Saxophone lessons: learning as a child versus learning as an adult

It is a matter of much debate about the benefits of learning the saxophone as a child as opposed to taking up lessons a little later in life as an adult. The short answer is that saxophone lessons are worth investing in at any age; different stages of life offer different perspectives and benefits to learning to play the instrument. Let’s have a look at this issue in more depth…


The confidence of children

It’s a well-known phenomenon that, initially, children tend to take to their music lessons much quicker and with more confidence than adults will do. This obviously isn’t only restricted to learning a new instrument; language learning also falls under this umbrella. Why is this, you may wonder? Adults tend to have more baggage than youngsters when it comes to learning which affects their self-confidence, stopping them taking risks and embracing the saxophone wholeheartedly. Maybe they have some bad memories of their schooldays or are afraid to fail in a new discipline. Whatever the reason, children are free of these insecurities so they often start stronger in their learning.


Life experience

Conversely, adults possess a level of life experience which will enhance their mastery of the saxophone and bring a new perspective to their playing. As they sport a slightly more sophisticated music taste than their younger counterparts, adults are more likely to have become acquainted with the saxophone whilst listening to jazz and classical music. The Duke Ellington Orchestra and Gerry Rafferty are probably not too familiar to many children! Adults’ familiarity with the instrument, great players and fantastic music will certainly help to inspire them when they’re taking their saxophone lessons.


Teacher relations

It goes without saying that a better relationship with your teacher will lead to more effective sax playing and a more harmonious lesson. As an adult learner, you’ll be on more of an equal footing with your teacher and should feel comfortable to speak your mind about learning the way you want to learn. The dynamic of the lesson will be completely different to a child learning with their teacher which will call for a lot more direction and structure from the teacher.

As a parent picking a suitable teacher for your child’s saxophone lessons, it’s important to pick a candidate who’s experienced working with children and knows how to encourage them to play their best. It’s important whatever your age that you make sure you find a teacher that works well with you and will inspire you to give your best when you’re learning the saxophone.


Take advantage of all you could learn

You should be excited to start playing the saxophone whatever age you are as there are benefits to be reaped at every age, whether it’s the confidence of youth or the experience of age. Something to always remember is that it’s imperative to choose the right teacher for you who will encourage you to build on your strengths and embrace your weaknesses during your saxophone lessons.

Finding the right teacher is not easy but with the right criteria you should be able to short list a group of teachers. Ask your friends and family for their recommendation, attend concerts and socialize with other sax lovers. Learn from your friends experiences and listen to their advices.

You may also attend or sit in to some saxophone teachers’ classes if they will let you. See if you like their style of teaching before actually committing to enrolling in their classes. Weigh the costs of private and group lessons fully so you don’t waste money you have earned honestly and with much effort. Good luck and have fun!