Woodwind Doubler Census 2021 results, part 3: training/education

Thanks to all who participated in my 2021 woodwind doubling survey, and to those who helped spread the word. I’m releasing the results in installments, so be sure to use my social media links, RSS feeds, etc. to keep up.

I got 284 responses, an improvement over 2011’s 187. The numbers for each of these questions don’t necessarily add up to exactly that number, since not everybody responded to every question.

Which was your first instrument, among the major woodwinds?

2021 Data
flute3713%
oboe135%
clarinet10638%
bassoon62%
saxophone11942%
none of these apply1~0%
2011 Data
flute2212%
oboe105%
clarinet7741%
bassoon53%
saxophone7339%

Which of these have been part of your education on woodwind instruments?

2021 Data
school band/orchestra program (high school or younger)26293%
private lessons outside of school24888%
summer camps18867%
university band/orchestra program24185%
university/conservatory bachelors degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds2710%
university/conservatory bachelors degree with single-instrument or other music concentration18265%
bachelors-level study on secondary instrument(s), but not as part of a formal multiple-woodwinds program11139%
university/conservatory masters degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds3512%
university/conservatory masters degree with single-instrument or other music concentration7527%
masters-level study on secondary instrument(s), but not as part of a formal multiple-woodwinds program3111%
university/conservatory doctoral degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds104%
university/conservatory doctoral degree with single-instrument or other music concentration249%
doctoral-level study on secondary instrument(s), but not as part of a formal multiple-woodwinds program62%
other university/conservatory music degree or certification145%
self-taught on one or more instruments16759%
2011 Data
school band/orchestra program (high school or younger)17594%
private lessons outside of school17091%
summer camps13170%
university band/orchestra program14376%
university/conservatory bachelors degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds2714%
university/conservatory bachelors degree with single-instrument or other music concentration9752%
university/conservatory masters degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds137%
university/conservatory masters degree with single-instrument or other music concentration3720%
university/conservatory doctoral degree with formal concentration(s) in multiple woodwinds42%
university/conservatory doctoral degree with single-instrument or other music concentration53%
other university/conservatory music degree or certification126%
self-taught on one or more instruments11863%

What factors influenced you first to get involved in woodwind doubling?

Besides the provided answers, several of you included personal anecdotes of influences including boredom, norms of the early music scene, orthodontia and injuries, career aspirations like instrument repair and studio work, and the Lawrence Welk Show.

2021 data
just interested in more than one instrument20272%
required/helpful for a jazz (or other improvisatory music) group you played in or wanted to play in13949%
had or wanted opportunities to play for musical theater19670%
influenced by a teacher or role model13648%
wanted to improve employability13849%
an ensemble you were in (or wanted to be in) needed someone to play a specific instrument, and you were willing to learn it11842%
an ensemble you were in (or wanted to be in) didn’t include the instrument you already played and you needed to learn another4616%
your training/experience as a teacher required you to branch out5620%
2011 Data
just interested in more than one instrument40
required/helpful for a jazz (or other improvisatory music) group you played in or wanted to play in37
had or wanted opportunities to play for musical theater35
influenced by a teacher or role model23
wanted to improve employability19
an ensemble you were in (or wanted to be in) needed someone to play a specific instrument, and you were willing to learn it19
your training/experience as a teacher required you to branch out9

What sources have you used to learn about or otherwise engage with woodwind doubling?

Besides the provided answers, nine of you wrote in something to the effect of “lessons” or “teachers,” which I didn’t include as an option because I covered formal training in other questions. A few of you also wrote in “YouTube,” which I have lumped in with “social media sites.”

Thanks again for your participation and stay tuned for more survey results.

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