Michael J.

Dallas, TX


clarinet, music theory and history

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 8/29/11

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Illinois Wesleyan University


Illinois Wesleyan University (Music)

About Michael

When my grandmother took me to see "The Benny Goodman Story" I was 6 years old. For two years I begged my mother for lessons. When I was 8 she relented. This was a perfect time to start, although one is never too old to begin learning the awesome sound of the clarinet and music in general.

I studied for 11 years with such noted teachers as Johns McGrosso at Illinois Wesleyan University who was influenced greatly by one time principal clarinetist with The Chicago Symphony, John Brody.

I am currently retired but perform with The Dallas New Horizons Band, and The Richardson Community Band. My photograph appears on the DNHB website. I am not a professional but I am an educator and am adamant about the value of music in a child's overall spatial, mathematical, verbal, social and mental development, all of which is well documented.

I have substitute taught in the Dallas I.S.D. and for a private Lutheran School and have passed the F.B.I. background check required of all substitutes.

I emphasize fundamentals such as tone, phrasing, technique, embouchure, and above all music theory of which all this makes no sense.

Hope to hear from you soon.
When my grandmother took me to see "The Benny Goodman Story" I was 6 years old. For two years I begged my mother for lessons. When I was 8 she relented. This was a perfect time to start, although one is never too old to begin learning the awesome sound of the clarinet and Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Dallas, TX 75220
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons
Music History

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.


Since seeing "The Benny Goodman Story" in the '50s I wanted to play the clarinet. My mother, lord knows how, bought me a clarinet and lessons. I played for 20 years, winning awards for solos in high school music contests. I went on to study in college under John McGrosso at Illinois Wesleyan University. I was also privileged to study under John Brodie, former principal clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I love to teach as much as I love to play and I like to make learning music fun.
Clarinet is a beautiful way to express yourself but music will fire neurons in your brain that will increase the likelihood of your academic and social success.
I stress fundamentals including breathing, tone, articulation, technique, style, phrasing, etc,etc. I make sure we have fun and I explain everything in a very understandable way. Since your ambition is to play music you will be able to play a simple melody after the first lesson. If you are an advanced student the focus is more on discipline and improving on fundamentals followed by works in the student's interest. (Jazz, classical, ragtime, blues,etc.

Music History

Music history could be a monumental undertaking if one were to begin before ancient times when some scientists believe "sounds" made to communicate were the first forms of music, even predating language. One could begin with Ancient times where there is a little more historical evidence of what was happening. Or one could start with any of the other periods in order, medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century and finally contemporary music.
My focus is on the 20th century evolution of music, basically because it is the most influential in the contemporary sounds we hear today. Beginning with the ethnic influences of music of select regions we also examine the influences and evolution of gospel to blues to ragtime to jazz and big band leading to today's contemporary styles.

Music Theory

Music theory, otherwise referred to as the language of music, is essential if spatial, mathematical, and mental development is to be benefited at all.

Simply stated, the student learns a new alphabet (notes) and how the are put together to form phrases. The student learns what notes are emphasized to give greater meaning to the music.

Real developmental advantages are realized when things like rhythm, beat, time signatures, dynamics, phrasing and the myriad other aspects of music are taught.

Illinois Wesleyan University


Illinois Wesleyan University (Music)

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $55.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Michael will travel within 20 miles of Dallas, TX 75220.

Background Check Status for Michael J.

Michael J. passed a background check on 8/29/11. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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