Clarinet Lessons

Seattle area clarinet lessons with Metropolitan Opera clarinetist

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"Sean is an amazing teacher and musician. I strongly recommend him for any level from brand new to professional. He is extremely knowledgeable and teaches concepts in a way anyone can understand. I took lessons from him in high school and he prepared me for college and beyond. I play professionally in an orchestra now and I would not have been successful without his guidance. My only regret is not starting with him sooner. I cannot recommend him enough!!"

Clarinet Lessons
Composition Lessons
Seattle area
Around the world online
All Levels

I have over 35 years experience teaching students ages 8 to 80, and levels from beginner to professional. Since 2000, I have been teaching students in the Seattle area, and every year I have students that participate in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, the WMEA All-State Band and Orchestra, and the State Solo and Ensemble contest. Some of my students attained positions in professional ensembles like the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Omaha Symphony, The US Army Band "Pershing's Own", The TRADOC Band, and others. Others have taught at Universities, and performed with the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony and others, as well as continuing studies at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Rice University, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, and other great music schools. I also coach Chamber Music, and do Audition Preparation for clarinetists and other instrumentalists.

I also have students around the world that I teach via Skype, with payments through Venmo. Please email me at to arrange a Skype lesson.

I tailor my curricula to the students goals and needs, encouraging their strengths while helping them catch up on their weaknesses. We will work on:

Technique: building relaxed, speedy, and accurate fingers. Scales, Arpeggios, Thirds, Intervals. Emphasis on playing rhythms and articulations correctly. Listening and comparing what you see on the page to what is coming out of your horn. For more on this, see my essay.

Tone: Proper breathing and support, tongue positions, and tonal concept. Control of dynamics in all registers. Use of tone colors. Legato Fingers.

Intonation: Listening. Using a tuner. Understanding pitch relationships

Musicianship: Finding your own voice. Putting phrasings in the proper historical and theoretical context. Multiple, simultaneous ideas. Exploring the emotions in music. See also: The Three Rules of Tonal Phrasing.

Repertoire, Theory, and History: Proper research. Understanding of foreign language terms (i.e. forte doesn't mean loud). Knowing the composer's life and compositions. Listening to lots of music, live and recorded. Orchestral excerpts. Chamber music.

Some of the most commonly used repertoire I teach:

My First Scale Book, by Sean Osborn
The Rubank Advanced Method Book, Vol. 1 and 2
Lowrey/Weber Studies and Melodious Etudes
Klose Complete Method
Jettel Klarinettenschule Vol. 2 (Scales)
Rose 32 Etudes
Rose 40 Studies
Cavallini Caprices
Jean-Jean 18 Etudes

St. Saen's Sonata
Weber Concertino, Concertos 1 and 2
Messager Solo de Concours
Poulenc Sonata
Bernstein Sonata
Stravinsky Three Pieces
Cahuzac Variations sur un Air du Pays d'Oc
Shaw Concerto
Debussy Premier Rhapsodie
Brahms Sonatas 1 and 2
Mozart Concerto
Copland Concerto
Bassi Concert Fantasia on Motives from Verdi's Opera "Rigoletto"
Nieslen Concerto
Martino A Set for Clarinet

Japan Master-Class

Slovenia Master-Class
My teaching emphasizes mainly two things: being a good clarinetist, and being a good musician. Additionally, when appropriate, we will discuss being a good citizen and a good student. Occasionally in private lessons, students will approach me about difficulties in school, band/orchestra, dealing with the pressures of adolescence or anything on their minds. I take my role as mentor seriously, and strive to give good advice and cultivate a rewarding mentor/mentee relationship with my students. Here is a great article about what every parent should know about private lessons.

I usually teach hour lessons, but will do anywhere from half-hour to two-hour lessons, depending on the student's goals and what I feel is appropriate. I will teach at after school programs sometimes, and will travel for chamber music coachings if necessary. Most of the time, I teach from my home in Shoreline.

Attendance Policy Any cancellation or change within 48 hours of lessons should be made by PHONE CALL at least 24 hours before the scheduled lesson. Any non-emergency cancellation not made in this way will require full payment of the missed lesson. 206-368-7091

More Testimonials

"I studied with Sean in my last few years of high school and I credit him with starting me on my path from an enthusiastic amateur to a professional clarinetist. He really stands by his commitment to musicianship, beyond simply becoming more technically proficient at the instrument. His insights into how to structure phrases and interpret dynamics are at the same time logical and intuitive, and have stuck with me for years. He is of course also an extremely talented clarinetist, and has much to offer in terms of developing more efficient and flexible technique. If you are prepared to practice hard and meet Sean's high standards, I can't recommend him highly enough."

"Sean has been a wonderful teacher who has helped me improve my clarinet playing tremendously. He cares about his students and pushes them to reach their musical goals. I could not have developed the kind of playing I have without Sean's help. Strongly recommend lessons."

"Simply, life-changing. I STRONGLY recommend lessons from Sean."

"I have taken lessons from Sean on and off over the years, as I am an older adult amateur player. Sean's expertise in clarinet playing and teaching places him at the top in our area. Basics such as breath support, articulation, legato fingers, tone production and quality, intonation, etc. are always stressed. But he relentlessly pushes for musicality and expression, and in fact insists on it. I also use his online resources, which have been very educational for me. I can easily see how younger students would also thrive under his tutelage. Studying with Sean, along with dedicated practice will elevate your playing to levels you might not think are achievable!"

References are available on request.

Rice University Master-Class

Portland State University Master-Class

UNAM Music School, Mexico City, Master-Class