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Clarinet, Saxophone, and Bass Guitar Lessons

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My name is Bart Yates, and I live in Iowa City, IA.  I've been teaching clarinet, saxophone, and bass guitar lessons for thirty-eight years.  I love working with students of all ages and abilities, from beginners to highly advanced players.  At the moment, my youngest student is ten, and my oldest is eighty!

I enjoy many different styles of music, but I especially love classical and jazz.  I have a master's degree in woodwind performance from Boston University, and a bachelor's degree in clarinet performance from Drake University.  I've taught at Wartburg College, The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Boston College, the special programs division at The Boston Conservatory, music stores, and public and private schools in both Massachusetts and Iowa.  As a performer, I was a founding member of the classical trio Arcadian Winds in Boston, and played for fifteen years in Nica's Dream, an Iowa City jazz duo with bassist Rob Shannon.

I now teach at my home studio in downtown Iowa City, and I also offer lessons online.

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I was introduced to Bart in 2007 when looking for a clarinet teacher for my twins who were in middle school.  He provided excellent musical instruction to them, taking them from beginners through high school band, including All State and concerto competitions.  They continue to take lessons from him as young adults, as do I!  Bart is a tremendous teacher for adult music learners, school-age musicians, and everything in between.

Danielle Kelsay, Solon, Iowa

Bart took me from a beginning clarinetist with potential talent and nurtured and guided me into the strong music major I am today. He helped me realize so much of my potential, and I am forever grateful for what he's done for me.

Chen-You Wu, Iowa City

Bart Yates helped both of my daughters learn to play clarinet. Both excelled. I knew Bart had the technical skills needed to help them develop musical skills and confidence. He did not disappoint. He helped both navigate band, wind ensemble, All State and more music festivals and solo fests than I could count. He started as a teacher, but he became a mentor, role model, coach, and friend. He was an important influence in both of my daughter’s lives and as a parent, I could not ask for more. He is exceptional.

Carolyn Brown, Iowa City

I took lessons with Bart for seven years and I cannot recommend him highly enough. He’s fantastic with students of all ages, and he does a great job of teaching technique and musicality while making his lessons fun. Bart is also very adaptable in his teaching and tailors his lessons to match his students’ interests and goals. Through his teaching, I gained both skill on the clarinet and a love for music that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Emma Gehlbach, Iowa City

Bart Yates taught my two daughters for more than a decade. Both play the alto saxophone.
He is an accomplished, dedicated  teacher, who instilled in them a love of the instrument and a love of music. While one practiced more and took it much further than the other, Bart was patient and sensitive to differences on how a student progresses, and how each individual loves music and an instrument in their own way. I would recommend him as an exceptional teacher and patient coach for any budding musician.

Ingrid Philibert, Iowa City

I began taking alto saxophone lessons with Bart in 2013 upon my retirement and continued until the lockdown due to the coronovirus. I plan to return in the future. I was returning to my saxophone after 50 years of not playing and found lessons with Bart enjoyable and stimulating. Bart was always supportive and encouraging but he also pushed me to stretch myself with challenging music and introduced me to music theory that I had not learned in my earlier education but appreciated and enjoyed learning now. He seems to have good rapport with both his young students and "older" students like myself.

Cherie Cremers, Iowa City

Bart has been my clarinet instructor for many years, probably 15 years or more. He has helped me become a much better clarinet player. In addition, Bart has taught me a great deal about music. This includes classical music from baroque to the present, and also jazz and swing. I have also learned much about the technical details of music – major and minor scales, chords, arpeggios, and more subtle ideas. I appreciate music much more because of my lessons with Bart.

Kendall Atkinson, Iowa City

I have studied with Bart for about 8 years as an adult student of clarinet.  He has kindly accommodated my lifelong experience with instrumental and vocal music, yet complete inexperience with clarinet. He has the patience of a saint and endless good humor. He is extremely knowledgeable with regard to student foibles and problems, having identified solutions (and recommended special practice) for any problem I've had. I've seen him work with kids and other adults, and he maintains the same equanimity, regardless of the number of squeaks and squawks, not to mention off-pitch notes, he is exposed to. 

He is a fine clarinetist and all-around musician in his own right, playing sax and guitar in addition. 

Bart is familiar with a wide range of music, able to attune (!) selections of exercises and pieces to both the level of experience and interests of the student. He also will accommodate student requests for particular pieces, if they fit the student's capabilities. At the same time, he expands the student's experience of the clarinet repertoire encouraging exposure to different styles of music,  both in print and audio/video recording. And he will transpose parts as needed, even from alto clef!

While my devotion practicing flags often, I have continued study with Bart because I enjoy our lessons so much and because I can learn so much from him. I can unreservedly and wholeheartedly recommend Bart as a clarinet teacher, and can only wish every clarinet student could work with him.

Candace Noble, Iowa City

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617 Rundell Street, Iowa City, IA 52240


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I offer both in-person and online lessons.  In-person lessons are at my home studio in Iowa City.

I highly recommend we meet weekly, as it's the best way to make steady progress on your instrument, but bimonthly lessons are also available.  Lesson tuition varies, depending on how often we meet and the length of the lesson.  

30 minute lesson = $26

45 minute lesson = $39

60 minute lesson = $52

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