Welcome to Grace Notes Music Studio

Welcome to Grace Notes Music Studio

Clarinet and Saxophone Lessons for all ages

Save the Date: Jan 8, 2023

That’s the date for the next recital. It will be held in person again back at The Courtyard at Mt Tabor. Our friends at The Courtyard have hosted us in their Mt Hood Wing lobby for many years before 2020 and I am looking forward to being back there in January.

Recent Recitals

On May 22, a limited number of people attended an in-person performance of 12 clarinet and saxophone students. Visit my recital page for photos and videos.

Inspired by the words of Jon Batiste, winner of this year’s Album of the Year Grammy Award, the theme of the recital is Be You.

On receiving the award for his album, We Are, Batiste said,

“I believe this to my core. There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. Creative arts are subjective and they reach people at a point in their lives when they need it most. It’s like a song or an album is made and it almost has a radar to find a person when they need it the most. I mean, man! I thank God. I just put my head down and I work on the craft everyday. I love music. I been playing since I was a little boy. It’s more than entertainment for me. It’s a spiritual practice. Every single artist that was nominated in this category. I actually love and have had experiences, out of body experiences with your music. I honor you. This is for real artists, real musicians, just keep going! Be you! I love you even if I don’t know you! Goodnight!”

Over 5 Sundays in November and December 2021, small groups of students live-streamed their performances from my studio for the Fall Recital called Live Times Five.

In-Person Learning Resumes

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, I began teaching remotely using Zoom video conference software in March 2020. A little more than a year later, we were able to have lessons in-person at my studio.

Now if a student is sick or feeling any COVID symptoms, your lesson will be on Zoom instead. Inclement weather and difficulty with transportation are other reasons to go remote.

Each student has their own personalized link for online lessons with Mary Ellen. See my instructions for scheduling your lessons. I’ve also added a page with instructions to get the best experience using Zoom.

Clarinet and Saxophone Lessons

Clarinet and saxophone lessons are just the tip of the iceberg of offerings here.

Private saxophone and clarinet lessons are a student’s first experience at Grace Notes Music Studio. I also produce two recitals each school year; one in the Fall or Winter and another in Spring.

Be You! Recital, May 2022

We did it! Our first live and in-person recital since November 2019! Twelve students gathered at the Friends Meeting House in Southeast Portland on May 22 to perform jazz and classical pieces on saxophones and clarinets. We had fun! Please visit my recital page to watch and listen to their performances.

Most Recent Posts

  • The Next Step in Gear for your horn
    Last week I discussed the basic equipment you need to take care of your saxophone and clarinet. This week, I give you some equipment and tools that will support your playing and take your musical skills to the next level.
  • Sax & Clarinet Starter Gear
    What tools and gear do you need to get a good start on your musical instrument? As someone who has been a musician for more than 50 years, I know a thing or two about the best tools and gear you need to get started playing the clarinet or saxophone.
  • The Art of The Playlist
    Playlists Back in the day, I recorded songs from a vinyl LP onto a cassette tape. Or I’d be listening to the radio and press record when a fave tune came on. In both cases, I was creating a personal playlist; curating a collection of songs that had meaning to me. Nowadays, on Spotify, Apple…
  • 🎵 When I move my body… it feels like Freedom!
    Watch Jon Batiste performing Freedom from his Grammy-winning album of the year at the 64th Grammy Awards. Compare this super colorful production of the tune to his video release of the same song last year – which featured a marching band!


A trio of saxophones



Twice-yearly performance opportunities

  • solo with or without accompaniment
  • duets, trios, quartets
  • classical and jazz
adjusting Jacob's clarinet reed

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Regular music lessons provide:

  • an expert, creative teacher
  • individualized attention
  • personalized lesson plan
  • time management
BRAVO Youth Orchestra Guest Artist


FAQ & Answers

  • Days and times I teach?
  • Performance opportunities?
  • Where is my studio?
  • Expectations of students?
close up of bottom of saxophone



Here you can find links to:

  • Online Schedule
  • Intake form
  • Expectations & Policies form

Want to schedule a lesson? Call now! 503-888-5796

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