Adam Berkowitz | Lessonface

Adam Berkowitz

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Featured Teacher on Lessonface Since October 2015
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I'm Adam Berkowitz and I'd like to help you learn to play the clarinet even better than you do right now! Back in 2007 I finished a Doctorate of Musical Arts in clarinet with Maureen Hurd at Rutgers University. For the last eight years I've been on the faculty at the Hartt School Community Division in West Hartford Connecticut. While there, I've sharpened my skills as a teacher and as a performer.

As an educator, in addition to my current position, I have: written a book (see below), given masterclasses at the Hartt Community Division, presented at Rutgers Woodwind Day (2012) and the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest conventions in Los Angeles (2011) and Baton Rouge (2014). As a performer, I love to work on contemporary music and I've been working on electronic music blending the clarinet and bass clarinet with music and effects created in Ableton Live. I also love to spend time with my wife Ilana Garber and our two sons.

I believe that students are most successful when they are active participants in the problem solving process. The students who are successful with want to be part of this process. They are curious, involved, and active participants in lessons. What is this process like? First, I listen carefully both to what the student plays and what they tell me. From there I ask questions so that students can learn how to think about the problems they're having and come up with their own solutions. This way my students can be successful both in their lessons and during practice sessions. After a while they start to become their own teachers!

I aim to treat each of my students with compassion and understanding. I know that all my students have other things to do besides work on clarinet music. While I expect my students to practice at least a little bit every day I also expect they will be honest with me if they haven't. 

I typically assign students warm ups, scales, and some kind of repertoire. Warm ups help students focus on one particular technical issue without too many other distractions. Every student in my studio learns scales (in patterns) and arpeggios. They may seem boring, but they make your life as a musician so much easier! The repertoire is most often from a lesson book like Collis' "The Contemporary Clarinet" or etudes like Hite's "Melodius and Progressive Studies". All of my students also learn at least a little music theory and history. This way they know what they're playing, how to play it, and why it sounds the way it does. I encourage advanced students to bring whatever repertoire they like to lessons. 

Lastly, I am the author of “Advanced Contemporary Techniques for the Clarinet”. This method book guides students who wish to learn about double tonguing, circular breathing, singing while playing, and multiphonics. Besides learning about these techniques, I show how they can be incorporated into your daily practice to help solve all kinds of problems.