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Clarinet Studio

Jennifer Showalter Clarinet Studio

Award-Winning Clarinet Lessons for the Advancing Student.

Los Angeles, California

Training top young clarinetists for over twenty-five years in the San Gabriel Valley, including Arcadia, San Marino, Temple City, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, and Diamond Bar. Studio lessons are also now available in Quartz Hill.

 

Teaching Bio

In constant demand as a master teacher, Ms. Showalter is currently instructor of Clarinet Studies at Azusa Pacific University. Previously, she was on the Applied Faculty of California State University Long Beach, Biola University, Long Beach City College, and Pasadena City College. She is regularly engaged as an adjudicator and clinician, and was a member of the Pasadena Symphony Mentor and Tempo programs. Ms. Showalter was also the Clarinet Curriculum developer for Maestro Concept. Ms. Showalter's Clarinet Studio is widely renowned and her pre-college students have been members of local honor groups, many as principal clarinet, including:

CBDA California All-State Honor Band

SCSBOA All-Southern California Honor Bands and Orchestras

CBDNA Honor Band

Pasadena Young Musician's Orchestra

Claremont Young Musician's Orchestra

Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra

Pacific Symphony Institute

Olympia Youth Orchestra

Los Angeles Youth Orchestra

Pasadena "Tournament of Roses" Honor Band

CSULA "First Chair" Honor Band

CMEA Honor Band

Pasadena POPS "Side by Side" Symphony

Junior Chamber Music

MTAC Certificate of Merit Advanced level

Ms. Showalter's studio students have also been winners of many solo and concerto competitions and scholarships, including:

Pasadena Young Musician's Orchestra Concerto competitions

MTAC Solo Competitions

Claremont Symphonic Winds Young Artists Concerto Competition

Southwestern Youth Music Festival Open category competitions

Ms. Showalter is a member of the American Federation of Musicians (Local 47), the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (voting member), the International Clarinet Association, Music Teachers Association of California (Los Angeles County Branch), Southwestern Youth Music Festival (teacher member), and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.

 

Contact

To inquire about my teaching studios or to have me coach, clinic, or adjudicate your group, please go to Contact

Teaching Recommendations

Matthew Volk, Stanford University

Looking back on my five years as one of Jennifer's students, I am filled with gratitude. I remember the first day I met her, as the eighth grader who had just barely gotten the last chair spot in the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra's wind ensemble. She has helped me grow immensely both as a musician and as a person over the years, and now, as I prepare to leave for college, I can barely express what it has meant to me.

From the beginning, Jennifer ran the lessons with a bright, positive attitude. Whenever I started to get frustrated, she would lightheartedly remind me of the first rule of clarinet lessons: “There's no 'can't' in clarinet lessons. There's only 'can't yet!'” She was right every time, too; no matter how hard the passage was, she would help me get it eventually. Her constructive criticism was always helpful and given in such a way that it increased my motivation to keep trying. Additionally, whenever I struggled with something, Jennifer could immediately pinpoint the source of the problem and help correct it, making her lessons extremely efficient.

I believe one of the keys to Jennifer's success with her students is her ability to focus on both long-term and short-term improvement. When I first started taking lessons with her, she made sure to start by giving me a solid technical foundation with the basics—long tones, register exercises, scales, and Klose pages—so that I could quickly begin to focus on the more advanced (and more fun) parts of music, like conveying emotion and making everything sound effortless. Because of her, I was able to quickly move up the ranks, and I eventually became principal clarinetist in the Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra and in the SCSBOA All-Southern Honor Orchestra and Honor Band. I know I never could have done this without her.

I'm constantly impressed by Jennifer's commitment to her students. She's an incredible performer (European Adventure is breathtaking) and a busy one at that, so the amount of time and effort she is willing to put into her studio is amazing. She's always contactable and keeps track of every audition or competition for her students, which probably explains why her students are so well represented in local honor groups. She even writes down all these performances in her already-crammed calendar and does her best to come and see all of them.

Jennifer's methodical and positive approach to teaching have certainly helped me grow as a musician but have genuinely helped me grow as a person. She taught me to have patience with myself and to enjoy what I do. I definitely would not be the same person without her guidance these past five years, and I am extremely grateful. Jennifer is kind, caring, and inspiring. If you are looking for a clarinet teacher, you would be hard pressed to find someone as great as Jennifer.

 

Joseph N. Castillo, Instrumental Music Director, Troy High School

Jennifer Showalter was one of the biggest influences in my musical career. She always brought a bright enthusiasm to my lessons. I remember having lots of fun and learning much about music making. It wasn't just about the mechanics of playing but the beauty of every note and phrase. She was encouraging and just made me want to do more. Today, I try to pass on some of what I learned to my students, clarinetists and others alike. 

Serene Kamal, University of California, Los Angeles

I took lessons with Jennifer from the ages of 10-17. As a beginner, she showed me what to focus on without intimidating or discouraging me, and I looked forward to lessons every week. Although I knew that I didn't want to major in Music, throughout middle and high school she helped me on any school music I had trouble with and gave me fun and challenging pieces to work on. For any competition or audition that I went to, she supported me completely, and even when I felt like I had done terribly, she showed me how to view my experience positively. Although I didn't play in outside groups in high school, as a Clarinet Section Leader in the Arcadia High School Marching Band for two years, I often found myself repeating what she had told me to my section. I've never had an instance where I asked a question that she considered stupid or wasn't able to explain well, and as a student, there's nothing more empowering. She's more than just an amazing clarinetist; she's an extraordinarily patient person who's a teacher, mentor, and friend. I would recommend her as a teacher for any level of student.

 

Chris Kotlewski, Music Director, Ruth Musser Middle School

Simply put, Jennifer Showalter is one of the best. Her versatility as a teacher makes her a perfect fit for beginners and college students alike. As one of her students I was continually impressed by how accessible Jennifer made the clarinet. She always had a suggestion for any difficulty I encountered and gave me the tools I needed to go as far as I wanted to in my music career. Her experience as a performer is an added benefit to any student who takes lessons with her. If you can think of it, she has done it and she can help you get there too! One of Jennifer's specialties is her knowledge and understanding of middle and high school students. She is able to take students starting the clarinet in sixth grade and have them ready for college auditions in twelfth grade. As a music teacher myself, I appreciate her ability to give constructive criticism in such a way that the students feel encouraged to do better the next time; I always left our lessons with a smile, looking forward to the next week. I can safely say that it is because of Jennifer's help that I have become a successful music teacher. Many of the techniques and principals that she taught me in our lessons together are used daily in my teaching. If you are searching for a clarinet teacher, stop! You will not find anyone better to help you or your clarinet student succeed! 

Laura Ditzer-Pradhan, Band and Choir Director, Dexter Middle School, Whittier

I studied clarinet under Jennifer Showalter for four years while I was a student at Azusa Pacific University. As a freshman from out-of-state, she met me where I was and gradually helped me improve each area of my playing, including tone, breath support, alternate fingerings (including those that improve tuning for the throat tones), rehearsal techniques, and reed care and maintenance. After hearing me play in my lesson, she immediately knew what area of detail to address first and guided me step by step so that the end result of my playing was successful. She also kept the environment at our lessons light-hearted, but serious. She addressed specific issues in my playing, but always stayed positive when I made even the smallest amount of improvement. She also encouraged me to perform whenever possible and let me know about upcoming auditions for semi-professional groups in the area. It was encouraging to know that she wanted me to succeed in my playing outside of the lesson room. She was very helpful in helping me coordinate my senior recital, and when some important details were not coming together, she personally made sure that they happened. When things were getting a little stressful on the night of the performance, she remained calm and supported me to make sure that I had the best possible performance I could have. Ms. Showalter was also the coach for the student woodwind quintet at APU that I was a member of. She was always prepared at every rehearsal to check different parts in our repertoire and was always knowledgeable about the style of each piece, because she had played everything herself in other professional woodwind quintets. It did not matter that she did not play the bassoon, flute, oboe, or french horn, because she already had a strong background playing with each instrument herself. As our coach, she always made an effort to make sure we had performance opportunities on or off campus. If scheduling was an issue, she worked with us to make something happen so that an audience could hear the work we had done over the semester. During my time at APU, I also had the privilege of hearing and seeing Ms. Showalter perform with the Faculty Woodwind Quintet and at her Faculty solo recital. Every performance I saw looked effortless. Finally, I have had the privilege of playing clarinet with Ms. Showalter in the Lake Avenue Church Chamber Orchestra during Sunday services and special concerts. The first time I played with her was intimidating because she was my teacher, but she immediately made me feel comfortable with her genuine personality and wit. If I was having difficulty with a passage during rehearsal, she would offer hints and playing advice on the spot to make it easier and more attainable. She was and always is looking for the least complicated way to play something that will produce the most beautiful sound. I highly recommend Jennifer Showalter as a clarinet teacher, coach, and performer for any of your clarinet needs. She knows the detailed changes that will make a big difference to your playing because she has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. 

Brandon Chan, Princeton University

Under the tutelage of Ms. Showalter for seven years, my skills as a clarinetist and musician have grown immensely. I have come to learn to play different styles of pieces, how to perform, and most importantly, how to practice on my own. Ms. Showalter always comes ready to teach at every lesson. Her shelves are filled with hundreds, possibly thousands of CDs and pieces. Whenever I bring a new piece along, she always finds a great example of what the final product should sound like. Her attention to detail and her ability to read into the music are also remarkable. Tapering off notes, different fingerings to make reaching notes easier, what positions your tongue should be in, how I should breathe, and which notes need emphasis to make the phrase smoother are just a few examples of her in-depth mastery of clarinet technique and music. But perhaps more importantly, she taught me how to practice difficult passages. I remember when I first started playing Weber's Concertino Op. 26, I had trouble getting the fast passages to sound smooth and even. I tried to play the passage at a slow tempo and then at a fast tempo in order to make it sound effortless, but nothing seemed to work. At the lesson, Ms. Showalter taught me to play the notes using four different alternate rhythms. After playing the alternate rhythms for a mere two minutes, the passages were instantly much smoother and flowed better. To this day, I use the alternate rhythms for any technically difficult phrase and it works every single time. Outside of her vast knowledge of clarinet repertoire, Ms. Showalter also understands how many of the prestigious Southern California orchestras and other honor groups select players. With her guidance, I have been in numerous honor orchestras and bands. And in some of them, I have been the Assistant Principal Clarinetist or even the Principal Clarinetist. Ms. Showalter's success with students continues with many others as I have met many of her past and current students that have been principal clarinetists in honor groups such as the Southern California High School Honor Orchestra. On a more personal note, Ms. Showalter is a very nice, amiable, and cheery person. Through her bright smiles and friendly personality, she makes every lesson enjoyable and stress-free. I am also always amazed by her energy and supportiveness. Almost every week, she will ask if I have an upcoming performance. Though I almost never remember the exact date, she opens up her schedule book and writes down what day I am performing and almost always shows up to support me. If anyone is on the look-out for a clarinet teacher, Jennifer Showalter is the teacher you are looking for. I highly recommend her to clarinetists of any caliber. 

Norah Atkinson, Principal Clarinet, University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble

Jennifer Showalter has been an inspiration to me throughout my life, not only as a clarinet teacher, but also as a mentor and friend. When I began lessons at the age of eight, I had nothing but a year of piano under my belt and a thirty year-old clarinet from my grandpa. Before long, however, I was tootin' away and making it into the upper-level bands in school. Jenny's method of combining a love for music with technical proficiency gave me an edge in every ensemble I played in. Thanks to Jennifer's enthusiastic and exceptional instruction, I was a section leader in my high school marching band and held principal positions in several honor ensembles, such as the SCSBOA All-Southern Honor Orchestra, Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra, the CBDA All-State Wind Ensemble, and the CBDNA Honor Band. I have also received multiple awards and musical scholarships for clarinet. Jennifer's compassionate, skillful, and comprehensive method of teaching has been the greatest factor behind my success. She provides a clear and organized set of goals for each of her students and helps them develop the techniques required to meet them. She has a broad knowledge of classical repertoire and selects practice books and pieces catered to each individual's ability and interests. Her passion for playing and performing rubs off on her students, who develop their own style and love of playing as a result. Jenny's extensive experience in professional performance and auditions helps each of her students become comfortable with performing, an invaluable asset when auditioning for honor, college, or professional ensembles. Jennifer Showalter is a talented, experienced, and compassionate person who has shown me that life is what you make it. Her contagious enthusiasm and good humor have made my years of study with her incredibly rewarding and musically fruitful. I highly recommend her as one of the best clarinet instructors in Southern California. 

Lisa Woo, University of California, Irvine

Not only has Jennifer Showalter been a great teacher, she is a friend and mentor. She is patient, dedicated, and relates to her students well. I first met Ms. Showalter in the fifth grade when I could barely reach the keys and most of my notes came out as squeaks. I remember trying to practice my music and feeling frustrated. Once I started lessons with Jenny, she immediately knew how to solve my problems by suggesting alternate hand positions to reach the keys and adjustments to my clarinet. Jenny seemed to have numerous solutions and always made learning fun! If I could not play a difficult passage, she provided specific exercises and taught me how to practice the passages. In high school, with Jenny's help and competitiveness I was able to earn a top spot in band and be the clarinet section leader. I also became the clarinet sectional coach at the middle school band. With Jenny's encouragement and guidance I participated in numerous bands including, All Southern Band, Pasadena Youth Musicians Orchestra, Pasadena Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and First Chair Honor Band. I continue to play at the university. I would definitely recommend taking lessons with Jenny because of her expertise and kindness as a teacher and stress free lessons. She is perfect for beginner students as well as for more advanced students. 

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