Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion Instruction

Westminster Conservatory offers music lessons in Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion. 

  • Flute lessons
  • Recorder lessons
  • Oboe lessons
  • Clarinet lessons
  • Saxophone lessons
  • Bassoon lessons
  • Horn lessons
  • Trumpet lessons
  • Trombone lessons
  • Tuba lessons
  • Drumset lessons
  • Percussion lessons

Melissa Bohl, Department Head

Private Wind Instrument Lessons

Wind Instruments
Instruction on wind instruments typically begins with correct posture and hand position, breath support, and embouchure. The ability to read music is not a prerequisite, and any student who is new to musical literacy will learn the elements of pitch and rhythmic notation. As a student begins to acquire facility on the instrument, teaching concentrates on refinements of embouchure and tone production, articulation, dynamics, and phrasing. An advancing student will typically combine a study of technical materials, such as scales, arpeggios, and études, with solo repertoire such as recital pieces, sonatas, and concerti.

Drumset and Percussion
Drumset and percussion are offered at the South Brunswick and Princeton Academy locations for students of all levels. Beginners learn basic rhythm and reading skills through snare drum and drumset and receive an introduction to mallet techniques, while advancing students receive coaching in various aspects of percussion. All percussion students learn how to read music, maintain good sound production, and develop the dexterity to play the major percussion instruments.

Conservatory teachers in the wind, brass, and percussion department incorporate ear training, sight reading, music fundamentals, musicianship, and the promotion of good work habits into their instruction at all levels, and remain responsive to students' individual needs and learning styles.

Families with prospective students under the minimum age* may request an interview (30-minute maximum) if they would like to be considered for private instruction. Families will be asked to complete a registration form and pay an interview fee of $30 before the interview. Upon acceptance of a student under the suggested minimum age, the registration fee and tuition deposit will be due before the student can be placed with a teacher.

*The recommended minimum age for winds and brass private study is 9; for recorder study, 6; for Suzuki flute, 5; for drum study, 7. The recommended lesson length for beginners is 30 minutes.

Group Instruction

Westminster Conservatory offers a wide range of classes and ensembles to meet the needs of every student, from the beginner to the most advanced student, regardless of age. Some classes are intended as an introduction to music, and require no previous experience. Others are designed to complement private instruction. Most classes run 32 weeks per year. Class length is based upon minimum enrollment. Some classes may be offered with a smaller enrollment by reducing the class length. In this case, the tuition remains the same.

  • Jazz Explorations
    Paul Hofreiter, Instructor
    Grade 8 through Adult
    In this class, students who already have some background in jazz will take their knowledge to the next level by playing in a small group and combining jazz with other musical styles (jazz/rock, jazz/hip hop, jazz/Latin, etc.). Students will explore playing through longer forms over time-tested jazz standards, and will also be encouraged to explore different ways of playing these compositions, as well as working on their own arrangements or composition. Music written and performed by the students will be presented at a year-end recital either on Westminster’s campus or off-campus at a live venue. An interview/audition is required for placement. Princeton Academy location only.
    Number of classes: 31
    Class length:  45 minutes (3-person minimum)
    Tuition: $682

Chamber Music

Experience the joy of making music in a small ensemble! Westminster Conservatory offers reading ensembles as well as coached chamber groups, depending on the playing goals of the student.

  • Adult Chamber Reading Ensemble
    Marjorie Selden, Coordinator
    Dedicated to the joys of sight reading, this program provides an opportunity for adult musicians to meet every other week to play together in small wind, string, piano, or mixed ensembles. New ensembles are created each week. The groups, working on their own, read through music provided by the coordinator at the beginning of each session. Westminster provides music scores, studio space, stands, and pianos. Wind and string players bring their own instruments. Participants are expected to have some sight reading and ensemble experience. Each morning session will include a coffee break with light refreshments and time to socialize. Princeton location only.
    Number of sessions: 16 (ensembles meet every other week)
    Session length: 3 hours
    Tuition: $260
  • Coached Chamber Ensemble
    Elena Panova, Coordinator
    All Ages
    Students of any age or level are matched with other musicians in a small ensemble which meets weekly for individual coaching by a Conservatory faculty member. This program will introduce students to a broader range of repertoire and provide the opportunity for interaction with other musicians at the same level. Participants are encouraged to perform in community settings. This class is open to all instruments. An interview/audition is required for placement.
    Number of sessions: 32
    Session length: 45 minutes (3-person minimum)
    Tuition: $704

Flute Faculty
Kimberly Bryan
Jill Crawford
Ellen Fisher Deerberg
John Lane
Katherine McClure
Sandra Olson
Seth Rosenthal
Barbara Highton Williams
Kevin Willois
Amy Wolfe
Recorder Faculty
Timothy Urban
Oboe Faculty
Melissa Bohl  
Clarinet/Saxophone Faculty
Kenneth Ellison
Sung-Won Hwang
Michael VanPelt
Darryl Yokley
Bassoon Faculty
Christopher Wickham

Horn Faculty
Craig Levesque  
Trumpet Faculty
Stanton Davis, Jr.
Michael Green
Cody Holody
Susan Moxley
Flora Newberry
Trombone/Tuba Faculty
Susan Moxley  
Percussion Faculty
Mika Godbole  

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