Woodwind & Brass Lessons At The Conservatory

Woodwinds & Brass

Woodwind & Brass Lessons At The Conservatory

Wisconsin’s Top Woodwind & Brass Program

Woodwind and brass players of all ages can achieve their musical goals at the Conservatory. Our world-class faculty approach each student as a unique individual, whether teaching a beginner the fundamentals of technique, sound production, and note-reading, or instructing an experienced player in style, interpretation, and historical perspective.


Ages: All Ages
Locations: Bayside/Fox Point, Downtown Milwaukee, Brookfield, Online


Woodwind and brass LESSONS  2023-24 SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS

oboe student with teacher

New Student Lesson Discount

$205 for six 30-minute lessons

In-person and online Zoom lessons give you access to more than 90 skilled faculty members for any instrument and genre. Join a community of more than 10,000 students and schedule your first lessons today!



boys playing horns

Woodwind & Brass Lessons At The Conservatory

What You Can Expect

Conservatory faculty have extensive experience instructing beginners in the fundamentals of correct technique, note reading and basic theory, as well as instructing advanced students in interpretive strategies and stylistic awareness. When taking woodwind and brass lessons at the Conservatory you can expect:

  • Expert guidance to help build and maintain proper technique.
  • Solo and group performance opportunities at the Helen Bader Recital Hall and in the community.
  • Students between the ages of 9-14 can participate in Band Beginnings for a comprehensive music education.
  • An enjoyable learning experience and improved self-confidence through playing.

3 students playing Sax


2023-24 Scholarship Auditions

Through generous financial support of our donors, the Conservatory annually awards merit scholarships to new and current students. These merit scholarships are meant to reward accomplishment, effort, and to encourage our talented students to further their skills. The Conservatory’s scholarship auditions provide a wonderful opportunity for students to have a professional assessment of their abilities within a positive and supportive environment.

Auditions for the 2023-2024 school year will take place on March 5, 2023. 




*Current Conservatory students should request a scholarship audition application from their private lesson instructor. 



Jazz & Contemporary Music

The Conservatory’s new Jazz & Contemporary Music offerings will continue to preserve and share the unique heritage of American Jazz — a longstanding WCM tradition — while celebrating its proud heritage that is ever present in the music of today.


boys playing trombone

For Ages 9 – 14

Woodwinds & Brass Beginnings Package

In addition to individual music lessons and classes, kids & teens can enroll in several comprehensive packages that include a group class, private lesson, and music theory component.


Dad and Daughters Together

Open for Woodwind & Brass Students

Music Theory Classes

Create compositions, learn basic piano skills, and better understand the music that you create with our new Music Theory classes – now available for all ages.

Music Theory Classes can be taken individually or bundled with a private lesson and group class (Conservatory Prep package), for a comprehensive musical experience.

Learn More

Jazz Camp 2020

For Students with 2+ Years of Experience & Beyond

Intermediate & Advanced Programs

Students with at least two or more years on their instrument can enroll in an ensemble or audition for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute and the Honors Jazz Institute.

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Woodwind & Brass Faculty

Meet Our Teachers


Alec Burke


  • Bachelor of Science, Instrumental/General Music Education | Ball State University
  • Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Performer’s Certificate (in progress) | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


  • Is on faculty as a brass instructor with several organizations in the Milwaukee area.
  • Served as the Muncie Symphony Orchestra’s Education Coordinator.
  • Performed as the 2017 Concerto Soloist with the Music for the Sake of Music Symphony Orchestra, a chamber musician for Classical Music Indy and the Muncie Symphony, and as a lead trumpet player for numerous musicals and shows across Central Indiana.
  • Has a breadth of experience teaching both in and out of the classroom including traditional public school ensembles, clinics and masterclasses, general music and PreK, and managing his own private studio.
  • Performs in his contemporary chamber ensemble Microcosm and with his acoustic pop duo Ekruteak with his fiancé, Jennifer Rodriguez.

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Jennifer Rodriguez Burke


  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | Ball State University
  • Master of Arts (in progress), Flute Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


  • Spent the past 5+ years teaching woodwind sectionals, flute sectionals, and private flute lessons at a variety of schools in the greater Indianapolis area.
  • Worked as the Community Programs Assistant for Classical Music Indy 2018-2019 and as Assistant Education Coordinator for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2018.
  • Worked as an Education Intern for the Chicago based not-for-profit, Fifth House Ensemble, in 2017.
  • Acted as inaugural secretary for the Flute Guild at Ball State University in 2017.
  • Performed Density 21.5 in Summer 2017 at the Milwaukee Art Museum through the Fresh Inc. Festival.
  • Sings with her band EKRUTEAK.
  • Spends her summers working as Program Coordinator for Music for the Sake of Music, a music not-for-profit providing free lessons and music ensembles in Green Bay, WI.

Adam Fisher


  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
  • Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in 2017.
  • Plays with groups such as the Wisconsin and Milwaukee Philharmonics and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Premiered new music with Present Music and DIY Chamber Ensemble.
  • Plays in the pit orchestras of dozens of musicals around Wisconsin.
  • Taught master classes throughout the Midwest.

Aaron Gardner


  • Berklee College of Music


  • WCM faculty member since 2005.
  • Moved back to his roots in Milwaukee after 10 years of living in New York and touring and recording with the band ulu.
  • Has played and recorded with many bands and artists, including De La Buena, Choir Fight, Jamie Breiwick, Steve Peplin, The Static Chicken, Tristan Royalty Squad, The Extra Crispy Brass Band, The Soul Trio, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Eric Bennet.

Darcy Hamlin


  • Bachelor of Music, Music Education | Oberlin Conservatory of Music
  • Master of Music, Horn Performance | Cleveland Institute of Music


  • Has served on the horn faculty of the Conservatory since 2017.
  • For over 30 years, she has taught a wide range of students from beginners to professionals that have gone on to attend prestigious universities and win positions in professional orchestras.
  • Featured as a concerto soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, she has also held the 3rdHorn position since 2003, and is the founder of the Milwaukee Brass Quintet.
  • Principal Horn with both the Akron and Canton Symphonies in Ohio,and Associate Principal Horn with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
  • In addition to serving as Principal Horn for three summers with the Breckenridge Musical Festival, she has toured Asia with the Cincinnati Pops, as well as Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra.

William Helmers


  • Bachelor of Music – Eastman School of Music
  • Master of Music – The Juilliard School of Music


  • Re-joined the Conservatory Faculty in 2019, and has been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony since 1980.
  • Has worked with many other orchestras, including Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Rochester.
  • Has also been a member of the contemporary ensemble Present Music since the group’s inception.
  • As a founding member of Musaik, a consortium of Milwaukee musicians, attends the Washington Island Music Festival in the summers.
  • Gave the North American premiere of John Adams’ clarinet concerto, Gnarly Buttons,with the composer conducting, and the world premiere of James Grant’s Concerto for Bass Clarinet.
  • Numerous premiere recordings of solo and chamber music, including compositions by Roberto Sierra, James Grant, Kamran Ince, Jerome Kitzke, and others.
  • Has been a member of the Portland-based Westwood Wind Quintet, participating in many of their recordings for Crystal Records.
  • Recently, William has enjoyed regular engagements with the Little Lake Stompers, a traditional jazz group.
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Woodwind faculty member, William Helmers.

Sean Koga


  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Master of Music, Jazz Pedagogy | University of Northern Iowa
  • Professional Educators License | Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago


  • Based in the Midwest, Sean Koga’s interest in music started very young.
  • Surrounded by a musical family, Sean started piano lessons at age eight and switched to tenor saxophone by age nine.
  • By age 11, Sean began his journey as a jazz saxophonist refining his sound and approach to improvisation.
  • Through junior high and high school Sean performed in wind ensembles, jazz bands, jazz combos, and high school productions.
  • In 2012, Sean began performing all over the world aboard major cruise lines.
  • Sean has always been serious about doubling on reeds and has worked in many orchestras for professional productions.
  • In December of 2018, under the direction of Julio Awad, Sean performed in the orchestra of Spain’s world premiere of Sunset Boulevard at the Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz, Spain.
  • Sean is now teaching music at River Trail Elementary School in Milwaukee while continuing to perform professionally, and is excited to be teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Johnny Padilla


  • Johnny Padilla is currently leading his group in support of his recording “Bright Morning” on the BP Music label.
  • Johnny has been a touring musician for Jimmy Buffett, Mongo Santamaria and Angela Carrasco.
  • Since moving to Milwaukee, he has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
  • Johnny has been a featured artist for:
    •  “Jazz in Cutler Park” Waukesha, WI
    • “ Third Ward Jazz Festival” Milwaukee, WI
    • “Starry Nights” Wilson Center Brookfield, WI
    • The Towers Concert” Narragansett, RI
    • “Arts Concert” Vero Beach, FL
    • “The Miami Latin Jazz Festival” Miami, FL
    • “The Dade County Youth Fair” Miami, FL
    • “The Dade County Book Fair” Miami, FL
    • “Tropical Nights” Hollywood, FL
    • “Artwalk” Hollywood, FL
    • “Riverwalk Sunday Brunch” Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    • “The Hispanic Heritage Festival” Miami, FL;
    • “The Beaux Arts Festival of Art” Miami, FL
    • “The Art Council’s Concert” Key West, FL
    • Pleasure Island @ Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL.
  • Johnny has toured as a musician to the countries of Austria, The Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and throughout the United States of America.

Sabrina Raber


  • Undergraduate Degree | Ohio State University
  • Masters Degree | Music and Community Partnership – University of South Carolina


  • Sabrina Raber is a performer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Fellow for the Global Leaders Program, where she earned an Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Teaching Artistry, and Organizational Management in 2019.
  • As a student at the University of South Carolina, Sabrina developed a program entitled, Find Your Beat, a recycled instrumental music education program for underserved children.
  • Has performed with ensembles including the Long Bay Symphony, Aiken Symphony, Columbia Choral Society, the Spark Chamber Ensemble, and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra where she performed as soloist.
  • Was a top finalist for the National Flute Association’s C.R.E.A.T.E Entrepreneurship competition, a two-time Masterclass winner of the South Carolina Flute Society Competition, and a winner of the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition.
  • Led masterclasses in both the United States and in Chile, where she was a guest artist for the international Peñalolén Flute Festival.
  • She has also presented research on the impact of music education on under-resourced children through the use of alternative music education techniques.
  • Outside of the music world, Sabrina is an avid photographer, a self-identified foodie, sports fan, and lover of all things wonderful.

Emmy Rozanski


  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Trombone Performance | Arizona State University


  • Emmy Rozanski is an enthusiastic music educator and active freelance trombonist in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas.
  • Adjunct music faculty at Alverno College, teaching artist for Sistema Ravinia, and low brass instructor at Highland Park High School.
  • Traveled to El Salvador in the summers of 2019 and 2018 as a teaching artist with MusAid, leading classes in technique and ensemble skills, as well as teaching private lessons.
  • Currently the principal trombonist for the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra (Skokie, IL) and has recently performed with the International Women’s Music Festival Orchestra (Madison) Summit Brass (Denver), the Powder River Symphony (Wyoming), and the Billings Symphony (Montana).
  • Toured Switzerland performing with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble.
  • She is researching motivation and growth mindset as they pertain to musicians and educators and presented on these topics at the 2019 International Trombone Festival and International Women’s Brass Conference.
  • As part of her doctoral project she wrote and illustrated a children’s book about the trombone, Mr. Fitch Joins the Band.

Joshua Sevigny


  • Bachelor’s in Music Performance | Crane School of Music
  • Master’s in Music Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


  • Holds principal positions with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has performed with the Southwestern Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Present Music Milwaukee, Northern Symphonic Winds, Racine Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Antioch Brass Quintet, and The Big Top Circus Band, and is on numerous sub lists in both Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • Performs with a number of local jazz and rock groups in the Milwaukee area.
  • Runs a large, successful low brass studio.
  • Has placed in and won numerous national and international competitions.
  • Does recitals and masterclasses at universities and solos with orchestras in the area, like the Lake County Symphony Orchestra this season.

Dana Sherman


  • Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance and Mathematics | University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Master of Music, Music Performance | Northwestern University


  • Started at the Conservatory in the Fall of 2018.
  • Is currently Principal Horn of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Third Horn of the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and a member of Alloy Horn Quartet, which was the Featured Guest Artist at the 2018 International Horn Symposium and featured soloists with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
  • Is a substitute musician with Lyric Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony.
  • Held positions in Omaha Symphony (Acting Associate Principal Horn) and New Mexico Philharmonic (3rd Horn).
  • Served as Brass Instructor and Associate Band Director with the El Sistema inspired program at Ravinia.
  • Taught horn at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Glendale Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music.
  • Played at several summer music festivals, including Peninsula Music Festival (in Door County, WI), Grand Teton Music Festival (in Jackson Hole, WY), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Sarasota Music Festival (Sarasota, FL), and Aspen Music Festival (Aspen, CO).

Rosemary McGee Walzer


  • Bachelor of Music | Heidelberg University
  • Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


  • Music educator and saxophonist Rosemary McGee Walzer is Director of the UWM Youth Jazz Ensemble, and Director of Bands at Maple Dale Elementary School.
  • During her time at UW-Milwaukee, she studied conducting with Dr. John Climer, saxophone with Curt Hanrahan, served as a graduate conducting associate with both the University Band and the Youth Wind Ensemble program, and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program.
  • Additionally, she served as music director for Pankratz Arts Exchange in Mount Calvary, WI for five seasons.
  • In addition to her regular teaching gigs, Rosemary has served as a guest lecturer, clinician, and music camp instructor.
  • Is a regular clinician with the Woody Herman Jazz Festival, and has been invited to work with many instrumental ensembles throughout Southeast Wisconsin.
  • As a performer, Rosemary was one of the winners of the Heidelberg University Concerto Competition in 2003, and received the Arthur Bean Award there in 2005.
  • Freelances in the Milwaukee area and has been in several instrumental ensembles, including the funk/soul band Montage, the East Side Jazz Orchestra, the Kicks Big Band, and the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra.


Girl Playing The Violin

Music Education For The Community

Community Partnerships

Does your school, church, early childhood center, public library, senior center, or community organization have a need for quality music education programs in the Milwaukee area? The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers community programs to match your need!