Spring 2019 Weekly Small Ensemble Class

Feb. 5: Class has begun. No further registrations.

Join my eight-week class for clarinetists and saxophonists

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

My Small Ensemble Class is one in which we get together a trio or quartet of same instruments* to rehearse and perform music together. When we play a song together and each musician plays a different part that harmonizes with or rhythmically blends with the others, that’s collaboration in action.

We concentrate on our own individual part while also developing our listening skills. We hear what others are playing and how their parts fit together with our own. This requires good focus and concentration. The icing on top is that this process is wildly fun!

*There will be one class for clarinetists and another class for saxophonists.

Ready to register? Do it!


  • Augment your listening skills
  • Expand your small ensemble playing techniques
  • Tune up your intonation sense
  • Develop your sight-reading skills
  • Learn performance preparation
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Work as part of a team
  • Master complex time signatures and rhythmic patterns
  • Play music in many genres and keys

You will receive:

  • A total of 12 hours of class time in (8) 90-minute weekly classes
  • A healthy dose of personal attention in the small class size
  • Sheet music that is yours to keep in different styles and genres
  • Positive and affirming coaching instruction
  • Support to meet musical challenges
  • Instruction on enhanced listening
  • Two performance opportunities Spring Recitals in April

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 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!

The clarinet class is offered on Tuesday evenings from 4:30-6:00 pm at Grace Notes Music Studio beginning Feb. 5 and ending April 2. The saxophone class is offered on Wednesday evenings from 4:30-6:00 pm beginning Feb. 6 and ending April 3. There are no classes during Portland Public Schools Spring Break, the week of March 25.

The fee is $250 per student. Register by January 31. Class size is at least three and at most six.

Both ensembles will perform at the Spring Recitals, two April dates.


Clarinet Class:

Saxophone Class:

Each class will play some selection of the following music: 

  • Pink Panther Theme by Henry Mancini
  • Linus & Lucy by Vince Guaraldi
  • Trinities by Mary Ellen Grace
  • Star Wars theme by John Williams
  • A work by Bach
  • Barber’s Adagio for Strings
  • Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Both the clarinet class and the saxophone class will learn Trinities by Mary Ellen Grace and perform it together at the two Spring recitals in April. All other music will be specific to each class.

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. Those playing a doubling instrument will have played their first instrument for at least two years.