Shannon LeClaire

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Former instructor at Indiana University School of Music and Purdue University
  • Saxophonist/clarinetist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
In Their Own Words

"At my level, I'm really trying to get students to play their horns well and get fundamentals down. Because I'm in the Woodwind Department, I get a lot of jazz players, and I focus on bebop and on learning language. I want them to have a basic set of skills no matter what. I don't want anybody leaving my studio saying that I didn't diagnose a problem right and then try to correct it."

"Even though I have a very large studio, I try the best I can to have an individual relationship with each student, whether that means going out for pizza or encouraging emails. I love teaching: this is what I intended to do, and that's why I went to Indiana University, with both Eugene Rousseau, a world-class classical saxophonist, and David Baker, a famous jazz pedagogue. I was David Baker's teaching assistant for three years and developed a great relationship with him. It definitely influenced my teaching style. And professionally, I still play in the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, which he directs."

"Berklee's phenomenal for a few reasons. One, at no other school are you going to get this choice of teachers. Two, students are always jamming, in ensembles and after-school sessions, because there are so many students here. And three, the theory and ear training here is really applicable, whereas at a normal college, the program is classical theory. While it's great background, it doesn't really apply. Here you learn it on your horn and you can use it immediately, and that's a good thing."