Teaching Philosophy

There are many reasons for studying music; some people seek lessons with specific musical goals in mind, while others are simply looking for a fun and engaging way to spend their free time. I try to address each student’s needs by showing them how to make small improvements each week. On both the piano and the saxophone, this usually involves working on the fundamentals- tone, time, technique, and reading. I also enjoy working with students to select (or even write) real music that relates to their lessons, then helping them through the process of preparing for a performance. Beyond that, it’s all about having fun and trying something new.

What to Bring

Saxophone Lessons:
-Saxophone (Alto recommended for beginners).
-Mouthpiece assembly (Mouthpiece, ligature, reed).
-Neck Strap.
-Recommended Book for Beginners: Rubank Elementary Method for Saxophone (N.W. Hovey).
-Advancing Students: Any recent warmups, scales, books, or repertoire.
-A Notebook (any variety is fine).

Piano Lessons:
-Recommended Book for Young Beginners: Alfred's Basic Piano Course: Lesson Book 1A.
-Recommended Book for Older Beginners: Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Book 1.
-Advancing Students: Any recent warmups, scales, books, or repertoire.
-A Notebook (any variety is fine).

Tips for Practicing Effectively

1. Stay focused during your practice sessions by structuring them like your lessons. Playing your warm-ups before your repertoire will help you to concentrate and learn pieces more efficiently. These warm-ups are also the shortest path to great technique, tone, and knowledge of your instrument. 

2.Try to space your practice time out over the course of the week. Cramming for a lesson is like cramming for a test: stressful. If you are practicing regularly and still feel stressed, don’t be afraid to bring it up in the lesson. The instructor is there to help you set and accomplish reasonable musical goals.

3. Kids under the age of 8 likely need adult supervision to stay focused while practicing at home. Have both the child and the teacher explain the assignment to ensure that both you and the child know what to do during the week.

4. While there is nothing wrong with looking ahead sometimes, try not to waste valuable practice time doing next week’s work. This will often lead to bad habits that take extra time to correct in the lesson, and slow your progress for both weeks. After all, most people would rather hear one well-prepared piece than two poor ones!

5. If you find yourself practicing something and don’t know what the purpose is, ask during the lesson. The answers to these types of questions are sometimes just as valuable as the exercises themselves.

Where to find me

I currently offer Saxophone and Piano lessons at Cambridge Arts Academy in Somerville, MA and North Main Music in Nashua, NH to people of all ages and ability levels. Please visit the school website to view my instructor profile, see videos, and schedule lessons. Hope to see you soon!