Ben Britton

Ben B.

Spencerport, NY

About Ben B.

Background check: Last verified 09/07/2016
Ben passed a background check on 09/07/2016 that included the following:
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Ben teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: 2006
Last sign in: 2 days ago

Overview

Hi, I'm Ben Britton, a professional saxophonist and educator. I have been teaching lessons for ten years, including young students as well as professional musicians, and I find it fun and rewarding. I've also taught music at various colleges, and I've written two saxophone method books, which are used in college teaching. In my own learning, I've studied with the best, including earning a doctorate in music from Eastman School of Music. As a performer, I've worked all over the U.S. and performed with great artists like Chris Potter and Dave Rivello.

I like to make lessons enjoyable for students, but I also push them to learn and grow. My students learn to understand the music they hear. Not only do they learn to read music, they learn to perform with style and expression. I find that students play their best when they love their sound, so I also focus on technique. Overall, my students learn to use their ears and musicianship to be the best musicians they can be.

Photos and Videos

Rocking out to Someday My Prince Will Come!

Experience

Music Education Author

Sep 2010 - Present
Self Employed

I've written two saxophone method books, endorsed by great saxophonists like Ben Wendel, Dave Liebman, Walt Weiskopf, and Charles Pillow. Both of the books are used in college teaching, and one of them is used by the world renowned Steve Wilson as part of the saxophone seminar at the City College of New York. I have also written many educational articles on improvisation, saxophone, and ear training, including articles for Saxophone Life Magazine.

Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and Piano Instructor

Jan 2006 - Present
Private Studio

I teach a private studio that has included young students and professional musicians.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Sep 2013 - May 2016
Eastman School of Music

Gave instruction to New Jazz Ensemble saxophonists as needed. Assisted in directing jazz ensembles. Assisted teaching a music theory course.

Adjunct Instructor

Sep 2010 - Aug 2013
Monroe County Community College

Taught music courses. Directed student jazz ensemble.

Adjunct Instructor

Sep 2012 - May 2013
University of Pennsylvania

Taught applied jazz saxophone. Directed jazz combo.

Adjunct Instructor

Sep 2012 - Dec 2012
Ursinus College

I directed the jazz ensemble, filling in for a professor on sabbatical. I also taught jazz saxophone lessons here prior to this semester appointment.

Education

Doctorate of Musical Arts

Sep 2013 - Aug 2016
Eastman School of Music

Master of Music

Sep 2008 - May 2010
Manhattan School of Music

Bachelor of Music

Sep 2005 - May 2008
Eastman School of Music

Languages Spoken

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Portuguese

Limited Proficiency

Awards

Finalist in Detroit Jazz Festival National Saxophone Competition

Aug 2012
Detroit Jazz Festival

1st Place in the 1st Annual Charlie Parker Cutting Contest

Jul 2012
12 Street Jump as heard on NPR

Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency

Apr 2007
Kennedy Center
Write a Review

5 Reviews on Ben B.

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Steve Brasgalla Sep 10, 2016
Saxophone · Online
Ben is a fantastic teacher, HIGHLY recommended!
He is an accomplished musician himself and is a seasoned professional in the fields of teaching, writing, theory and general promotion of the arts.

He is patient and positive in all things.
He quickly identifies areas of a Student's performance that can be addressed easily and directly for noticeable improvement in a short time. He works with what he has (meaning student skill levels across the spectrum) and is able to propel a student forward and help them advance, while remaining fun and upbeat.

The lesson cost is very reasonable and online lessons seem to work out fine. Be sure to watch his Blog regularly because there is always fresh information there that keeps you thinking and motivated to surge forward in your playing.

You will be glad you took instruction with Ben Britton!
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Adam Sep 9, 2016
Saxophone · Online
Ben is engaging, knowledgeable and patient, qualities any student should appreciate. I certainly appreciated the attention to detail on developing a good tone with a follow-up check, after the actual "tone" lesson was completed. If one puts the work in the advice from Ben will produce results. Look out Chris Potter!
Silhouette-80
Ted Sep 8, 2016
Saxophone · Online
Ben is a world class musician, and an equally amazing teacher. Studying with him I made some serious progress, and through his methods we would discover lots of uncharted territory. We covered sound production, transcription, ear training, and various topics from his insightful perspective and guidance that I have never explored in the 20 years I have been playing the saxophone. His lessons are the perfect balance of fun, yet very challenging. I noticed huge improvements right away studying with him. I think of the concepts and his unique perspective on how to approach improvisation every time I pick up the horn.
I first sought him out for private lessons after picking up his "Complete Approach to Sound" book and was completely floored when I noticed how significantly my sound changed when we started working on those concepts. We worked through some really fun transcription projects with John Coltrane, and Chris Potter, we worked on some different areas of Time and Bebop language characteristics as well as ear training to hear the changes. Before studying with him I had never transcribed changes- I would look at a lead sheet or fakebook, and in a relatively short time I made some great leaps in my own musicianship and began hearing things (Root Movement, Chord Quality) and experiencing music on a more profound level, and that, to me, is what it is all about.
World Class Musician and Teacher !
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Vic Sep 8, 2016
Saxophone · Online
Ben is a fantastic teacher.

In order to adapt to your abilities, issues and personal goals, he will come up with tailored exercises and lesson plans rather than apply a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. I believe this comes from his relentless work on himself as a musician, and how his mind has acquired a taste for problem solving as a consequence.

Ben's lessons can be challenging, but never gratuitously, as he has the ability to gauge his students' potential, and unbelievable ears, which allow him to pinpoint weaknesses almost instantly.

When approaching challenges, Ben's teaching is always clear and structured, coming up with practical goals and exercises, focusing on the bases of problems. One of the best example of this can be found in the books he published, which approach age-old saxophone related subjects with clarity and conciseness, when previous literature was rather esoteric.

Finally, as Ben is always working on his own abilities as a musician and saxophonist, you will be carried along by his energy and positive outlook on the journey that is practicing.

I can't recommend Ben enough.
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Sara Sep 8, 2016
Saxophone · In studio
Ben is a fantastic instructor! He's professional, personable, and clearly knows his stuff. He does an excellent job inspiring students and adapting to students' needs and interests. Highly recommended!
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