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Our Background

Sonia Urquidi

Sonia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance and Economics from the University of Notre Dame where she served as Principal Clarinetist for six years in the University of Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra (NDSO) where she won the orchestra’s concerto competition. Prior to her decision to attend Notre Dame, Sonia won a full tuition scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a music education scholarship to Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Sonia studied with Christopher French and attended training at the Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts and Birch Creek in Door County, Wisconsin. Her orchestral pursuits have also taken her on tour to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic where she performed as a soloist with NDSO. While pursuing her Master’s in Global Affairs at Notre Dame, she was consistently hired as a doubler (playing clarinet, saxophone, and flute) for musicals and shows including Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, The Magic Flute, and more. 


In addition to playing clarinet, Sonia has music directed college-level productions of Grease, The Wedding Singer, and the Revue (a cabaret-style assortment of musical numbers) during which she led rehearsals with the band and did vocal coaching with the actors. She also spent two summers as a middle and high school band camp counselor and has taught clarinet and voice to students of varying levels and ages. 


After living in Chile on a Fulbright scholarship in education research, Sonia moved to the East Bay in June 2021 where she now pursues a career in music and social sector consulting. She has freelanced in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Napa, Oakland, and Berkeley and served as principal and second clarinet with the University of California-Berkeley Symphony Orchestra for a year and a half before focusing on other non-classical musical pursuits. With over eight years of vocal training including individual lessons, choir, a capella, and music theater, Sonia writes indie music and sings as a lead vocalist and plays clarinet and saxophone in funk and soul bands in San Francisco and the East Bay.


About my teaching style

Teaching is one of my favorite parts of music. I understand how to balance fun and productivity during a lesson. I like to know how the student learns best, find material that they can get excited about, and set goals. Want to learn how to write a song? Let’s do it. Interested in music theory? Let’s use the piano to help explain concepts. Want to mix in some pop music at the end of the lesson? Sure! At the same time, though, I will ensure that students develop a solid foundation. No matter the level, I emphasize technical proficiency, musicality, music theory, and building good practice techniques. 

Additionally, I am an advocate for thinking outside the box when it comes to classical music. I love bringing classical music and “popular” music together, whether that means performing in non-traditional spaces or writing melodic clarinet lines into my own songs. As a half-Latina and believer in music as a tool for mental health, I am also passionate about changing demographic stereotypes of classical music and using trauma-informed and culturally responsive teaching to inspire a lifelong love of music. 


What I teach - 

Clarinet: All levels

Tenor and Alto Saxophone: Beginning and intermediate classical; Beginner jazz/improvisation

Voice: Beginning and intermediate  


I offer lessons in English or Spanish. 

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