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From Students

When studying with Maria, you will not only learn the fundamentals and techniques, but also how to push yourself to practice productively and be able to work out things on your own. Maria has helped me become a stronger player, and a stronger person when it comes to organization and mindfulness. Her studio atmosphere is welcoming, and performing and working during lessons is never stressful. -  Abby, high school

I wouldn’t be the musician I am today had I not began studying with Maria. Her instruction is clear, helpful, and purposeful. She encourages independence in me as a musician, however I always feel prepared for any performance. Maria’s passion for music and seeing improvement in her students shines through in every lesson.  - Jenna, high school

Thank you so much for two great years of study together. I really enjoyed being your student and also you friend, learning and laughing with you. You taught me so much about being a musician, a clarinetist, and a good person - you've really changed my outlook, and I feel I am more in touch with myself and my abilities after being your student. Thanks for being flexible, for talking me through panic attacks and for working so hard to get me ready for auditions. I am so excited for school next year and the challenges that await me.  - Laura, high school

Maria’s scrupulous attention to phrasing nuances, dynamic control, timbral consistency, and stylistic authenticity distinguish her as an expert teacher. Armed with a wealth of practice techniques, she carefully diagnoses problems and provides appropriate suggestions. In doing so, however, she encourages exploration and experimentation for the purpose of developing artistic individuality. Beyond the strictly musical aspects of playing clarinet, Maria emphasizes wellness to optimize practice sessions and minimize stress— both physically and psychologically.  - Cam, high school

I thought I could self-teach myself to success if I practiced hard enough, especially with all of the available on-line resources. After a few years, I sought help to progress to the next level. Maria's approach to mastering the basics in a purposeful way rang true for me. She clearly and precisely communicates the methods to succeed.  Sometimes I still think, now that I know what to do...what will I get out of my next lesson that I could simply do on my own by applying the techniques I've learned?  But then I leave every lesson filled with enthusiasm, with a new sense of musical purpose and knowing I've learned something new and important. 

- Len, adult learner 

From Parents

As a parent, you want to do what’s best for your child. When my daughter realized that music was becoming a passion of hers, she started looking at ways to improve. Maria came into our lives. She has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my daughter. Maria has taken her from a novice clarinet player to a talented musician. My daughter's accolades now include District Musician, All-State Musician and All-Nationals Musician. She has participated in the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra for the past three years. My daughter is now on her way to pursuing music as a career. Maria has been instrumental in it all. Maria’s passion for music is contagious and her care in cultivating it in unequaled.  - Christine


I just wanted to let you know that Leah did audition for honors band and found out today she got in!  She said your summer lessons were so helpful, so thank you!  - Jenny

My daughter always looks forward to her weekly lesson with Maria. She values their consistent relationship, Maria's friendly demeanor, and her supportive and responsive teaching style. In addition to the musical instruction, Maria's guidance about breathing to reduce anxiety (and other tips for living a healthier, more balanced life) go a long way!  - Susan

Maria gives careful thought to every lesson based on the goals and needs of each individual student. She is kind, patient, and professional.  - Jessica

From Colleagues

Maria Wagner and I have worked together on a number of occasions. Not only has she performed my music (beautifully), but she's collaborated with me in performance as well -- she as clarinetist and I as pianist. This gives me a dual perspective with which to address her skills and talents. Maria has great technical facility, and is extremely musical and sensitive in her interpretations. She's also quite versatile: very comfortable with a great range of musical styles, and able to switch from clarinet to bass clarinet easily. In addition, she's a delightful colleague -- a very quick learner, thorough in her preparations, and supportive of fellow performers. I hope to compose more works for her in the future.  - Elliott Schwartz, Composer

Maria Wagner and I have worked together in several contexts, and her excellent musicianship and caring personality have been present in each situation. As a performer, her playing is vibrant and expressive, and shows her meticulous attention to detail. She generously contributed to my graduate degree recital, where we collaborated on Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. We’ve had other opportunities to perform together and I’ve enjoyed each occasion. Maria is easy to communicate with and her playing is consistent whether in rehearsal or performance. As a teacher, Maria expects excellence but elicits it with kindness. I’ve served as the accompanist for Maria’s spring studio recital, and watched her prepare her students for performance. She communicates goals clearly and offers tools and practice strategies to accomplish those goals.  - Elizabeth Hasbrouck, Pianist

I have had the great opportunity to observe Maria Wagner during her tenure at the Southern Maine Music Academy. Her student-centered approach has allowed her students to think beyond notes and rhythms and dive deeper into all aspects of musicianship. Ms. Wagner's patience, professionalism, and dedicated work ethic is very evident in her instruction. We are very fortunate to have her on staff at SoMMA.  - Melissa Shabo, Band Director and SoMMA Director

Maria is an expert musician and teacher who meets students where they're at and helps them quickly grow into more capable musicians. She works with students to help them meet their musical goals while making sure that they don't have any gaps in their musical skills or technique on the instrument.  - Jordan Guerette, Composer

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