The 25 Best Music Schools to Study Clarinet

by Steven Lipman

Embarking on the deep study of clarinet in music school, like any other instrument, is a journey that will pay creative dividends for perhaps the rest of your life. Classes in theory and performance will sharpen your skills. The educational experience will brighten your mind. And the performance opportunities you’ll take on will be creatively enriching experiences with players of both your instrument, and others. In short, it will be great and will form the basis of your professional network for years to come.

In fact, in music school the next wave of great clarinetists – of which you may be one of them – will find their voice and discover the path to their personal and professional fulfillment. And it’s never been a better time to study music in college. Today’s music school students are continually pushing the boundaries of their fields with some excellent programs that really should catch your attention.

Which brings me to this list. It’s understandable that most students want to know which is the best school to attend, but the greatest music school experiences are a result of the quality of programming and how it interacts with the particular student. As creative people, we thrive in environments that inspire us – especially colleges and conservatories with the right faculty, location, and performance opportunities to enjoy.

At Inside Music Schools, we match students to the right program for them. Our recommendations are based solely on the personality, criteria, and aspirations of each individual student. Along with an individually-crafted list of schools, our resume and essay development, audition preparation, and more, guide future concert clarinetists and recording artists toward the best program for them. 

But before you reach out, check out our list of clarinet schools that we’ve both suggested to students in the past and discovered as fantastic programs through over 40 years of experience in music school admissions. If you’re interested in any of the schools listed, reach out to us to find out more at the end! 


Notable Faculty


Curtis Institute (Philadelphia, PA)

Anthony McGill

Temple University / Boyer School of Music (Philadelphia, PA)

Anthony Gigliotti; Ronald Reuben

The Juilliard School of Music (NYC, NY)

Alan Kay; Jon Manasse; Charles Neidich; Anthony McGill; Ayako Oshima

Manhattan School of Music (NYC, NY)

David Krakauer; Charles Neidich; Alan Kay; Pascual Martinez-Forteza

Mannes Conservatory (NYC, NY)

David Krakauer; Jon Manasse; Charles Neidich

New York University / Steinhardt School of Music (NYC, NY)

Matt Sullivan; David Krakauer; Pascual Martinez-Forteza; Christopher Bush; Pavel Vinnitsky

Bard College and Conservatory (Annandale, NY)

Anthony McGill; David Krakauer; Pascual Martinez-Forteza

University of Rochester / Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

Jamal Rossi; Kenneth Grant; Michael Wayne

New England Conservatory (Boston, MA)

Thomas Martin; William Hudgins; Richard Stoltzman

Boston University (Boston, MA)

David Martins; Rob Patterson

Boston Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA)

Jan Halloran; Rane Moore 


Oberlin College and Conservatory (Oberlin, OH)

Richard Hawkins

Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland, OH)

Franklin Cohen; Afendi Yusuf

Cincinnati College and Conservatory (Cincinnati, OH)

Ronald Aufmann; Christopher Pell; lxi Chen

Northwestern University / Bienen School of Music (Evanston, IL)

Leslie Grimm; Steven Cohen; Mark Nuccio

DePaul University (Chicago, IL)

Stephen Williamson; Julie DeRoche; Wagner Campos

Univ. of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Daniel Gilbert; Chad Burrow; 

Indiana University / Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, IN)

Eli Eban; Howard Klug

Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)

Thomas Thompson; Michael Rusinek


Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD)

Alexander Fiterstein; Eugene Mondie

Rice University / Shepherd School of Music (Houston, TX)

Richard Hawley

Vanderbilt University / Blair School of Music (Nashville, TN)

Bixby Kennedy; Cassandra Lee; 

Univ. of Miami / Frost School of Music (Coral Gables, FL)

Margaret Donaghue


University of Southern Calif. / Thornton School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)

Yehuda Gilad; David Howard

University of California at Los Angeles / Herb Alpert School of Music (Los Angeles, CA)

Boris Allakhverdyan; Joshua Ranz; Gary Gray

The Colburn School (Los Angeles, CA)

Yehuda Gilad

San Francisco Conservatory of Music (San Francisco, CA)

Jeff Anderle; Carey Bell; Jerome Simas; Luis Baez

Founder & President at Inside Music Schools |

Head of admissions and faculty member at Berklee College of Music for 40 years, Steve Lipman and our team at Inside Music Schools speak music as their primary language. We approach each client contact with open eyes, ears, and minds. As the country’s premier music school consultant, he advised students from the United States, Canada, China, Australia, Turkey, U.K., Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Israel, and Italy.