In-Person Lessons

If you are local to Baltimore, MD, we can schedule lessons in person.  For rates, scheduling, and questions,

I am available to commute to other areas for an additional commuting fee.  

Virtual Lessons

Lessons may take place via Zoom.  For rates, scheduling, and questions,

I offer individual instruction in a variety of areas, and I can teach a wide range of levels and ages:  

  • Beginner through Advanced

  • 4th grade through High School

  • Adult

  • College

My lessons are efficient and are customized for your individual level, interests, and goals.  When you initially sign up for lessons, we will discuss lesson length, how often you would like to meet, and what you hope to accomplish.  Once we start meeting, we will set both long-term and weekly goals, and will plan realistic steps for achieving them.  

 

 

SAXOPHONE Lessons

Saxophone Lessons are customized to individual student needs and levels, and I incorporate the following:

  • Instruction on any of the saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone

  • Fundamental Exercises: Fundamentals are essential to developing: tone production, technique, tuning, and articulation.  Exercises will include: long tones, scales, intervals, arpeggios, various other patterns.

  • Musicality and Expression

  • Method Books and Etudes – These all strengthen various groups of fundamentals and expression.

  • Saxophone Repertoire – solo and chamber works, excerpts from large ensemble works

  • Listening – Studying a variety of recordings and live performances is extremely beneficial in developing your individual sound.      

  • Saxophone History and Background – Who’s who in the saxophone world, background on particular works that you are currently studying, and more. 

  • Practice Log – this allows to keep records of your progress. 

  • Practice Time Efficiency – practice methods and strategies, how to make the most of your practice time, developing good habits

 

Materials Needed:

  • Reeds

  • Instrument in working condition

  • Pencil

  • Folder or Binder

  • Notebook or Loose-leaf Paper in a Binder for Weekly Lesson Notes and Practice Log

  • Assigned Handouts

  • Assigned Method Books

  • Assigned Repertoire

COMPOSITION Lessons

 

Whether you're new to composing or have some experience, I am here to help you develop your skills and unleash your creativity. 

 

Components of Lessons May Include:

 

Original Compositions:

This time will be spent on your own compositions.  We’ll brainstorm the pieces' inspiration, concepts, or goals, and then discuss the process and set up a timeline.  In every meeting, we’ll take a deep look at your progress, and I’ll provide suggestions, as well as assign related exercises and score study.

 

Exercises:

I like to incorporate a number of “pre-compositional” activities. A few examples include: writing a theme and variations, or voicing a chord several different ways. Often, these types of exercises for composers serve the same purpose as, for instance, practicing scales serve performers. They develop your chops and keep them in shape.  I adapt these according to your level, from beginner through advanced.

 

Score study: 

No matter what you may be working on, we’ll also look at models that relate to your writing regarding instrumentation, form, and concept, amongst others. This broadens your knowledge of repertoire, exposes you to more styles, provides a sense of idiomatic writing, and beyond!

 

Other Skills and Techniques:

We’ll discuss several skills and techniques as they relate to your current progress on your work. To name a few, these may range from orchestration considerations, to music theory concepts, form, pacing, pitch and rhythm, to other conceptual considerations.

Materials Needed:

  • Manuscript Paper

  • Pencil

  • Selected Scores

  • Selected Recordings

  • Optional: Notation Software and/or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

COMPOSITION CRITIQUE 
 

If you would like to have a fresh, objective critique of your work, you may email your score to me, and I can either email you back with comments and suggestions or set up a meeting via Video-Chat, phone, or in person (if you’re local to Baltimore, MD).

 

The critique will take into consideration the style, concept, idiom, or genre that you are writing with, and the comments and suggestions may include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Score layout and spacing

  • Clarity of notation and directions

  • Idiomatic writing – what is difficult but doable, things that might not be possible, and things that will work well for the performers.

  • Orchestration – Evaluation of how particular registers and techniques will sound on the given instruments; Evaluation of balance, things that may be covered up, things that may stick out too much.  Issues with any doubling combinations depending on instrument and range.   Suggestions on any tweaking that may add color. 

  • Musical Form, Phrasing, and Pacing – Did you move on to a new section too soon?  Is another part too long?   I’ll give you some suggestions about imbalances, what you can do to tweak them, as well as comment on where the form works particularly well. 

  • Harmony – Should be re-voiced, and why? Does the chord progression or modulation to a new key area or tonal center work well? Evaluation will take into consideration the personal harmonic language you are using. 

  • If it’s a work in progress, I can provide you with some possible ideas on what to do next. 

 

Rates will vary depending on the length of the work, ensemble size, content, etc.  

MUSIC THEORY TUTORING 

Music Theory is the study of how music is organized.  Through score analysis, listening, and hands-on activities, lessons may incorporate the following concepts:

  • Review of Fundamentals: pitch, rhythm, meter, scales, keys, dynamics, chords and their inversions

  • Melody, Harmony, and Common Practice Voice-Leading

  • Chromaticism, Secondary Functions, Augmented Sixth Chords, Neapolitan Chords

  • Modulation Techniques

  • Counterpoint – Renaissance through Modern

  • Form – Phrases, Periods, Cadences, Binary Forms, Ternary Forms, Sonata Form, amongst others. 

  • Post-Tonal Techniques

  • Why learn music theory? - Application of Music Theory to your everyday musical activities.

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Lessons are ideal for:

  • Training for high school students preparing to audition for a college music major

  • Tutoring for graduate students preparing for entrance exams

  • Tutoring for students enrolled in a music theory course in high school or college

  • Tutoring for the AP Music Theory Exam

  • Customized lessons for individuals that already have basic music theory skills, play an instrument, and would like to continue to broaden their knowledge of music theory and repertoire.

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In our first lesson, we will discuss what your immediate and long-term goals are, and then we will set up an appropriate plan! 

EAR-TRAINING TUTORING

 

 

Ear-Training skills are important ones, no matter what your instrument.  There are several circumstances where it would be useful to know what the music sounds like before you play it, as well as be able to transcribe the music that you are hearing quickly, without referring to an instrument. 

 

How many times were you in an orchestra or wind band rehearsal, where you were asked to sing a certain passage?  Singing the music before you play it ensures that you indeed know what the music sounds like.  Knowing what the music sounds like before you press the keys or bow the strings on your instrument will tremendously improve your tone quality, tuning, and musicality.  Otherwise, you’re just pushing keys! In ear-training lessons, we will practice several strategies that help you sight-sing music better.

 

In addition, you may find yourself in a jam session without music.  How do you know what to play?  How do you know what the changes are?  In lessons, we will practice different strategies for listening to basslines, melody, and harmonic progression. 

 

Topics include:

  • Sight-singing fundamental exercises and examples from real music

  • Sight-reading single and two-part rhythmic passages

  • Transcribing short pitch and rhythmic motives

  • Transcribing short through long melodies

  • Transcribing short through long harmonic progressions

  • Diatonic major and minor scales, modes, harmonic progressions in both major and minor

  • Melodies and harmonies with triads, seventh chords, root position and inverted chords, modulation, secondary functions, augmented sixth chords, Neapolitan chords.

 

Ear-Training Lessons are ideal for the following:

  • Training for high school students preparing to audition for a college music major

  • Tutoring for graduate students preparing for entrance exams

  • Tutoring for students enrolled in an ear-training course in high school or college

  • Tutoring for the AP Music Theory Exam

  • Customized lessons for individuals that already have basic music theory skills, play an instrument, and would like to develop the ability to transcribe music, be able to look at a melody and know what it sounds like before playing it, or work on specialized topics; for instance, being able to hear the changes in a jazz combo.

MUSIC FUNDAMENTALS

 

This is essentially a customized course in the basics of music theory.   You may be interested in this course if:

  • You know the basics of an instrument and would like to further learn about music construction, style, and history. 

  • You’re in the music business, industry or another profession, and though you are not necessarily a musician, you occasionally come across some music terminology and would like the ability to communicate it in a conversational way.

  • You would like some remedial tutoring in music theory. 

 

Course Topics Include:

  • Clefs, Pitch Names

  • Note Values, Rhythm, Meter, Time Signature

  • Key Signatures

  • Intervals; Major, Minor, and Modal Scales

  • Chords and Harmony

  • Melody

  • Musical Examples for all of the above concepts, incorporating a range of styles, instruments, time periods, and genres: from 19th century piano solo, to 18th century string quartet, modern chamber ensembles, and even jazz combo, pop tunes, and film scores.  

  • Customization according to your instrument and/or background

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Materials Needed:

  • Fundamentals Text Book (to be assigned)

  • Handouts

  • Pencil

  • Manuscript Paper

  • Piano or Electronic Keyboard:  If you do not have access to one, any keyboard app on a smartphone or other mobile device will suffice.  Less preferable, but still sufficient, would be a printout of a keyboard. 

    • Why I use this:  Many of the skills in this course will be grasped much more quickly with the association of a musical instrument.  For instance, I can tell you about how a certain chord is constructed on paper, but when you play the notes on the keyboard, you simultaneously will both physically see the space between the notes and hear how it sounds.  I can play a number of examples from musical works that use the same chord, which will reinforce the concept, but physical interaction with an instrument most definitely speeds up the learning process.

AUDIO Production

Lessons in audio may be customized towards your goals and interests, whether you're looking to learn basics or work towards a specific project.  Content may include anything from:

  • Learning how to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

  • MIDI

  • Gear

  • Basic acoustics and psychoacoustics

  • Mixing 

  • Recording Techniques

  • Editing digital audio

  • Effects

  • Working with sound libraries

  • Audio restoration

  • Synthesis

  • Creative uses of electroacoustic media

You may be interested in audio lessons if you fit any of the following scenarios: 

  • You're an instrumentalist or singer/songwriter that would like to learn how to record, edit, and produce tracks. 

  • You would like to learn some tricks for producing virtual concerts for your ensemble. 

  • You need to edit dialogue for a Podcast, Web series, Promotional video, etc. 

  • You're a composer, and would like to learn how to use electroacoustic media in creative ways. 

  • You want to learn how to make your own sounds from scratch! 

  • And many more! 

The basic equipment you'll need: 

  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation): I primarily use Ableton Live and MOTU Digital Performer, but am also familiar with Pro Tools, Studio One, Logic, and FL Studio

  • Studio monitors with speaker cables and/or monitor headphones: Depending on your needs and budget, I'll provide you with suggestions

  • An interface (especially needed if using microphones and studio monitors)

  • A MIDI controller (if working with MIDI sound libraries)

  • Microphones and XLR cables: The type may vary depending upon what you're recording.  I'll provide suggestions.  

 

SERVICES

PRIVATE LESSONS