Acquiring Clarinet Students

HI Professor Friedland

I’m a clarinet Performer and former clinician for Buffet Crampon. I gain status as a clinician 15 years ago when I attempted to finish my bachelors degree in Music Education in a Major Texas institution. At this very same day, I still practice my clarinet. But always diligent in finding students to teach for extra income. Now days, I find it hard to find students to teach. I try , approaching school magnet and after school programs, making flyers for summer recreational park programs and Ect… Still no luck. I still have faith in my concept of teaching and I perform when ever I can. What is a good approach to finding good students these days?


( this a siggestion for everyone: Get a spell checker, and check every document upon which you sign your name.)

Dear CM

Thank you fo your question about acquiring clarinet students.
In the first instance you should be forewarned that clarinet students are not terribly plentiful these days, and my sense is that it is a diminishing business, because of a diminishing group. Symphony Orchestras are failing nation wide, and/or are being replaced by electronic music, or sampling or digitalization, (see my recent article). The type of musicians who play on and in Broadway shows are among the finest instrumentalists to be found, and they play by necessity,many different woodwinds, all well, even very well The musicians in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra are among the finest in the world.

Audtitions for any position in any orchestra which becomes available, number in he hundreds despite it being a short season with rather poor salaries as well. I would suggest you inquire into all Service bands and orchestras, many of which are sponsored by the US Government and require enlistment in the service. But, if you can audition your way into such a position, you will be secure for your lifetime. You must however, be able to play literally anything, with ease. One of my dearest friends, Phil Viscuglia, who passed away last April, ended his career playing Bass Clarinet in the Boston Symphony. He began by playing in the famous Marine Band in Washington DC, also played wonderful saxophone, and even recorded the Debussy Saxophone Rhapsody with the Boston Symphony, conducted by Erich Leinsdorf. That is about the kind of level to aim for in your quest for students.

Of course, by connecting yourself to a secondary music department,you would automatically be referred to students, and your reputation could start from there. But you mentioned that you didn’t complete your Music Education Degree, which scores for absolutely nothing on the jobs lists or the list students go to for teachers. Your concept of teaching has about nothing to do with the acquisition of students, until you have acquired them and showed that your concept of teaching is a successful one with real results.

I wish you all good luck, but it is a difficult problem to consider in this day and age.

Library work may be less stressful and jobs a bit more plentiful. There is little cash laying around and even less for clarinet teaching.

best wishes,
sherman friedland


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