Saxophone

Saxophone Lessons: Tips for Parents of Saxophone Players

Saxophone Lessons: Tips for Parents of Saxophone Players

As parents, it is natural for you want to open up the world to your child. If you are musical yourself, you might want that your child also learn to appreciate the music that is so much a part of your life. Whether you are a saxophone player or not, if you want your child to learn to play sax, you must take an active interest in it and help them along. Without your input and encouragement, your child might not be able to sustain the dedication and motivation required to become a saxophone player. Some basic information on how to select teachers for children is available here: http://saxophonelessonssingapore.com/kid-saxophone-lessons-in-singapore/.

Spark off your child’s interest

Your child is not going to develop an interest in the saxophone out of thin air. You need to expose him or her to the beautiful playing of the sax, and convince them that it is a great instrument. You can do this by putting on records, regularly attending concerts, etc. If you are a player yourself, you can play the sax in front of your child and see if they like it. The child needs exposure to be able to develop an interest. However, don’t push the instrument on him or her. It is a sure-fire way to ensure that your child would never pick up the instrument.

Is your child physically strong enough?

A saxophone is heavy and not meant for every child. If your child insists on learning the sax, try to convince them to learn some lighter instrument until they grow up sufficiently to be able to hold the sax. Let them try out the saxophone so they can see it for themselves that it is not an easy instrument to hold or to play. The appropriate age to begin saxophone music lessons is around ten. However, some children have not yet developed enough strength at this age, so it is better to wait a couple more years for them to start.

Setting a practice schedule

As a parent, you must be aware that your children don’t have a lot of attention span and can be pretty lazy. Even if they are dedicated to their music and enjoy playing the sax, you need to help them by setting a practice schedule. Help them to set small goals for each day or each week and help them stay on track with their practice. Encourage your child when they meet these goals. Remember that you cannot force a disinterested child to practice. If your child is interested in learning the sax, they will fall in with your arrangements with gusto.

Make it fun for your child

If your child is as young as ten years old when he or she starts to play, you have to make the entire process fun. Children can pick up things very quickly and are very bright at learning new concepts. But at the same time, they are not focused. This is where they need your help. Choose fun pieces that they love to learn. Play along with them or play competitive games with them during practice. Take them out for concerts or to see some great musicians play. You will have to invest some time and energy into making the sax fun for your child, but the rewards are worth the effort.

To know more about the saxophone and how to get your child into learning to play, you can check out the website: www.saxophonelessonssingapore.com/.

Cleaning Tips for Those Playing the Sax

Cleaning Tips for Those Playing the Sax

 

Just like any other work, passion or hobby, musicians also need to keep their tools clean and in good working condition so that they will last longer and will serve you well over the years. Whether you are just beginning to take saxophone lessons or have already mastered it and are playing professionally, you would still need to know how to take care of your instrument. The sax is a beautiful if a somewhat heavy instrument and needs to be cleaned and kept carefully when not being used. For knowing more about buying a saxophone in Singapore, check out this article: http://saxophonelessonssingapore.com/buying-a-saxophone-in-singapore/

 

Beware of moisture

Moisture can reduce your instrument’s life drastically if you allow it to remain unchecked. Not only must you ensure that the instrument is kept safely away from moisture in an airtight case when not in use, you must also realize that the saxophone is exposed to it when you use it. This is especially true of the reeds and the mouthpiece. Remove the reeds and clean them separately, but never leave them in as they can ruin the mouthpiece. Brushing your teeth before playing can also be helpful in preventing the reeds from being destroyed by your saliva.

Moisture also builds up on the outer surface of the saxophone from the atmosphere when you take it out, as well as the inner surface when you blow into it. This means that both outer and inner surfaces of the instrument have to be regularly cleaned after use to ensure its long life.

One more precaution to take against moisture is to clean the saxophone and then let it dry for a while in a dry place before closing the case. It might not always be possible, but follow this procedure so the sax gets as much fresh air as possible.

 

Clean everything

A saxophone consists of many parts and each of them must be cleaned thoroughly in order to keep it clean. The art of saxophone playing also includes the many ways in which to maintain and keep the instrument in good working order.

  • Clean the reed by soaking it in hydrogen peroxide solution for about one minute and then remove it. Then soak it in mouthwash to kill the germs. This will definitely ensure that your reed will not give way at an importune moment.
  • Use lukewarm water to clean the mouthpiece. You can use a soft brush to brush away any particles, if required. Use the swab or any soft cloth and wipe it thoroughly. Keep it aside to dry completely before putting it away. If gunk has collected on the surface, take some cotton and add a few drops of vinegar to it, and place it where the gunk has collected. Once it has softened, remove it with the brush.
  • Swab the neck after brushing out the inside. You can also use lukewarm water for best effect, but make sure that it does not come into contact with the cork or the pad.
  • Swab the body, both inside and outside.
  • Check and clean the pads with the help of a pad cleaner.
  • Clean and grease the corks regularly in order to ensure a long life. If the cork gets saturated with grease, stop this step until it requires grease again.

 

Regular maintenance is essential for saxophonists as a beautiful looking and clean instrument will also play beautifully. Don’t wait for your sax to start deteriorating! With just a bit of effort, it can continue to give you the best service. To know more about saxophones in general, consult http://www.saxophonelessonssingapore.com/.

 

Saxophone Classes to Prepare for Grading

Saxophone Classes to Prepare for Grading

 

People study the saxophone in different ways. For some, it is a passion that needs no formal constraints, while others follow it as just an enjoyable hobby. For yet others, saxophone playing can be a future career option. For those who take saxophone lessons with the aim of playing professionally, taking grading exams is a good way to proceed. Following are some tips to help you prepare for a saxophone grading exam.

Practice

It is imperative to practice every day. During the exam, you might be asked to play a few pieces, and for this practice is essential. You can also be tested on set scales and arpeggios, so you have to prepare for everything. It is also not unheard of to be tested on sight reading or being given aural tests. Overall, all of these require an immense amount of practice so that you are able to handle the exam with ease.

Study the theory

For many students, saxophone theory is a chore and completely irrelevant to what they want to do and what they enjoy. However, it is really important for your musical development and your overall saxophone learning. Without the theoretical knowledge, you would be unable to communicate your musical ideas to other people. Understanding the theory will help you become more creative and not bogged down by details as many students appear to think. So make sure to study your theory in detail before the exams.

Develop confidence

Developing your confidence will help you do better in your exam. While this is true for any exam, it is more so for your musical instrument grading. One way to do is not to treat the exam as a monster or an obstacle to be cleared at any cost, but as a mere stepping stone on your path of learning. Understand that your certificate or lack of one will not take away from your talent or the pleasure of playing. Get lost in the music and stop worrying about the grades. This really is the best way for you to ace your exams. Remember, if you don’t manage to pass the first time, you can always try again.

Enjoy the exam

While exams are important to evaluate yourself and to understand how far you have progressed in your saxophone learning, they are just an extension of your regular saxophone classes. Preparing for an exam will ensure that you practice and study techniques that you might otherwise be ignoring because they are not your main area of interest. It is customary for the examiner to look at your performance from a professional viewpoint and you might get some great advice or tip that will help you enhance your performance. Try to enjoy the exam as a learning experience and a stepping stone to better things.

Ignore the mistakes

You are still a student and it is quite possible that you will make mistakes during the exam. The best thing to do in this case is to ignore it. Quickly move on, trying to play the best you can. If you get hung up on one silly mistake, you risk damaging your entire performance. Even the most accomplished musician can make mistakes at times, so it is nothing to worry about.

In Singapore, saxophone tutorials can help you prepare well for your exams, but you also need to do a lot of work from your side.

Starting off as a Saxophone Teacher

Starting off as a Saxophone Teacher

Being a music teacher is a vocation that not everyone can handle. If you are really into music, one of the ways you would want to share this love is by teaching others. This is a great and lucrative career for any musician, and can also prove to be an extremely rewarding one. To start off as a saxophone teacher, it is good to have a basic outline of how you would operate.

Get certified
You first need to make sure that you have a certificate to show to potential students. For many students, this is a way for them to know that you are indeed qualified enough to teach them. Even if you have a lot of experience in giving concerts and playing with a group, consider taking the exams that will certify you as a professional saxophonist. It will increase your overall marketability and will also give you the personal satisfaction of having a certification that is acknowledged by reputed musical academies. And it will definitely get you students.

Get a studio
If you are really interested in getting into teaching saxophone as a profession, build a saxophone studio. Build up a schedule of classes and make sure you have enough saxophones of good quality for your students to use. If you can invest this kind of money, it will soon pay for itself as students often prefer an established studio. Keep in mind that your reputation as a studio will include the facilities you provide such as materials, music sheets, saxophones, etc.

Network a lot
If you are planning on a teaching career, it is important that you gain a good reputation first. The best way is to network with other teachers and offer to help them out if they are overworked or when they face an emergency. Introduce yourself to the local music schools. Teachers will be happy to refer their students to you if they know you are capable enough. Hang out with other musicians and continue your public performances. You never know who will be interested enough in learning from you after seeing you perform.

Offer free first lessons
Free lessons attract a lot of students who really want to see whether they are comfortable with your teaching style before they commit and pay in advance for their saxophone lessons. It does not cost you much but it will get you more students as they realize that they have an opportunity to ensure that their money would be well spent since this is a big issue for many students who want to learn the saxophone.

Settle on a proper fee
It is important to be paid properly for your efforts and the work you put into teaching music. Don’t make the mistake of charging a lower rate just to get more students. That would be selling yourself too low. If you want to make your price appear attractive, you can always offer installment plans and discounts to students. Ask around and know the market before you fix a price as you don’t want to start off too high either.
It is always difficult to build up a teaching business from scratch, but with a little effort and a lot of patience, you can achieve it. If you make your Singapore saxophone classes interesting, informative and are genuinely interested in teaching, the word would spread and students will come to you automatically.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Saxophone Lessons on Skype

Advantages and Disadvantages of Saxophone Lessons on Skype

 

The internet has changed the way we do everything, and this includes learning music. A quick Google search will show that there are hundreds of resources online for helping you learn the saxophone at both beginner and advanced levels. Generally, this does not do away with the need for an actual teacher, but it can enhance your knowledge and there is far more availability of resources than ever before. Saxophone classes through web applications such as Skype and Google Chat are now possible, so let us take a brief look at their pros and cons.

Advantages

Saves travel time – This is obviously the biggest advantage of learning the saxophone through online sessions. Depending on where you live, it is possible that you might have to drive or travel long distances to get to a teacher. Even if you take private lessons, your teacher spends similar time and energy to get to your place. Imagine not having to lug your heavy instrument around for classes every week!

No geographical restrictions – It is always better to choose a good teacher who lives at some distance than a more conveniently located mediocre teacher living nearby. This can be tiresome in practice and sometimes even impossible. But now, with online lessons, you can choose anyone from all over the world. You can focus on quality without worrying too much about convenience of location or travel.

Recording sessions – When you take lessons on Skype, you have the convenience of having it recorded so you can go through it again and again as many times as you want. You need never forget what you learned in your classes and you will be able to retain the small tips that are often valuable. This is a great facility which is generally not available in face to face sessions.

Disadvantages

No opportunity for hand work – In a real time class, the teacher would be constantly alert on how your posture and handwork is developing, a very important aspect, especially for beginners. In a virtual setting, this is not possible as the teacher might miss out on a lot of cues where the student is doing the wrong thing.

No opportunity for duets – Saxophone students can learn a lot from giving recitals and playing duets with other people. This is not possible in a virtual setting and there is almost always some problem with camera lagging which prevents a proper joint performance with other students or the teacher. A student who is taking saxophone classes online will lose out on this opportunity.

Lack of networking – Networking with other saxophone players and music lovers in general can generate huge opportunities for a student. It is usually the teacher who can introduce you to different people who give performances or can help you with different facets of a musical career. So unless you already have a strong network or are member of a local club where you can get the same opportunities, this is a definite problem.

Like everything else, learning saxophone via the web has its advantages and disadvantages. You need to assess the different aspects and analyse your own priorities before choosing one option over the other. In the end, you will be the one who benefits or loses from your decision of taking online saxophone tutorials. Singapore has both real time and virtual teachers, so you can consult them before making a decision.

How to Buy the Instrument for Saxophone Lessons Beginners

How to Buy the Instrument for Saxophone Lessons Beginners

 

You have decided to learn how to play the saxophone and have made arrangements to take some lessons. Now you are really faced with the main decision of what to do about an instrument, whether to buy or rent one. If you do decide that you are sufficiently committed enough to purchase an instrument outright, you start looking at the variety of choices available to you. Here are a few tips to help you along with purchasing your first saxophone for your beginner’s saxophone lessons.

 

Educate yourself

There are different types of saxophones, which slightly alter the tone of your playing. Alto, tenor, bass and baritone, and soprano saxophones are all available in the market. The baritone and bass saxophone is the most expensive one, and also is one of the more difficult ones to master. Soprano saxophones are also definitely not for beginners, though they have a rich sound and can be great once you have got some experience. Most beginners use alto or tenor saxophones, which are not only cheaper but are also easier for learning, especially if you have had no previous experience at all.

 

Buy branded

Like most expensive items, it is better to buy saxophones from a well known brand rather than just buy the local model or the cheapest alternative. If you aren’t planning to pursue a long-term relationship with your instrument, there is no point in buying a saxophone at all. If you are indeed planning to go in for the long haul, buying a reliable instrument that will last you for a long time makes sense. Branded saxophones also come with guarantees and it’s easy to get it repaired or tuned if anything goes wrong. Yamaha is reputedly the best brand around for saxophones, though it’s really expensive. Other options you can consider are Jupiter, Prelude, Sonata, Elkhart, and Nuovo.

 

Get it tested

You have located a nice store, either online or in your locality and checked out a few instruments you have liked. Now, the real problem arises. If you are a beginner, it stands to reason you will not know how a good saxophone should sound. There are a couple of things you can do. If you have a friend who is knowledgeable about saxophones, take them along to help you decide. If not, you can even ask your new saxophone teachers to come with you and test the saxophone. If all else fails, contact your local university department and ask for information from the music department.

 

Insist on accessories

Before you set out to buy a saxophone, find out from a knowledgeable person what else you will require in the immediate future. Make sure you buy from a shop where you will also be able to get a saxophone case for storing the instrument, and a neck strap, which is very important for your posture. In addition, you will require other accessories as well such as reeds, swabs, mouthpiece, and ligature. Find out if you need to buy books as well, or whether your teacher or institution would supply them.

There are really only two things you ultimately need from an instrument for your saxophone classes: your own comfort level when you play the instrument both in a physical sense and a sense of satisfaction you gain from the music; and the durability of the instrument over a long period of usage.

Your Guide To Achieving Success in Saxophone Lessons

Your Guide To Achieving Success in Saxophone Lessons

Self-help and personal development guru, Robert Collier states:  “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out”.  This nugget of wisdom is definitely applicable for a student who is studying a musical instrument.  To paraphrase a cliché, ‘success in saxophone lessons is not achieved overnight’.

Here are sound advices that could help you have a more meaningful and rewarding journey as you go through each step in learning how to play the saxophone:

 

  1. Breathe deeply. Play masterfully.  Live fully.  The art of consciously breathing deeply is the unseen force that powers-up  your saxophone.  Learning proper breathing techniques are essential in saxophone playing.  Studies also prove that deep breathing is beneficial to health and wellness.  It promotes mental clarity, psychological steadfastness, and physical strength and balance.  And when stress attacks, the most basic line of defense you have against it is breathing and relaxation.

 

  1. Learn to trust. Trust to learn. Signing-up for saxophone lessons signifies your commitment to learn.  Your teacher is there to share with you his knowledge and skills.  Learning only takes place when you put your trust in your teacher. Be receptive to his pointers, guidelines, motivation, and discipline.  Doing so will reinforce your passion and commitment.

 

  1. Take care and interact with your instrument.  Truly, it is only a piece of metal.  But in good hands, it could work wonders.  Your saxophone is your partner.  Give it some T-L-C (tender loving care).  Learn the skills on how to handle it; and be amazed.

 

  1.  Learning to play is just half of the game.  The ability to hear and to listen, and to know how a particular note should actually sound will give you the home run.  When your listening ability is entwined with your playing techniques, your overall sound  will drastically improve.

 

  1. Identify your goals. Assess.  Why did you choose to learn to play the saxophone?  What do you want to achieve?  What will you do to fulfill them?  How far have you gone?  It’s a fact that you will experience upswings and downswings.  Take a step back  and evaluate yourself.

 

  1. Yes, this is a loaded and demanding activity.  This is the ‘small’ chunks of activities that Robert Collier was referring to, as quoted above.  Master saxophone players truly invested so much time, energy, sweat, tears, breath, heart, and soul in practice.

 

  1. Let your creative instincts flow, rather than your competitive instincts.  There’s a big world of saxophonists out there. Hence, everyone wants to get better, faster.  Comparing one’s progress to others causes frustration, impatience, and insecurity.  It is alright to challenge yourself, but not to the point of self-destruction.  Follow your creative instincts.  Find your own rhythm.

 

Achieving success is most effective when you imbibe the right techniques and habits from your saxophone lessons right from the very start.   They may require some adjustments on your part. Yet it will give you a sense of discipline that will develop into good habits.  Hence, saxophone playing sessions become more fruitful and progressive.

A Guide Before You Start Your Saxophone Lessons

A Guide Before You Start Your Saxophone Lessons

Saxophone is widely considered as the sexiest musical instrument, not only because of its gorgeous shape and appearance, but also because of the quality of the sound that comes out of it. But it is not an easy instrument to handle, and it is not easy to teach yourself with it, that is why it is advisable to go for formal saxophone lessons. But before you start on those lessons, here are a few things to help you get the best out of your programs:

 

WHAT TO BUY

The saxophone family has nine (9) varieties ranging in different keys. In order of highest to lowest keys or octaves, these are:

  1. Sopranissimo
  2. Sopranino
  3. Soprano
  4. Alto
  5. Tenor
  6. Baritone
  7. Bass
  8. Contrabass
  9. Subcontrabass

 

Let us concentrate on the mid-range:

 

  1. Soprano – tuned to the key of Bb (B-flat), you will find both curved and straight variety. This is considered to be for advanced or very experienced saxophone players, and is a little more challenging to play than any other type of saxophone.
  2. Alto – the easiest to play in the family, the reason most beginners are advised to start with this, and also the reason why this is the most common and popular type. Curve shaped, it is tuned to the key of Eb (E-flat).
  3. Tenor – also a very popular type especially for lovers of jazz and rock music. Also curved but a little bit more slender than alto, it is also tuned to the key of Bb (B-flat).
  4. Baritone –with a longer tube for the bell part to produce those low, deep sounds, this is the biggest saxophone, more so with an extension attached at the horn part.

 

THE CORRECT EMBOUCHURE

Embouchure in music is defined as the position of a player’s mouth to the mouthpiece of a brass or wind instrument. It comes from the French word ‘emboucher’ meaning ‘put in or to the mouth’. At the start of your saxophone lessons, it is imperative that you learn the correct embouchure, as it not only boosts your confidence, but it also is critical for your playing success. Here are techniques that you should remember:

 

  1. Hold your chin flat while putting your lower lip over your bottom teeth. This is your foundation.
  2. Position the lip of the mouthpiece on top of your bottom lip.
  3. Gently bite down your upper teeth on the mouthpiece, about halfway through its length.
  4. Close your upper lip over your teeth and the mouthpiece.
  5. Loosely close your mouth over and around the mouthpiece.

 

What is important in your embouchure is that you keep the muscles relaxed around your lips and mouth, and do not pinch your mouth tight on the mouthpiece. You will easily notice that when you pinch the muscles around your mouth on the mouthpiece, the tone that comes out is also pinched and small. You want to keep it relaxed, so you can have a good normal tone which is easier to play around with.

 

These are the same things that a professional coach will teach you on your saxophone lessons. You will find it helpful to know these things before hand, so you will have a quicker learning time, and more enjoyable sessions.

Saxophone Lessons for Beginners

Saxophone Lessons for Beginners

 

Deciding to learn music is not a light decision. You will have to put in great effort and devote plenty of time in listening and practicing. Once you have decided to take the plunge, there will definitely be rewards and you will go from strength to strength. However, it is a good idea if you were to make adequate preparations at the beginning of your saxophone tutorials.

Decide the kind of saxophone you want to play

Before purchasing or beginning lessons on playing the saxophone, you must decide what kind of saxophone to play. There are about a dozen types of the instrument, each giving a different music experience, and it is up to you to decide which would suit you best. The Alto is often used for beginners since it is the easiest. The most difficult is the Soprillo, which is pretty rare, expensive and tough to play and can be used by experienced players. There are a number of other instruments you can play in between. Theoretically, if you learn to play one type in your saxophone classes, you will easily be able to play the other types as well.

The sound and playing of the saxophone is also affected by the finishing it has. If your saxophone has silver or gold plating, then it will produce different sounds from the standard lacquer plating. Silver plated instruments provide a higher tone while gold plated ones produce a heavier tone. The instrument can be coated with lacquer in different colours, but that does not often affect the sound.

Purchase the instrument

Once you have decided on your instrument, you must decide whether to rent or purchase your instrument. If this is your first foray into music, it might be better to go for a rental option, and most reputable music shops have rental programmes on offer. Make sure that the place from where you rent can help you with any adjustments required.

If you are purchasing your own saxophone, always buy those of reputable brands. The main problem with obscure and off-brand saxophones are not that they are bad, though some of them can be unreliable, but that it will be difficult to get them serviced down the line. Some of the reputable brands are L.A. Sax, Yamaha, Yanagisawa, Selmer, Conn, Guardala, and Keilworth. You can enquire with the music store for other reputable brands.

If you choose to purchase a used instrument, make sure that you get it tested by someone who is knowledgeable. Online purchases must always be considered only if the product is refundable. It is better to be safe than sorry because even second hand saxophones can be quite expensive.

Buying accessories

Once you have purchased your instrument, you will also need to purchase accessories to go with it. First in importance are reeds, of which you must buy at least a box with different strengths from soft to hard. The reeds will not last forever so get adequate supply to last for a while. Get a reed holder as well to keep yourself organised.

A strong neck strap is another important requirement, as well as a music stand for holding the music sheet. Don’t forget to buy a swab for wiping off moisture from the saxophone after playing.

You can take the help of your saxophone teachers to help you make all these decisions prior to beginning formal lessons as they will obviously be more knowledgeable and experienced.

Advantages of Taking Saxophone Lessons at School

Advantages of Taking Saxophone Lessons at School

 

When you think of learning an instrument, you always end up with having to make choices – whether to learn individually or in a group, whether to ask for a teacher to come and teach at home or join professional institute, and so on. Let us see why taking saxophone classes at a music school can be beneficial to you in the long run.

Professionals as teachers

One of the main reasons why going to music school to learn playing the saxophone is a good idea is that most schools are generally very careful in choosing teachers who understand both music as well as how to teach different students. Professional teachers are usually hired in music academies and this helps in lifting up the overall standard of musical education for you. It will be better for you if the saxophone teacher you learn from has experience, accreditation, knowledge and is able to hold your interest in learning.

Motivation

There are plenty of reasons why studying the saxophone at school can help you remain motivated and induce you to improve. First, having a good teacher is in itself a blessing and these teachers would be trained to help the students remain focused and practice hard by making it fun for them. Second, learning with other students will engender the spirit of competition and will motivate you to perform better than the others. Finally, the concept of having fixed milestones that need to be completed in order to move to the next level will ensure that you work hard to move ahead.

Resources

When it comes to resources, learning at a school wins hands down. A music academy will always provide all kinds of resources such as instruments, music sheets, learning aids, and many more things that help the student learn faster and better. If you lack the facilities to undertake saxophone tutorials from a private teacher or at your own home, it is best to join a music school where you will not have to worry about all these things. They will already have the best materials for you to work with.

Certification

While you can study privately with a teacher and still prepare for exams, following a set course in a music academy fosters the spirit of studying for an exam properly. Certification is an essential requirement for saxophonists to carve out a career for themselves. Studying in a music academy will help you keep focused on your goals in order to receive this certification and accreditation. It will also look good in your résumé if you have studied from a renowned school and will afford you more recognition in the world of music.

Group lessons

When you learn to play the saxophone in a group environment, you will quickly learn to synchronise your playing to that of the other students. People who have learned on a solo basis often have difficulty playing in groups, but this does not apply to those who learn in a group environment. Apart from this, playing in a group helps you in making friends who are interested in music as well as forming networks, all of which would help you in the long run in your career as a saxophone player.

There are many reasons why you can choose private saxophone lessons, but there are also many reasons why you can choose to study in a music academy. The choice is yours, but it is important to research your options and consider your priorities carefully before making a final choice.

Helpful Tips On How To Be More Soulful And Expressive During Saxophone Lesssons

Helpful Tips On How To Be More Soulful And Expressive During Saxophone Lessons

 

The sound of the saxophone conjures a myriad of emotions.  It is popularly dubbed as the sexiest sounding instrument.   It is often compared to the human voice in terms of its soulful and expressive sound qualities.  Hence, during saxophone lessons, it is important to integrate heart and soul while playing the saxophone.

 

Here are factors that could motivate or trigger emotions as you play the saxophone.

 

  1. Easy on the scooping of your notes.  ‘Over scooping’ your notes would make you sound amateurish.  Yes, it adds flavor to your sound, but use it sparingly.

 

  1. Be conscious of your vibratos.  Similarly, vibratos should be used as needed.  It adds a soulful dimension to your sound when used in the right places.

 

  1. Determine your dynamics.  Dynamics basically refer to the loudness or softness of a note.  The sound of emotions vary.  For instance, anger is blatantly loud and piercing.  While the sound of joy is light and bouncy.  Sadness sounds low and heavy.  Dynamics is a tool to express and add depth and drama to the overall sound of your sax playing.

 

  1. The art of releasing notes.  The way you ‘attack’ the first note and how you release your last note could manifest different levels of emotions. You could start-off with a whisper and end with a scream; or go the other way around.  Find your way through the ebbs and flows of the melody. Connecting the music to your emotions could help you attack and release those notes.

 

  1. Just a sprinkle of sound effects.  Once you’ve learned the basics in saxophone lessons, you may level-up those techniques with various sound effects.  In time, your teacher may introduce these terms and techniques to you:  ‘growling’, ‘glissando’, ‘multiphonics’, ‘overtones’, ‘slap tonguing’, ‘flutter-tonguing’. And yes, these effects could give a new layer or texture to the emotion that you want to convey.

 

  1. Study the lyrics.  For tunes that were written with vocals, it would help you know and tell the story of the song if you understand the lyrics.  The lyrics itself could help you determine how to approach each word, phrase, or stanza with particular dynamics, vibrato, or sound effects.  For instrumental music, it helps to know the story behind the tune.  What emotions would the songwriter want to conjure from his listener?

 

  1. Practice emulating the singer’s voice with your saxophone.  Pick a particular song phrase.  Play the same notes with your saxophone, attempting to get as close as you can to the vocal expression.  You may use release, attack, vibratos, dynamics, or effects.  Do your best in sounding like the singer.

 

  1.  Get in ‘the zone’ while you play.  Focus on the single emotion you want to convey. Distraction can snap you out of the heart of that moment.

 

  1. Get inspiration and stimulation from everywhere.  Absorb as much feeling and experience you can from a plethora of activities.  Reading, movies, food, ..these could spark thoughts, ideas, inspiration.  As you play the sax, these could fuel your soul into an outburst of emotions.

 

Expression or ‘soul’ cannot be taught per se, during saxophone lessons.  This is something that should come from within.  Yet technique and emotions go hand-in-hand.  Both are essential in the art of playing the saxophone.

Saxophone Teachers: Which Age Group Is The Best To Teach?

Saxophone Teachers: Which Age Group Is The Best To Teach?

Many teachers, particularly those who are newly qualified or who have not been teaching the saxophone for long, spend a long time considering which age bracket they would most like to provide saxophone lessons for. The answer is not straightforward; it is not a case of which age group is the best, rather which age group are you, the teacher, most equipped to teach. Let’s have a look at some of the things you should be considering.

Qualifications

This is certainly the most obvious place to start if you’re pondering who you’d like to teach: who are you qualified to teach? Children, in particular, require a certain teaching style which is quite different to how you would teach the saxophone to your adult students. Just because you are a great teacher to your more mature students does not mean for a moment that you will be good at teaching children! If you have the proper certification and qualifications to teach younger students then you should be well equipped to teach them well.

Experience

In a similar vein to the above point, you should take heed from your prior teaching experience before diving in at the deep end and deciding to only teach a certain age group. It certainly takes a while to ‘find your groove’ when it comes to teaching saxophone lessons so take the time to teach as many different age groups as possible so you can see to whom you provide the best lessons.

Personality

Your personality and your teaching style are key to working out which age group you are best equipped to teach.

For example, teachers for younger students generally have the following attributes:

• Super organized – children require a lot more structure to their lessons in comparison with their adult counterparts. You must have thoroughly planned the lesson beforehand and be ready for any unexpected events!
• Sensitive – obviously, all teachers should be kind and sensitive to their students needs but the need is even greater if you are teaching children. They are incredibly impressionable and don’t have the same mature perspective as adults.
• Vocation – Playing the saxophone and teaching children are both vocational activities. This is not something to be doing just for the sake of a bit of extra money – you’ve got to love teaching saxophone to young students!
• Fun – it’s imperative when you’re teaching children that you mix up your lessons and include some lighter touches, particularly when you’re preparing for grade exams, for example. Little rewards are a great way of keeping your student’s attention and focus!

Of course, all the above attributes will certainly come in handy when you’re teaching adults but you have much more capacity to be flexible with older learners. Generally, adults will have much more of a clear vision for the direction of their lessons and will need less hand-holding than youngsters. Obviously, it’s really important that you tailor your lessons to the wants and needs of each individual learner.

You should now have some idea of what age group you are best placed to give saxophone lessons to. The three things to bear in mind are: qualifications, experience and personality. If you follow this, then you can’t go too far wrong!

Call Audrey at (65) 8168-8251     or     Email info@absolutelyintuned.com.sg