7. Another major goal is listening. Make sure you listen to great clarinetists. A good place to start is the Famous Clarinet Players page     

Clarinet Forest Lamp
Clarinet Forest Lamp by clarinetnow
See another lamp at

Unfortunately, I’ve probably scared you. However, you can chip away at these goals by following a couple of simple items:

1. Practice consistently (every day if possible)

2. Find a Private Clarinet Teacher. Living in California is an advantage. Find a movie studio clarinetist and see if they give lessons. They will give you the best advice on following their career. Learn more about The 12 Benefits of Private Clarinet Lessons here

3. HAVE FUN! For many people, practicing scales is a drudgery. They cannot understand how scales improve the ability to play music. If you can wade through some of those times, you will come out on the other side a stronger player and stronger person. I’ve also come to the conclusion that people who learn all the major and minor scales well, can teach themselves ANYTHING (music or not-music related). So, have fun with your music as a number one goal. If you love a pop tune on the radio, pick it out by ear on your clarinet or buy some sheet music. If you have a particular ethnic background, seek out the music of that background and adapt it to your clarinet playing

One of the greatest examples of
Movie Studio Clarinet playing:

Listen below to clarinetist Emily Bernstein play The Tale of Viktor Navorski from the movie The Terminal

So, you want to play Studio Clarinet, are you motivated to practice your scales yet? Click here for the best clarinet scale books.

So, best of luck to you Rayanna. Go practice those clarinet scales and sight read as often as you can.