Josh Plotner

Akai EWI, Alto Sax, Clarinet, Composition, Flute, Improvisation, Irish Tin Whistle, Music Theory, Piccolo, Quena Flute, Recorder, Saxophone, Tenor Sax

Lesson Fees
from $150.00 / 45 Minutes


Josh Plotner is a New York-based composer, arranger, and saxophonist/woodwind player originally from Chicago. While he began his musical career focusing on jazz, he has since branched out into musical theatre, classical, rock, Latin (especially South American), and pop music, as well as many other genres. He has played on Season 3 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a previously unrecorded Stephen Sondheim song from "Assassins" (The Flag Song), played with Meghan Trainor while she was at No. 1 on the charts, and had many other collaborations with incredible artists, including: Esperanza Spalding, Valerie Simpson, Terri Lyne Carrington, Susana Baca, Tia Fuller, Ted Nash, Maurice Hines, Elliot Mason, dozens of Broadway singers, and many others.

At the beginning of his career, Josh focused mostly on jazz and classical music. Soon he picked up flute and clarinet, trying to treat each instrument as his primary focus. By his senior year in high school, he was playing in two orchestras, a nationally competitive classical saxophone quartet, three big bands, two jazz small groups, a symphonic band, a woodwind sextet, and many musical pit orchestras in addition to his lessons. This foundation allowed Josh to become extremely  versatile at a high level.

After high school, feeling the need to specialize, Josh decided to focus solely on jazz, but that didn't last for long. In college, Josh discovered not only did he have a passion for the many kinds of music that he played; he also had a passion for learning languages (including French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean). Once he arrived at Berklee College of Music, he found himself at the most international school in America, and was highly influenced by the friends he made there. In only three years he graduated from Berklee Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Performance and Jazz Composition.

Josh lives in  New York and regularly subs on Broadway, records for film, television, and video games, as well as playing in many bands. Recently he has begun playing many world instruments, and his collection is constantly growing. He has created a home studio and has used it to record for many film scores, commercials, and a wide range of albums. Josh continues to write and arrange music, and often works as an arranger for cruise ship singers on Royal Caribbean Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. He has also begun a YouTube Channel of original multitrack arrangements featuring many of the instruments that he plays.


-What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First things first, I want to know what the student is looking to get out of lessons. Looking to be the next famous soloist? Play in a band? Just looking have some fun, or try something new? My job as a teacher is to help you achieve whatever your goals are, and not to tell you what I think your goals should be. After I have a sense of what you're looking for, I can obviously show you new things, and help you get where you want to be. And if you have no clue what you want out of lessons? That's great too! That means there are endless possibilities in the directions we can take.

-What education and/or training do you have that relates to your teaching?

I have studied music since I was 10 years old. I went to Northwestern University and then Berklee College of Music for College, and I have worked and studied with some of the best instrumentalists in New York.

-How did you get started with music?

I loved music since I was three years old. I begged my mother for a sax for seven years before I got one at 10, and it was all downhill from there.

-What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with all ages, from young children to adults. I appreciate that everyone learns differently, and it is my goal to find that way that the individual learns so that I can help them grow as quickly as possible.

-What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher?

Whoever you choose to take lessons from, make sure that they are both experienced as well as flexible. The experience part is obvious, but without flexibility, you can end up with a teacher who tries to force you into their vision of success, rather than yours. Hopefully those visions are aligned if that's the case!

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