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Woodwind Instrument Performance

Private Study | Studio Class | Ensembles | Group Work | Classes 

Achieving artistry requires desire, curiosity, persistence and a commitment to the educational process.

Through faculty guidance and a stringent curriculum of artistic training, students acquire the necessary skills to achieve and excel in the today’s performing arts environments.


"Applied lessons [private instruction] is the backbone of a comprehensive music education. The ultimate goal of teaching is to eventually render oneself unnecessary, to foster independence, to help students acquire the insight to be able to ask questions, to look for and find answers on their own." - Carrie Koffman, Professor of Saxophone 

All aspects of classical and contemporary styles and techniques are learned through the use of scales, exercises, etudes, concertos, sonatas and other solo works, and orchestral excerpts.


As an extension of private instruction, studio class provides the vehicle for the practical application of training in a semi-performance environment in front of their colleagues. The experience of performing for one’s peers allows for the free sharing of ideas and perspective. Often, students find that much can be learned through the comments and critiques of their instrumental colleagues. Studio class also serves as a forum for collegial support and discussion of issues of common interest. 


Music is social experience. While music requires much isolated training, acquired skills must be practically applied in the social context, and often, hence the performer’s requirement of both large and small ensemble playing. Apart from orchestra, band, and chamber music experiences, some studios offer same-instrument ensemble playing opportunities. Skills emphasized in these courses include balance, blend, intonation, musical responsiveness, intelligent imitation, rehearsal technique, and the development of sound, interpersonal interaction through music. 


Some studio teachers offer players the opportunity to participate in weekly group warm-up sessions or instrument-specific technique classes. Here, they can learn standard (or cutting edge) warm-up and/or strength routines from their studio professor as well as from each other. Emphasizing the approach of (sometimes) slow or speedy, repetitive, methodical, and daily concentrated work is the basic building block of superior technique and musical endurance. The overall goal of such courses is the maintenance of consistent technical development and prowess.


For most performance majors, the weekly meeting of an orchestral repertoire class concentrates on major works specifically relevant to players of woodwind instruments. While not a curricular requirement for all programs, students with an interest in the development of orchestral repertoire knowledge and performance technique are encouraged to take the course. Those registered for orchestral repertoire class prepare and play pieces important to the woodwind instrument family and often appear on audition excerpt lists.


Master classes by visiting performers/teachers of international notoriety are regular occurrences at Hartt. These guest artists provide comments, criticism and feedback on our students’ playing, but also offer their own perspectives on their art and arts purpose in the world. All musicians are strongly encouraged to attend and/or perform at these classes.


Hartt offers the competitive, collegial environment for students to challenge one another to excel, one that fosters artistic growth, and instills the necessary skills to achieve success in the musical world. The overall size of the woodwind department and instrumental studios provides each student significant individual attention and performance opportunities. Whether you aspire to work as a professional performer, music educator, producer, manager, acoustic engineer, or other, we have a place for you in Hartt's woodwind department.