Kenneth Lee has been a popular teacher for many years, and his often-imitated teaching approach now available in his book, Clarinet Express (reviews below), has attracted many clarinet students to his active, supportive, and exciting independent clarinet studio in the Northern Virginia area.
Each year more than 45 aspiring young clarinetists seek his advice in order to improve and enjoy their clarinet experiences. From the introduction of a short, daily practice routine to help you develop clarinet fundamentals to an express path to fluency and understanding of music through private lessons, small group prep classes, recitals and non-competitive and competitive events, all of his students benefit from a peer group of energetic young clarinet students.
I welcome all who would like to become better clarinet players and experience the pride and enjoyment of developing their musical abilities. Most of my students do not aspire to professional music careers, but pursue their studies for the fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment that results from focused, purposeful study of a musical instrument through the pre-college years.
A majority of my students are referred by the public school Band Directors in and around Fairfax County who recommend them to me for highly-qualified instruction. Most of my students are among the top clarinetists in their elementary, middle and high school bands.
Though I am especially proud of the accomplishments of the dozens who now have established their own careers in performing and teaching positions across the country, the real satisfaction I find is in helping each student develop the confidence that comes with knowing what they can and have accomplished. Almost all of my alumni play the clarinet through their college years, whether or not they major in music. And it pleases me that, for most, music will play an important and on-going role in their adult lives.
Thanks for visiting our website; and I hope we have a chance to meet."
Kenneth Lee, Clarinetist
Reviews of Clarinet Express
“Ken Lee’s Clarinet Express is a labor of love and a comprehensive method for both students and teachers. This method offers wonderful insights and practical exercises to optimize practice time to get superior results. In a world that demands this generation of students be well-rounded, this book gives them the time and resources to make every minute of practice count! A tremendous tour-de-force, Clarinet Express explores fundamentals such as tonguing, tone production, technique, ear training, music theory, melodic analysis and expression for performance. All of the exercises in this book have been part of my daily practice for the last 30 years and have been instrumental in my success as a teacher and performer.” Julianna Evans Arnold, former student, Assistant Principal Clarinet, The U.S. Air Force Band
It was about thirty years ago when I first heard one of Kenneth Lee’s students play. I was judging the General Motors 17 competition and his student was the runner up to the winner, Ricardo Morales (Former Principal Clarinet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Principal Clarinet, The Philadelphia Orchestra). I knew then what an extraordinary teacher he was. Since that time I have had the pleasure of teaching students from his studio at the University of Michigan. They all came with great preparation for college study. His new book, Clarinet Express, is a very fine guide for clarinet teachers seeking the tools to give their young clarinet students a solid foundation on the instrument. Fred Ormond, Professor of Clarinet Emeritus, University of Michigan, Author of Fundamentals for Fine Clarinet Playing,Past President, International Clarinet Society
“Those of us who studied the clarinet with Ken Lee already know he is a master teacher…now with the publication of Clarinet Express, clarinetists everywhere have the opportunity to benefit from his incredible insight and breadth of knowledge. Ken’s easy to understand and systematic method will give you the very strongest foundation in your clarinet playing and will inspire you to take your playing to heights you didn’t know you could reach.” Garrick Zoeter Anna Lee Van Buren Professor of Clarinet, Area Coordinator - Winds, Brass and Percussion Shenandoah Conservatory/Shenandoah University Advisory Council Member-National Society of Arts and Letters D.C. Chapter
Kenneth Lee’s work with my clarinet sections had several profound, drastic, and surprisingly quick effects. Most notably, when the students incorporated his fundamentals routine as part of their playing every day, the benefits to their tone production, upper-register control and intonation was evident within just a few weeks. The best part for me, as an ensemble teacher, was that it benefited everyone in the section—from the most novice to the aspiring music major. His book, Clarinet Express, makes his methods available to teacher and student alike. Alan P. Johnson Director of Bands, Westfield High School, Chantilly Virginia Fairfax High School, Fairfax, Virginia
What a privilege it is to share my thoughts about Kenneth Lee’s latest contribution to the profession of clarinet teaching and performance. In about forty years of acquaintance that has grown into a close friendship, Ken has been an inspiration and a constant source of challenge to do better, to produce better-informed students, and to succeed in greater ways. Success. “You can’t argue with it.” In just shy of fifty years of university-level clarinet and woodwind teaching, I have never encountered a more successful teacher of pre-college students than Kenneth Lee. As long as I have known Ken, his students have shown the mark of comprehensive and methodical teaching and artistic understanding. And as long as I’ve known him, his highly successful private studio has been his full-time occupation. How does he do it? Over many years, I have politely but painstakingly interrogated every one of the students we have shared. “What did he have you do?” “How did he explain it to you?” “When did you do this?” “How did he structure the business end of the Lee Studios of Music?” The many bits of information mined from Ken’s troves of wisdom are punctuated by the salsa stains on my neckties duly earned over our frequent lunches of enchiladasand platillos combinaciones. I have shamelessly stolen from all of my distinguished professional clarinet friends, but from none more than Ken Lee. What I have discovered in the expanse of my discussions with his students and himself is a totally-organized, sequentially logical approach that builds a foundation that I have never—NEVER—had to repair. The foundations he builds are ready for continued construction. Frankly, anything sourced by Kenneth Lee is worthy of all of our attention. As the standards of performance expected of our students become higher and higher, all of our footprints rest on the shoulders of the great teachers of a generation. My hope is that the reader will benefit as much from Mr. Lee’s wisdom as my students and I have. This book belongs on the desktop of everyone who aspires to inspire and teach. Charles West, Past President International Clarinet Association
“WOW-what a comprehensive book! Any student who goes through this sequence is sure to be prepared for any college or conservatory program. It is obvious that he has spent an incredible amount of time organizing and really thinking carefully about the progression a student needs; his book is amazing.” Garwood Whaley President/Founder, Meredith Music Publications
For 25 years, perhaps a bit longer, I have had the good fortune and opportunity to work with students at the university undergraduate level who have matriculated from the private studio of clarinetist and master teacher, Mr. Ken Lee. Without exception, the students who have arrived on campus with a background of study with this master teacher have had all those elements necessary for success at the undergraduate level – and beyond. I can attest that from my almost fifty years of teaching I have rarely found students better prepared than those who have benefited from Ken Lee’s tutoring. Mr. Lee now shares with the clarinet world his years of experience working with aspiring students via his brilliant instrumental compendium, the Clarinet Express. This work, in two parts, lays out the entirety of the fundamentals for any student of our instrument. He offers a wonderful daily routine notated with his approach to good tone and sound production plus a comprehensive look at scales, arpeggios and various exercises directed to building that important foundation. I would also recommend that every teacher of the clarinet should keep this work at hand. I know I will. On my home campus, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we have music students of every caliber; the most advanced conservatory level, those focused on music education and students who study music seriously with the knowledge that from the onset they will find a different career path. The most fortunate of these students, regardless of their ambitions, are those who have been under that watchful eye (and ear) of Mr. Ken Lee. I thank him for sharing his experiences and ideas for training young artists. This text is a wonderful addition to our world of clarinet instruction and offers future instructors an excellent springboard for leading young instrumentalists to success. Donald L. Oehler, Professor of Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ensuring Your Progress!
Kenneth Lee Clarinet Studio Address: 505 Park St. NE, Vienna, VA 22180 Phone: 703-927-8225 Email: Kenclarten@gmail.com