from my Students
(Selected for All-Virginia Band and the NAfME All-National Honor Band on Bb Clarinet)
“I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me over the past six years! Not only did you teach me everything I know about the clarinet, but you also taught me patience, persistence, and discipline. You believed in me when I didn’t, and had so much confidence in me and my abilities that carried me through countless performances. I’m so grateful for your lessons and guidance, and all the new opportunities and connections those created.”
(Selected for Senior Regional Orchestra, All-Virginia Band (1st Chair) and the NAfME All-National Honor Band on Bb Clarinet, and was a finalist in the Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition)
“Thank you so much for being my private lesson teacher for nine years. You always inspire and encourage me to do my best and push myself beyond my capabilities. I can’t believe how far along I have come. I have learned so much more than just the clarinet, and I feel like I have become a better person. I feel so lucky to have met you nine years ago, because I wouldn’t have achieved half the things I have without you.“
(Selected for Senior Regional Orchestra and All-Virginia Band on Bb Clarinet)
“Thank you so much for being a wonderful clarinet teacher for the past four years. I have grown not only as a musician, but also as a person. Thank you for pushing me and having patience with me. I really admire how hard working you are and I really hope to become like you one day.”
(Selected for All-Virginia Band on Eb Soprano Clarinet and Bb Clarinet)
“I can’t really put into words how thankful I am to have you as my mentor and teacher. You have been such an inspiration over these past six years. Without you, I don’t think I would have fallen in love with clarinet like I have today. You mean so much more to me than just ‘private teacher.’ Thank you so much for always being there for me and for always believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.”
(Selected for Senior Regional Orchestra, All-Virginia Band and the NAfME All-National Honor Band on Bb Clarinet)
“Thank you for everything, Ms. Bley! I could not have become anywhere near the clarinet player I am now without you, and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for me.”
“Thank you so much for everything you have done for me over the past three years. You have been a great teacher and are in inspiration to me. You are an amazing person and have such a great spirit. As challenges approach, you handle them with great poise and keep your calm. You are incredibly organized and always are one step ahead. I have learned so much from you both in playing the clarinet and becoming a better person. I have developed so much as a clarinet player thanks to you. Thanks for always believing in me!”
(Selected to the All-Virginia Band on Bb Clarinet)
"I don’t know if I can really describe how much you have done for me these past years. Before I started taking lessons from you, I was in the lowest ensemble playing 3rd part and I barely knew my scales. Now I’m playing better than I ever have before, and I have a real love for music. I wanted to thank you for all the time and energy you put into teaching. You have been so kind and patient with me over the years. I have loved playing the music I would never have gotten to play if I hadn’t taken lessons from you. You have imparted a wonderful love of music to me and I hope to continue playing as long as I can.”
“Thank you so much for your guidance. Before I came to you, I was a mediocre player who didn’t know any scales, and I had no confidence. Thanks to you, I can now read music, play scales, and I have so much confidence I don’t know what to do with it. Your advice has been invaluable to me. I can’t put into words how much you’ve taught me, so thank you again for everything.”
“Playing the clarinet is more than just pressing on some keys; there is a special talent that the musician must have to be capable of playing the instrument. Not only does Ms. Bley have that talent, but she also is able to pass on that talent to her students. For the last three years under the instruction of Ms. Bley, I have felt that she has taught me more than the previous five years and four instructors have. I could never have imagined myself in the high school Wind Ensemble or auditioning into a college symphonic band as a 5th grader picking up the clarinet for the first time. Moreover, she is versatile in all the instruments in the clarinet family, quickly accommodating me and my e-flat clarinet. Her musical talent is awe inspiring; it makes even the hardest piece look like a walk in the park. The hope that one day I could play like her keeps motivating me to play the clarinet better. She has pushed me to not only become a better player but also a better person. Ms. Bley has been a wonderful mentor and teacher."
“Thank you for all the wonderful things you’ve done for me over the past couple of years. You are a truly inspirational teacher.”
“Thank you for being an AWESOME clarinet teacher. If it had been any other clarinet teacher, I would not have learned as fast as I did. You always know exactly what needs to be done. You always have exactly what is needed.”
Thank you so much for teaching me for the past four years. I love playing the clarinet. You are definitely one of the most exceptional teachers that I’ve ever had, and I never would have gotten to where I am today without you.”
from Parents of my Clarinet Students
(Her son, Logan, was selected to the All-Virginia Band and the All National Honor Band of America, and was a finalist in the Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition)
“My son has been a student of Ms. Bley or almost seven years, and he has become an incredible musician. His love for music and ability to play the clarinet is due to Ms. Bley and her firm but caring manner of teaching. My son’s skill level in playing the clarinet skyrocketed under Ms. Bley’s instruction, so much that he made All State Virginia, and even the US National Honor Band. Ms. Bley is responsible, professional and an incredibly great instructor . . . I would highly recommend Ms. Bley to both beginning and advanced students, regardless of age."
(His son, Sam, was selected to the All-Virginia Band on Contra Bass Clarinet)
"My son, Sam, has been a student of Betty Bley's for some years and I must say his experience has changed my heart regarding music lessons. Most of the members of my family have played clarinet at some point or another and I remember a series of authoritarian, uncompromising bullies as my own teachers. Most especially, my own uncle, who played in the symphony, would occasionally give me a lesson. This was cause for nightmares and terror. When Sam asked for bass clarinet and contra bass lessons, I bit my tongue and agreed when my wife found Betty through word of mouth. Ms. Bley is outstanding. She has that rare balance of high expectations and kindness. She is a consummate professional who's only interest is that her students learn and shine. She shares her infectious love for music and is a great role model of personal discipline for the right reasons; striving for excellence because of the joy and satisfaction that is brings. Sam, under her guidance, has made great strides in his musicianship but more importantly, has cemented a life-long love for music and a positive relationship to learning. I highly recommend Ms. Betty Bley to anyone looking for the best kind of teacher."
(Her son, Ethan, was selected to Senior Regional Orchestra (Eb Soprano and Bb Clarinet), the All-Virginia Band (Eb Soprano and Bb Clarinet), was the Woodwind Division Winner of the nation-wide SmartMusic Bumblebee Competition, and won the top prize in the Sidney Forrest Clarinet Competition)
“We have been blessed to have had Betty Bley as our son’s clarinet teacher for the past six years. Her knowledge, kindness, talent, and individualized teaching style are only a few of the wonderful attributes she possesses. We recommend her without reservation."
Maria Ramos and Kim Cunningham
“We can’t thank you enough for all you have done for Daniel in the last four years. Under your tutelage, Daniel grew not only musically but also personally. Thank you SO much!! You are an amazing teacher.”
(Her daughter, Sanika, was selected to the All-Virginia Band and the All National Honor Band of America on Bass Clarinet)
“Mrs. Bley is a very talented musician. She has been a wonderful teacher and mentor to my daughter and has always encouraged her. She is familiar with the Loudoun and Fairfax school music programs. She helps students attain their highest potential."
(Her son, Andrew, was selected to the All-Virginia Band and the NAfME All-National Honor Band on Bb Clarinet)
“My son has enjoyed lessons with Mrs. Bley for over two years now. She has always been extremely professional, friendly, easy to work with and helpful in his musical endeavors! She came highly recommended by other families from his high school band, and we have been very happy with the financial and time commitment!"
"Thanks, Betty, for a wonderful afternoon of recital music. All the students were well prepared and performed really well. I also enjoyed your introduction to each piece and your selection of music for the students. I was really pleased with Justin's performance and musicality that day. You are able to draw the best out of him. I appreciate your very organized studio and your knowledge and professionalism in guiding Justin."
"Betty, you have been a tremendous help getting FayFay to become a fine Clarinet player. We are very proud of her achievement. Your dedication to your students and excellence in music are greatly appreciated."
from Fellow Musicians
"Each time I've worked with Betty, whether accompanying her or her students, I'm struck by her level of professionalism and dedication to producing beautiful music. She is an excellent clarinetist whom I really enjoy working with. I have observed her coaching her students on many occasions, and feel they are fortunate to have such a terrific teacher!"
Pianist & Composer
(Describing my solo clarinet playing that was recorded for the theme music to "The Last Refuge," a documentary film that premiered at the Library of Congress)
"Dear Betty, Thank you again for your help on the film. You played the piece exactly as I heard it. I really liked how you played this. I've been getting lots of great feedback from people about it, and I feel that your playing adds a very special touch."
The Virginia Grand Military Band
"Betty Bley is one of the very best musicians in our band - and best liked by the Band and our audience. She has a great following."