What are your teaching qualifications?

I am an experienced private lesson instructor, performer, and music educator. I hold a Master’s Degree in Clarinet Performance from the prestigious College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and I also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Magna Cum Laude) with concentrations in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from Virginia Tech. During both of my degree programs, I was able to formally study clarinet pedagogy, which is the study of clarinet teaching methods.

What ages do you teach?

I welcome students of all ages and ability levels! I have taught students from beginners putting the clarinet together for the first time all the way to mentoring college level clarinetists.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My first goal is to help my students reach their musical goals. From learning to play the first notes to successfully auditioning for Juilliard Pre-College, I have helped students past and present reach new heights of achievement. I always encourage and nourish my students’ interests, while simultaneously guiding them to a high standard of musicianship. Each student has a unique path of strengths and weaknesses to navigate, which is why I believe that music lessons are such an effective tool for teaching resilience, determination, and discipline to young students. Finally, I encourage my students to be inquisitive in lessons, and I aim to foster a sense of security so they can learn to push themselves to new levels of success.

How can I tell that my student is progressing?

Unlike many other formats of music lessons, I do not use a set series of method books in the lessons that I teach. While this does not lend to a “check the box” method of tracking student progress, this allows me to teach each student at their own pace, and with materials that are suited to their exact individual needs. I regularly write custom worksheets and exercises to help my students reach their full potential as musicians. You will hear progress in their tone quality, in their range of notes, in their ability to read more complex music, and you will also hear an increase of self confidence. Music lessons are also a wonderful vehicle for teaching life skills such as diligence, hard work, long term planning, setting personal goals, and learning to manage situations that are out of our comfort zones. My goal as a music teacher is to help your student reach their personal musical goals while also broadening their life skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

Can I sit in on my child’s lessons?

You are always welcome to sit in on your child’s lesson. You are also welcome to make yourself comfortable in my living room while I teach if you would like to be present, but not directly observing.

How much is tuition?

Tuition is as follows:

  • $35 for a 30 minute lesson
  • $50 for a 45 minute lesson
  • $65 for a 60 minute lesson

What does tuition cover?

Tuition covers the time I spend with your student, and the hours of logistical and preparatory work that it takes to run a successful music studio. This includes, but is not limited to...

  • planning lessons
  • researching new repertoire for student
  • researching equipment and materials
  • attending music education and clarinet conferences
  • staying up to date on pedagogical methods
  • creating worksheets for students
  • creating study materials for students
  • answering student emails
  • providing lesson notebooks, photocopies, and thumb rest covers
  • and much much more!

How long are lessons?

Lessons are given on a weekly basis at 30, 45 or 60 minute intervals. Most beginners start with 30 minute lessons. By late middle school or early high school it is recommended for students to move up to 45 or 60 minute lessons. As students progress, a longer lesson gives me more time to work with the student on more advanced concepts, and it helps the student cover more material each week.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you must cancel your lesson please give me at least 24 hours’ notice. If my schedule permits, I will hold make up lessons within a one month period. If a make up lesson can not be arranged within the one month period, the lesson will not be made up and will not be refunded.

  • Should you give me less than the required notice, the absence will be considered unexcused and you will still be required to pay for the lesson. Of course, if you are sick or if there is an unforeseen emergency your absence will be excused. You will not be charged for excused absences.
  • Absence due to scheduling conflicts such as band concerts, or vacations should be prearranged. I will provide a “studio swap list” upon request so that lesson times can be traded between students in the event of a one time conflict. If you choose to swap lessons with another student, I expect an email at least 48 hours in advance with all parties copied on the email.
  • I reserve the right to cancel lessons at any time, however I will always make an effort to reschedule canceled lessons and I will always give you advance notice if possible. I reserve the right to have a qualified substitute cover lessons if necessary.

How do we sign up for lessons?

Contact me at rjmclarinet@gmail.com or at 703-763-9406 to schedule a free trial lesson today!

What materials are required for lessons?

The following materials are the absolute essentials. More materials will be discussed and suggested as lessons continue!

  • Clarinet in good working condition
  • Mouthpiece
  • Ligature
  • Silk Swab (not felt!)
  • Reeds