Robert Haugen

My musical education began early – I grew up in a musical household! My father, mentor and teacher, Ruben Haugen taught clarinet and saxophone at the collegiate level for 65 years in the Twin Cities, as well as being a renowned jazz and classical performer. I grew up surrounded by the sounds of practicing, private lessons, concerts, and music camps. My formal music education began in 5th grade and ended when I graduated from St. Olaf College with a clarinet performance degree and unofficial psychology minor, having also had extensive jazz experience on all the saxophones. While there, I co-founded the St. Olaf Jazz Ensemble, was tour soloist with the St. Olaf Band, and performed two full solo recitals.

I also taught private lessons during college and law school to pay my way through both, and then went into private practice as a trial lawyer. During my legal career, my musical experiences continued. I was co-principal clarinetist with the Metropolitan Symphony for 25 years, also performed with the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and in small ensembles premiering and recording new works by my wife, composer Linda Tutas Haugen. After 25 years, I retired as a lawyer due to health problems, and returned to private teaching. Since then, I have built a successful studio and enjoyed it immensely!

My wife and I raised 3 children who, with their spouses and our grandchildren, are the lights of our lives. I enjoy hiking, sports, reading, history and art.



Geographic areas served

Bob is available for in home lessons, at his home studio in Savage, and at the Opus studios in St Louis Park, Robbinsdale, and Plymouth.


  • $45 / half hour lesson
  • $65 / 45-minute lesson
  • $80 / 60-minute lesson

Attendance policy

Regular practice is essential to musical success. There is no other way. I try to motivate my students to practice by encouragement. My experience has been that regular lesson attendance increases a student’s commitment to practice, and supports the habit of practicing. I have set my lesson policies with this goal in mind, while also recognizing the need to accommodate my students’ families’ busy schedules.

1. Scheduling – Students will have a weekly lesson time reserved for them. If the reserved time no longer works during a semester, I will work with you to find an alternative.
2. Attendance – Two missed lessons per semester will be without charge. Lessons missed due to religious holidays, school vacations, or weather days, are not counted. I am happy to discuss exceptions due to unusual circumstances.
3. Cancellations and make-up lessons – I would like to have at least 24 hour notice of your intent to miss a lesson, longer if you know in advance. Please let me know in person, by email or text (please use your name). 612-859-7873. For extended conflicts, (i.e. driver’s ed, marching band rehearsals), let me know so we can schedule around it. The more notice, the more likely make-up lessons can be scheduled.


Teaching Philosophy

Learning to play an instrument well challenges a student in more ways than any other activity. It requires the discipline of daily practice, clarity of mind, and the focus of mental energy. And, if positively taught, modeled and nurtured, it also develops a student’s character – patience, confidence, perspective, positive thinking, problem solving, self-expression, and love of music. I keep all of this in mind at every lesson. My goal is to offer conservatory-quality teaching drawn from a lifetime of experiences, tailored to each student’s goals and abilities. I strive every day to teach with the clarity, kindness, empathy, humor and support that every student needs to develop their abilities to the fullest.