Bill Todd
Santa Monica, CA
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Bill Todd

Bill T.

Santa Monica, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
The saxophone can be one of the funnest instruments to play, no questions asked! In order to reach that point it's important to have certain things in order such as: sound production, breath support, musicality, and technique. In lessons use a variety of exercises and method/etude books, playing duets together, as well as listening and ear training to give my students a well rounded approach to the saxophone and music helping them to become the best musician they can be.

About Bill T.

Bill T. is a Broadway musician with over 20 years of teaching experience and as a performer. Bill currently leads his own group and is a member of several others ranging from big band to Ethiopian funk music. Bill enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities and specializes in teaching practice techniques that help his students progress quickly. Bill is a very patient and methodical teacher and uniquely tailors his teaching style to each student.

Bill holds a Master’s degree in Woodwind Performance from New Jersey City University and a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College.


Multi-instrumentalist, jazz musician, composer, arranger and educator. He developed a strong connection to music early in life through some family tradition, encouraging parents and many inspiring and influential teachers. He has gone on to perform alongside a number of noteworthy artists and ensembles and has toured extensively overseas and throughout North America.

His love for music came to life though performances with several ensembles in public school, regional big bands and his own jazz saxophone quartet. He is a graduate of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music's Jazz Studies program and has recently become a graduate of New Jersey City University's M.M. Multiple Woodwind Performance program.

Following two years performing abroad on cruise ships and the national tour of Young Frankenstein: The Musical, he was drawn back to New York City. Performing regularly on piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and all saxophones, he is proving to be valued asset in the NYC music scene.

Bill performs regularly with his own group while also working as a Broadway pit musician, sideman and a private music instructor.

*** Lesson Details ***
Every student is unique, therefore, lessons are designed to fit the student individually. Bill's teaching style is molded to satisfy each students goals and needs. Bill also focuses on developing proper playing habits which is largely related to sound production. I see it as my job to help my students understand and develop the proper techniques in order for them to be the best they can be on their instrument. Lessons are about having fun making music, learning, and improving.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Chairs, music stands and keyboard for harmonic discussions.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Student preferably brings their own music notebook and their own instrument. They may also need to purchase their own lesson books when the time comes.

*** Specialties ***
I can help my students learn how to play in a variety of styles ranging from classical (solos, chamber music, etudes, etc.) to jazz (improvisation, harmony, etc.). Whether they're working on a song to play at school, an All-State or All County solo, or just learning for enjoyment, I will help them play to the best of their ability.


Write a Review
41 Reviews
Janelle T.
Profile-location-online Online

Bill is a wonderful saxophone and clarinet teacher for my two sons. He's currently working with my older son to prepare for a clarinet audition. The process of preparing for the audition showed me some important qualities about Bill: 1) he goes above and beyond for his students (e.g. he recorded my son's solo piece in various tempos to help with practice); 2) he's flexible in making time for his students based on their needs; and 3) he's supportive and likable. My younger son, who took 4 saxophone lessons from Bill, mentioned Bill as one of the reasons for picking the instrument for band next year. I highly recommend Bill.

Posted May 26, 2021
Mark W.
Profile-location-online Online

When we were searching for the right clarinet teacher, it was important to find not just a teacher, but a professional musician. Bill was the right guy for the job.

My daughter Lili had been playing for four years and Bill stepped in with techniques that really took her musicianship to the next level. He is patient, organized and, per Lili, "A dope dude."

Bill has helped Lili with music that she is working on for marching and concert band at school while creating customized warm ups specifically for her. During the pandemic he has been flexible with his schedule, generous with his time and has kept Lili motivated in her music and on track while her school bands have had a hard time playing together.

He is a pro who is communicative, responsive, and punctual for all of the lessons.

I highly recommend Bill as a teacher. He and his band put on a pretty good show as well!

Posted May 25, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Bill is the real deal! The reviews were dead on. Bill is a superstar instructor. He is energetic, engaging, and an amazing teacher who knows the instrument. You will make great progress. I highly recommend him!

Posted Jan 14, 2021
Charles H.
Profile-location-online Online

Bill has a competent, easy manner that makes learning an enjoyable experience.

Posted Oct 13, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

I started with Bill almost two years ago and I was at about zero on the piano. He's helped me reach the point where I can play some standards and even improvise a little over them, and I look forward to improving even more. We began in person but the transition to remote lessons has been seamless.

Bill is patient, attentive, and a whole lot of fun to work with. He has a positive attitude and a great sense of humor, and he backs it up with strong motivational skills to keep you practicing and putting in the work to reach your goals.

Oh, and of course, he's got some incredible chops! He's a talented multi-instrumentalist and a beast on the saxophone. His love of music and knowledge of jazz is sure to rub off on you.

Posted Aug 21, 2020
Marco M.
Profile-location-online Online

Started my saxophone journey with Bill with a zero experience in music, except for few songs on the guitar. Then the pandemic (corona) hit and we were forced to move to online sessions. I must say, the virtual teaching has not stopped Bill from delivering EXCEPTIONAL and THOROUGH sessions. I have seen significant improvements in my playing skills since we started, exceeding any of my expectations. Especially if you are concerned about online saxophone sessions, I have personally encountered no issues whatsoever and I actually look forward to our weekly zoom calls. Overall, Bill's expertise is matched by his kindness and patience and I am sure you will agree with me.

Posted Aug 14, 2020
Athan M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I very highly recommend Bill! A few months ago I could struggle through a few scales but with Bill's teaching I'm now playing funk songs live in front of 50 people with a friend's band. Bill's lessons are not only useful, but also fun and energetic. I've had a number of saxophone teachers in the past and Bill is by far the best.

Posted Apr 23, 2020
Suzette Graham-Hill, M.D. FACP
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill is Absolutely Excellent. Wonderful patient teacher. Every student should have a teacher as patient as Bill.

Posted Jan 18, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very good teacher.

Posted Sep 25, 2019
Michael G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill was super helpful, kind and very accommodating. Highly suggest hiring him as your teacher!

Posted Sep 12, 2019
George S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

William is great
very patient and a fine person as there is
I am glad he is my teacher

Posted Aug 30, 2019
Jacob G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Excellent. My son Jacob (11 years old) loved his lesson. Thank you.

Posted Jun 18, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I love taking lessons with Bill! I'm returning to clarinet after playing as a child, and Bill has made the entire process really fun and rewarding. He's helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the instrument and the music we're learning, and provides the right amount of challenge to keep me engaged and progressing while still enjoying the process. Bill has really deep music knowledge, which makes him a really versatile instructor. He's helped me even enjoy doing scales!

Posted May 28, 2019
Bruce R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very good teacher for my son. He is patient knowledgeable and is able to keep a sometimes unfocused 11 year old, on the topic of learning the saxophone.

Posted Jan 14, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill’s a great and patient teacher. I’ve been playing for years and would consider myself somewhat advanced but he has really helped me identify things that I can work on and improve.

Posted Sep 21, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill is a great teacher! Very patient and fun, he strikes a great balance of honing skills without practice seeming rote. He really invests in his students and provides a lot of encouragement while still challenging me. I've made great strides thanks to Bill, and I'd definitely recommend him as an instructor.

Posted Aug 19, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill is great, and I would recommend him for players of all ages. I played flute in middle school and high school and wanted to get back into playing after having not touched my instrument for 15+ years. I found Bill on Take Lessons and was excited to begin lessons after reading his many glowing reviews. Although I was nervous about essentially having to start from scratch all over again with the flute, Bill has been kind, patient and lots of fun to work with. He is an extremely talented musician, and is very good at figuring out what I'm doing wrong with respect to air flow, embouchure, etc., and recommending how to correct it. Although I have a lot of work ahead of me I'm so enjoying playing again, and this time with much better sound, thanks to Bill!

Posted Feb 9, 2018
Josie B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Composer here, who studied with Bill. A kind and insightful teacher! Bill was always ready to help with odd requests for pieces I was working or interested in as we went over piano topics, music theory, and ear training. Gave me a great foundation to work with.

Posted Oct 15, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My 5 years old son, enjoyed and looked forward each week for his piano sessions with Bill. Bill was very patient, knowledgeable, and understanding. While waiting during Kevin's sessions, my daughter and I began to learn as well as enjoy the piano.
I strongly recommend Bill to anyone, and commend him for sharing his skills. Keep up the exceptional work Bill.
Thank you.

Posted Apr 19, 2017
Albert D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Really just great, I started playing with Bill about three months ago and it couldn't be going any better. His patience, demeanor and amazing skill must be commended and everyone should sign up immediately you definitely won't regret it I promise.

Posted Apr 7, 2017
Hadley L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

First lesson was great!! Hadley was anxious, but Bill provided lots of encouragement and great instruction. I'm a musician, so I could tell what a terrific job he did.

Posted Sep 29, 2016
James Mitaritonna
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill knows his content! He is quick to give feedback, and utilizes a variety of different tactics to make sure you are on the right track. I would definitely recommend Bill for future students.

Posted Sep 14, 2016
Kennedy T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill was perfect with my daughter. He was kind and patient. He didn't pressure her but still made sure she stayed focused. I would definitely recommend him to anyone

Posted Aug 30, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill helped me get back on track with the clarinet when I returned to playing as an adult, years after I'd played as a kid. He met where I was and helped me get to where I wanted to go--playing jazz. Besides being a good and patient teacher, he had a lot of innovative ideas for music selection, accompaniment options, and practice techniques. I recommend him to students of any age.

Posted Aug 10, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill's great. Very knowledgeable and very patient. Highly recommended.

Posted Jul 23, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I would highly recommend Bill as a flute teacher. He is a wonderful flautist, himself, in addition to being so skilled at several other instruments. Bill is very professional, kind, patient, and has always made me feel that he is interested in understanding where I would like to go, in terms of the kind of music I would like to play and the level of proficiency I am aiming to attain. I picked up my flute after 40 years of not touching it (since I was a teenager) and I'm so happy I did. Like many of the other students who have responded on this page, I have learned so much from Bill and have really enjoyed both his lessons, and my personal journey of practice and improvement as a flautist.

Posted Jul 23, 2016
carol G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill was a great teacher and he was very patient with me.

Thanks Bill for the great lessons taught and being so patient with me.

Posted Apr 5, 2016
Khris S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

They say the best teachers never stop learning, and Bill is a perfect example of this. He is a geek for music! And his enthusiasm is infectious.

I played flute a hundred years ago all through my school years. Then I never touched it again. Until recently, when I thought it would be "fun" to pick it up again.
Poor Bill!

But Bill has shown great patience with me and is able to be encouraging while also noting some weaknesses. He's very engaging and upbeat and makes every lesson fun. He has also taken me to see professional flautists perform, and he has recommended some great books on music and flute.

I've learned so much from Bill and have enjoyed every minute of it!

Posted Oct 12, 2015
Jorge R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Fantastic instructor, knows how to explain things in a comprehensible manner. Very skilled instrumentalist and definitely knows what he's doing. Recommended for anyone seeking help with various musical instruments and skills!

Posted Jun 17, 2015
Andre L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Our 8-year-old daughter is very happy studying with Bill. He has enough patience to guide the young student through the pieces that are challenging, and while practice at home is still key for the student to be able to play, Bill has been instrumental in ensuring that our kid is playing the flute with the best practices.

He is always in good humor, and flexible in fitting us into his schedule.

Posted Mar 25, 2015
Shawn Y.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill is a great paino teacher. He has has been offering his kindness, expertise and patience instructing my daughter for the past couple of months. I have gone through a couple of teachers before finding BIll and I have been absolutely blessed to have such a great person teaching Jospehine...Thank You Take Lessons

Posted Mar 22, 2015
Aziz Gueye A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Best saxophone teacher I ever had.

Posted Mar 15, 2015
Shirim N.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill is phenomenal! He is patient, funny, friendly and extremely talented. My 12-year old is always eager to see him, and has made huge progress in learning to play the clarinet. He is also very flexible. A gem of a teacher.

Posted Mar 13, 2015
Kimberly J.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill is very friendly and works very well with my 12 year old son. My son has absolutely NO musical background and now can play simple tunes such as Mary had a little lamb and other nursery rhymes in just 3 sessions..

Posted Jan 22, 2015
Evan S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bill is a fantastic teacher. I am currently a professional actor/saxophonist, and I was looking to broaden my horizons by picking up the clarinet. Right from the beginning of our instruction, Bill struck a perfect balance: on the one hand, he pushed me to gain proficiency quickly, knowing that I was eager to begin playing at a professional level; and on the other hand, he focused on methodically and meticulously building a solid foundation of strong technique.

In addition, Bill was enormously helpful when it came to selecting the right equipment. He was accessible, knowledgeable, and even perused some available clarinets to help me find the ideal instrument for my goals and skill level.

I could not recommend Bill highly enough. He will tailor your instruction to your skill level, will be supportive and encouraging, and will give you both the tools and the motivation to reach your highest potential.

Posted Oct 30, 2014
Veronica C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bill is a very talented, professional, reliable and kind teacher. He has been working with my son for almost a year now and we can definitely see the difference. My son is always eager to practice and learn when Bill comes over for the lesson. Since starting working with Bill, my son has surpassed all the kids in his junior high school's band group. This is particularly important and extremely helpful for when he auditions for a scholarship at the catholic high school that we are considering.

Posted Oct 29, 2014
Deborah H.

Awesome Sax Teacher

Bill is a great teacher. Teaching an adult to learn an instrument for the first time is not an easy task. Bill has tons of patience even when I don't find the time in my busy schedule to practice. He mixes class time with both practice and theory, and it is always interesting and challenging. He isa super cool guy who invites me to go watch him play. I haven't had a chance yet but am looking forward to seeing him rock out. I have already recommended him to a few friends of mine.

Posted Nov 23, 2013
Aaliya F.

I'm finally accomplishing my musical goals!

Thanks to Bill, I feel like I am finally confident enough to play music with friends and other musicians.

I've been taking lessons with Bill for over a year now and he's helped to understand the way music works. I have learned to hear music in a different way than before I started taking lessons. Bill is an extremely talented and well educated instructor. He can be methodical and technical when teaching me theory, but he also places a strong emphasis on having fun, and learning music on a practical level.

Posted Nov 10, 2013
Sherri M.

Lessons are enjoyable

Bill is easy to work with and accommodating. My son thinks that he is cool. I would like Bill to be a little harder on my son. I feel son should be along further; practice more. But Bill encourages him, which is good, but the son thinks he doesn't have to practice much.

Posted May 11, 2013
Jason J.

Bill is a thoughtful teacher, an amazing musician, and a really caring guy

I would highly recommend Bill! He is such a great player and teacher! He has helped enormously with my saxophone playing, clarinet playing, and improvising.

Since my saxophone playing is already fairly advanced. In our lessons on saxophone focus heavily on advanced jazz improvisation topics, like standard tunes, and transcription. He is so knowledgeable on these advanced topics but is really great at showing me the basics so that I can learn at my own level and pace.

On clarinet Bill and I work on more classical studies and instrument technique to get my clarinet playing more on track.

Bill is such a patient and motivating teacher. It is clear that he cares deeply about MY SUCCESS in music. He has helped me feel good about my musical progress and inspired me to work harder!

He has even given me lots of great music business advice, and helped me think about what I want out of music in my life.

Bill is so easy to get along with and is really careful to explain things in a way that I can understand them.

Its been really awesome getting to know and work with him!

Posted Mar 14, 2013
Andrew S.

Comprehensive, Fun, and Professional

My younger brother and I both have taken lessons through Bill for quite some time now.

Bill has been fantastic, and can accomodate to players of all levels. I've been playing for years, and Bill is able to provide practice materials relevant to my musical interests, appropriately scaling up the difficulty of what we're working on. Ranging from famous straight-ahead jazz solos, to tricky classical etudes, I'm happy to know my overall musical technique, repertoire, and general skill will continue to grow at the pace right for me.

My younger brother is taking some more beginner clarinet lessons, and couldn't agree more. He always looks forward to lesson day, seeing what new notes and scales he'll get to play through!

Posted Mar 11, 2013

Photos & Videos

12 Photos & Videos


Lead Alto Saxophone
Jan 2017 - Present

Eyal Vilner Big Band

Playing Lead Alto Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute as a member of this amazing 17 piece big band reminiscent of the Swing Era. Recently just toured in Israel with the band for my first visit to the Middle East. Come hear us live in NYC!

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jul 2019 - Dec 2019

Stephen Sondheim Theatre

Playing the Reed 1 book in the pit orchestra for the Broadway production of Beautiful. Instruments I perform on include: Alto & Tenor Saxophones, Flute, Alto Flute, and Oboe.

The Cher Show
Dec 2018 - Aug 2019

Neil Simon Theatre

Performing in the pit orchestra for the Broadway production of The Cher Show in New York City. Instruments performed on include: Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, Tenor & Baritone Saxophone.

Kinky Boots
Mar 2018 - Jun 2019

Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Performing in the pit orchestra for the Broadway production of Kinky Boots in NYC. Instruments include Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute!

Elf: The Christmas Musical
Nov 2017 - Jan 2018

Broadway National Tour

Performing in the Broadway production of Elf on Reed 3 which includes: Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, and Flute.

Mar 2009 - Jul 2017

Publishing company

Edit and prepare scores and parts for printing and publication. Score range from original works composed for chamber groups, wind ensemble, full orchestra and big band.

Holiday Inn (Reed 2)
Sep 2016 - Jan 2017

Roundabout Theatre Company

Playing saxophone, flute and clarinet on the Broadway production of this show in NYC.

Tuck Everlasting (Reed 1)
Apr 2016 - May 2016

Broadhurst Theatre

Performing the Reed 1 book on the Broadway production of this show in NYC.

Big Fish (Reed 1)
Mar 2016 - Apr 2016

Little Red Schoolhouse/Elizabeth Irwin School

Performing in the production of Big Fish on piccolo, flute, alto flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone.

A Christmas Story (Reed 2)
Nov 2015 - Jan 2016

Papermill Playhouse

Performing the Reed 2 book at the Papermill Playhouse in NJ for this production.

Les Miserables (Reed 1)
Dec 2015 - Dec 2015

Sandbox Theater

Paying flute, clarinet and saxophone in this production at the Sandbox Theater in Mamaroneck, NY.

Cafe Society Swing (Reed 1)
Nov 2014 - Jan 2015

59E59 Theater and The Copasetic Foundation

Playing alto saxophone and clarinet in this fabulous production that tells the story of Cafe Society, a historic club the was a pivotal launching and point and home for many musicians such as Count Basie, Lena Horne, and Billie Holiday.

Smokey Joe's Cafe (Reed 1)
Nov 2014 - Dec 2014

New Jersey City University Productions

Playing tenor and baritone saxophones in this musically exciting production in Jersey City, NJ.

Little Fish (Reed 1)
Mar 2014 - Mar 2014

Gallatin Theatre Troupe

Playing tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute and sopranino recorder in Michael John LaChiusa's musical "Little Fish".

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (Reed 1)
Feb 2014 - Mar 2014

Riverdale Repertory Company

Fiddler On The Roof (Reed 1)
Feb 2014 - Feb 2014

Riverdale Repertory Company

Three Little Birds (Reed 1)
Feb 2014 - Feb 2014

Adventure Theatre MTC

Playing woodwinds in Bob Marley's musical for children entitled "Three Little Birds" at the New Victory Theater at 47th and Broadway in NYC.

All Shook Up (Reed 1)
Jan 2014 - Feb 2014

Riverdale Rising Stars

Pajama Game (Reed 1)
May 2013 - Jun 2013

Riverdale Rising Stars

Young Frankenstein: The Musical (National Tour, Reed 1)
Aug 2011 - May 2012

NetWorks Presentations LLC.

Dec 2010 - Aug 2011

Princess Cruises


Master of Music, Multiple Woodwind Performance
Sep 2014 - May 2016

New Jersey City University

Bachelors of Music, Jazz Studies
Sep 2005 - May 2009

Purchase College Conservatory of Music


Music, Dance, Theatre Scholarship
Feb 2016

MDT Department Head, New Jersey City University

Theodore Presser Award
Mar 2009

The Presser Foundation


American Federation of Musicians
Aug 2015
A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 2014
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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