A Prep Woodwind Quintet performs
Woodwinds at NEC Prep

Ellen Martins, Woodwind Department Chair

Faculty Directory: Flute & Piccolo | Oboe & English Horn | Clarinet | Bassoon | Saxophone

The woodwind department is composed of experienced and caring 'performer-teachers' with proven track records. Beginners and accomplished musicians of all ages and levels are guided by veteran teachers as they fulfill their goals and maximize their creative potential in a positive and supportive environment.

For students wishing to supplement their school instruction, advance their placement in District, State, and local youth ensembles, prepare college auditions, or simply desire to meet fellow music lovers, NEC Prep is the destination to pursue these goals at the highest standards. Seasoned guest performers share their expertise in public masterclasses. Weekly coaching in reed-making and small chamber ensembles, combined with frequent recitals allow teachers and students to join together as a community to explore the woodwind legacy.

Private Lessons

Private instruction is the foundation of a sound musical education. At NEC Prep, the depth and expertise of our faculty assure a great match for our students' individual needs. Private lessons of 30, 45, and 60 minutes are offered for students of all levels (including beginners!) for all woodwind instruments.

A unique feature of our private lesson program is that it includes the opportunity to participate in workshops, recitals, evaluations, and our annual concerto competition, which offer every student valuable performance experience and feedback from a variety of teachers.

Prospective woodwind students must set up a placement with Woodwinds Department Chair Ellen Martins, who will advise each student personally regarding an appropriate studio teacher placement and path of study. Private lessons can begin at any time during the school year. For more information on how to get started, please click here. Please fill out the placement form below or contact the Prep Office.

2021-2022 Placement Form 


For more information on how to enrollment into classes, please contact the Prep office.

Oboe Reedmaking Class

Amanda Hardy, Instructor

This course covers beginning and intermediate oboe reedmaking from cane selection, shaping, and tying, to the proper scraping and balancing of reeds. Students must provide their own reed tools and cane.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Recorder for Beginners

Aldo Abreu, Instructor

In this class students start learning soprano recorder. Along with the technical development, students also learn to play by ear and to read at the same time.

Recorder for Woodwind Players

Aldo Abreu, Instructor

This class is for students who already play another woodwind or brass instrument and would like to learn recorder. Since students already have some wind and finger control, they can learn the basics quickly and also do some recorder ensemble music. The class will cover soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorders.

Other Opportunities

NEC Prep woodwind students may also be interested in:

Workshops and Recitals

The Preparatory School workshop/recital system offers students valuable performance experience and a wide range of viewpoints through direct feedback from various faculty. Students are recommended for workshops and signed up by their private teacher. Students performing in workshops are eligible to play in a departmental recital the following week scheduled at the same time as their workshop.

Preparatory school departmental recitals through the workshop/recital program are scheduled on Saturdays throughout the year. Following our COVID-19 protocols, only parents and guardians of the student are permitted to attend the recitals. Any parents/guardians entering an NEC space (including attending the recital) MUST have completed the parent/guest attestation form. At this time, siblings who are not participating in the recital are not permitted to attend.

Students participating in a workshop or recital will be scheduled to rehearse with an accompanist on the Saturday before the workshop and recital. Accompanist rehearsals are scheduled around the students' NEC activities. Please communicate your preferred rehearsal times with the student’s private teacher before they are signed up for the workshop.

Due to our COVID-19 regulations, only one parent is permitted to be in the rehearsal with the student and their accompanist.

Spring 2022 Woodwind Workshop Schedule

Workshop Number Sign-ups open Sign-ups close Workshop Date/Time Recital Date/Time
1 Friday, 2/11/22 Saturday, 2/19/22 Saturday, 2/26/22 (12pm) Saturday, 3/5/22 (12pm)
2 Saturday, 3/19/22 Saturday, 3/26/22 Saturday, 4/2/22 (12pm) Saturday, 4/9/22 (12pm)

Summer 2021 Offerings

Oboe Institute

August 9 - 13, 2021
Open to students aged 14 - 19 

Registration and other details coming soon! 

This week long online oboe intensive Summer Institute hosted by Amanda Hardy, NEC Prep Oboe Faculty, will feature sessions on topics such as fundamentals, preparing etudes and solo repertoire, excerpt preparation for orchestral playing and auditions, oboe reed making, how to prepare English horn excerpts and reeds, and oboe adjustment.

Previous guest artists of the Summer Oboe Institute have included John Ferrillo, Mark McEwen, and Robert Sheena, of the Boston Symphony, and Anne Gabriele, of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.