When it come to Saxophone Lessons, one of the greatest defining moments for a saxophonist is contained in a choice: how will I learn? With all of the books, websites, YouTube videos, and podcasts that are available, finding the path that is best can seem quite difficult. Above all, the best way to start is with a teacher.
Why have a teacher outside of school band lessons? First of all, a good teacher will be able to focus on your strengths and weaknesses, keep track of your progress, and set reasonable goals for your education and skills.
Also, for the physical aspects of playing a saxophone, having a teacher present from the start ensures that you are building good habits from the beginning.
It can be frustrating to teach yourself a technique or embouchure that seems right at that time, but is actually unhealthy or even painful. Unlearning bad habits can take weeks or months. Don’t make that mistake! Many teachers have years of experience both playing and teaching. They will make sure that you are studying in the best way possible.
Before you begin having scheduled Saxophone Lessons with a possible teacher, there are many questions that you should ask. I’ve listed some of the best questions below:
- How often do you expect me to practice between lessons?
- Will we always have lessons at the same time and place?
- What teaching experience do you have? What performing experience do you have? Who did you learn from?
- Is the space we’ll be learning in a dedicated area, or a shared area? (For example, some teachers teach from their homes. There may be family members nearby… or even listening! You may be uncomfortable with this.)
- Are there any required books or other materials I’ll need to buy, such as specific lesson books or a music stand?
- How long will our lessons be? How much will each lesson cost? Will you expect cash at the start of each lesson or on the first lesson of the month?
Clearing away these questions upfront is very important so both you and your teacher get the most out of your time.
As a student, you should also be aware of why you want to receive Saxophone Lessons. Is it a requirement for school? Are there specific skills you want to learn? Is there a certain style you want to master? Over time, you may feel that you have outgrown your teacher.
For example, they may specialize in beginning saxophonists, but you may be more experienced after a year of study. This is normal! It happens to many students. At that time, you need to think of what it is that you want to learn that you are not able to learn from your teacher. Talk about it if you feel comfortable doing so. You may be surprised – many teachers will try to find a recommendation for you if it is something they know another teacher would be more helpful with, or they will try to incorporate your requested study into your current goals.