Clarinet Studio

Group of clarinetists at KU

The clarinet studio at the University of Kansas is built on a foundation combining the highest level of artistry with a positive learning environment. Composed of students with diverse viewpoints and goals, the clarinetists of KU consistently exhibit respectful camaraderie and professional excellence. Graduates have gone on to successful careers as educators and performers around the world. With an active career as a performer and teacher spanning four continents, Dr. Stephanie Zelnick’s pedagogy is rooted in research-based performance practice and a joy for the clarinet that she passes on to her students through weekly studio classes, seminars, and private lessons.

Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Zelnick encourages students to find their own voices while instilling a scientific and artistic approach to the clarinet. Through weekly scales, etudes, solo pieces, and orchestral repertoire, students work on historically based performance and all elements of tone, technique, rhythm, accuracy, intonation, and healthy musicianship. Combining a foundation of classical study of the clarinet with knowledge of contemporary, folk, jazz, and other styles, Dr. Zelnick works closely with her students to help them master the instrument. 

KU clarinet students are mentored on all aspects of becoming a great musician, from reed making to performance anxiety and from fundamentals to orchestral excerpts. Taking a dynamic and holistic approach to musicianship, we foster individual inquiry and practical experience in the field. With a strong roster of guest artists, and an emphasis on providing local and international teaching and performance opportunities for all students, KU clarinetists graduate ready for professional success.

Dr. Stephanie Zelnick

With over two decades of college teaching experience, Dr. Zelnick is the Professor of Clarinet at the University of Kansas and Principal Clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed and taught throughout the United States, Asia, South America, and Europe to great critical acclaim. In addition to her work as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, she has constantly been a staunch advocate of establishing cultural dialogues through music. Dr. Zelnick’s work can be heard on NPR, Colorado Public Radio, as well as the Naxos and Innova labels, among others.

Check out all KU has to offer

Receiving a music degree from KU means that you will come in contact with world-renowned music professors and perform in top-rated ensembles that will prepare you for a career in music performance, education or therapy. 

Our Wind Ensemble has performed in Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., recorded multiple CD’s for Naxos and Klavier and received glowing praise from the New York Times.

Our Symphony Orchestra performs the orchestral masterworks in 6 full concerts each year. KUSO has an exchange program with Eutiner Festspiel in Germany and the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan giving our students the opportunity to participate in international experiences.

Why KU?

As a music major at KU, you can pursue a degree in music performance, music education or music therapy. You can enhance your degree with a Music Enterprise Certificate. Considering a double major? The newly-designed BA in Music is a flexible degree that is designed to be paired with another degree outside of music. 

Focus on Undergraduate Study

The School of Music offers undergraduatemasters, and doctoral degrees.

Music scholarships are available for qualified students and are awarded on the basis of high school achievements and a live audition.


Dr. Stephanie Zelnick can be contacted at and is available for any questions on our music program or the clarinet.