Small Ensemble Reading Intensive Summer 2018

SERI is closed for the summer of 2018

The Small Ensemble Reading Intensive weeks offered this summer have been successful and enjoyed by the participants. Watch my website for more small group classes. I’m in the planning stages now to offer a weekly class in the fall and another in the spring.

Join my five-day class for clarinettists and saxophonists

Collaborate musically with fellow musicians. Read, play, perform music together!

What’s a reading intensive, anyway? We play duets, trios, quartets – music for two or more instruments. When we play a song and each musician plays a different part that harmonizes with or rhythmically blends with the others, that’s collaboration in action. We have to concentrate on our own personal part but also keep an ear out for what the other musicians are playing and how our own part fits with the other parts. It’s intense focus and concentration. And incredibly fun too!


  • Augment your listening skills
  • Expand your small ensemble playing techniques
  • Tune up your intonation sense
  • Develop your sight-reading skills
  • Master complex time signatures and rhythmic patterns
  • Play music in many keys

You will receive:

  • Ten hours of class time
  • A healthy dose of personal attention in the small class size
  • Five pieces of music
  • Positive and affirming coaching instruction
  • Support to meet musical challenges
  • Instruction on listening with regards to pitch

When you are a musician, it is great to be able to make music by yourself. However, the enjoyment intensifies when you get together and ‘jam’ with other players in a small ensemble.

Students will have some serious fun AND also be learning the skills of ensemble playing.

  • Ability to play one’s own part while also listening to the other parts.
  • Hearing how all the parts integrate to make a wondrous harmonic whole.
  • Tuning your instrument to a tuner and tuning your instrument with other players.

Playing in a small ensemble gives you ‘Big Ears’!

Don’t worry! It’s a good thing.  😉

Big Ears means being able to listen and hear in a deeper way than you do in your daily life. Playing in a small ensemble develops one’s concentration, patience, teamwork, leadership, and social skills. And topping it all off is how much FUN it is to play music with others!

Offered Monday-Friday from 10am to noon at Grace Notes Music Studio during the following weeks. The fee is $222 for one week of classes.
We will play different styles from simple chorales and gospel to contemporary rock styles and songs from musicals. Bring a friend to join the fun!
Participants will have played saxophone or clarinet for at least one year and be able to play at least 3 major scales on their instrument.

The fee is $222 for one week of classes.

Select your week and sign up using the links above by the register date. Class size is at most six students. Sign up today!


Your teacher is Mary Ellen Grace who will give you instruction, support and encouragement.

Mary Ellen “Meg” Grace was born in the Philadelphia area, raised in New Hampshire, received her B.S. in Music Education from Indiana State University, and finally settled in Portland.

She is a longtime member of and performs with Portland Wind Symphony, Portland Gay Symphonic Band and Rose City Swing. At Grace Notes Music Studio she teaches saxophone and clarinet.

Mary Ellen is a practicing Buddhist and in her spare time enjoys playing ukulele, hiking to the top of Mt Tabor, and reading time-travel fiction.