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Clarinet Learning Methods

The best way to learn the Clarinet

As part of our ‘Beginner’s Guide To Learning The Clarinet’ series, this specific section will give you the tools to decide on which approach to learning will most likely be best for you as well as your individual situation.

Clarinet Learning Methods

What Solutions Are Perfect For Mastering The Clarinet

All humans learn in different ways. Lots of people can remember telephone numbers easily, though other people may not even have the capacity to read. We’re all special and unique. It’s for this reason that I can confidently state that there isn’t one perfect approach to learning a musical instrument.

The four crucial learning methods that exist are:

  • Traditional, face-to-face, one-to-one learning
  • Traditional, face-to-face, group lessons
  • Video Tutorials
  • Apps 
If you’re a beginner or have been playing for years, one of those four options will be perfect for you. It’s just a matter of finding out which be is most suitable.
Clarinet Learning Methods

Traditional, face-to-face, one-to-one lessons

If you think of clarinet lessons, your first image is probably something with a teacher and a student…

Having private, one-to-one lessons can be an incredible experience if you find the right teacher. While there are many videos and online clarinet tutorials available, there really is no substitute for absorbing all the knowledge of your teacher. 

One of our clarinet specialists, Sonia Sielaff, was taught by Yehuda Gilad at the University of Southern California. He really is one of the best teachers in the world, and the fact that Sonia could soak up his experience in just a few years was a priceless gift. 

There is a problem though:

Not every teacher has the experience of Yehuda Gilad.

In fact, the scary thing is that to become a music teacher, you don’t need any qualifications at all. Nothing. Zip. As a complete novice, you could be taking money from people and pass yourself off as an expert. And this, dear reader, is the biggest downside to a traditional teacher:

Quality control.

You need to find a really experienced teacher who you connect with. Who understands you and your needs. Who makes you laugh. Who you look forward to going to see every week. If you can find this person, you have then achieved something many people fail at. Being inspired by your teacher is the magic dust that will keep you learning for years to come.

Out of all the options on this page, this is the most expensive.  But as usual with things in life, you tend to get what you pay for…

Clarinet Learning Methods

PROS

CONS

Traditional, face-to-face, Group lessons

Clarinet Learning Methods

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find group lessons. The ethos is similar to one-to-one sessions, but the cost is much lower as the teacher has to divide their time between all the pupils.

For band and orchestral instruments, such as clarinets, group lessons are quite a good idea to start with. Some programs have group clarinet lessons combined with larger ensembles like band or orchestra. 

One positive of group lessons is that you can learn alongside your peers. A social atmosphere can be a fun and inspiring way to learn. 

On the other hand, a drawback of group lessons is that you do not receive the same amount of personal attention as you get in private lessons. Because of this, you may not progress as quickly as you could have done in a one-on-one setting. 

PROS

CONS

Video Tutorials

Free Courses

Youtube Ted'S List

YouTube is obviously the international superpower when it comes to video content.  You will discover a substantial amount within this platform for Clarinet Lessons and it’s not possible to review them all.

Like many things in daily life, 95% of the content you’ll discover is fairly awful, with the remaining 5% being absolutely incredible. The key is to discover the 5%, and that can be easier said than done.

We can give you a head-start though.  We quite like some of the tutorial videos from Clarinet Mentors with Michelle Anderson and Play With a Pro Music Academy

One word of warning: If you want to learn the clarinet, we would strongly recommend having real-life human teaching you! The reason? Clarinet playing is complicated and without a teacher, you may end up learning bad habits that could take years to unlearn.

In case you don’t wish to shell out money, and therefore are prepared to commit some time while seeking for top quality content that inspires you, then there is no superior place.

Paid Courses

Paid Video

You can find 100’s of paid Clarinet classes on the web.  Again, like YouTube, it’s out of the question to check all of them.  Suffice to say, two of the most widely used platforms are:

 

At the time of writing, Udemy has over 18,000 students learning the clarinet. With the average price of courses around £12/$15, it’s fairly cost-effective to try a few and find the one for you. They advertise that you can go from beginner to pro in five hours. This is a tall order and one we don’t fully agree with.

Clarinet Learning Methods

No matter where you live, you can take lessons with some of the world’s best clarinettists. Each teacher sets their own lesson rate, and many of them offer a free introduction, so you can find a teacher within your budget. Play With a Pro also offers over 150 hours of master class videos.

PROS

CONS

About the Author

Zoom Lessons

Music Lessons Online

If you’re looking for that one-to-one setup, but don’t want to trek around to a teachers house every week, then online lessons can work really well.

There are A LOT of companies out there that do lessons over Zoom, so you have to be ultra careful the quality is up to scratch.  But the service we have found that has consistently great feedback is www.lessonwithyou.com.  We like that they offer a half-hour lesson completely for free so you can try out the service and that they offer flexible scheduling with no contracts.  They have teachers from Julliard, Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins – so the standard is high.  Lastly, we LOVE that they don’t as for your credit card details for the trial lesson.

Clarinet Learning Methods