- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- June 2008
Dr. Carl S. is currently Instructor of Jazz and Saxophone at South Dakota State University, a position he has held since Fall 2014. His responsibilities include directing the annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival, directing Jazz Ensembles I-II, Jazz Combo, Jazz Improvisation lessons, Jazz Pedagogy, online Jazz Appreciation, private saxophone lessons, saxophone quartets, and group guitar class.
Carl completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance at the University of Kansas in 2014, and his Master of Music Pedagogy and Performance from Oklahoma State University in 2011. He graduated from Harrah High School in 2002, earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2008, and was a 5th-12th grade Head Band Director at Fairview Public schools. He is currently a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Jazz Education Network, Music Teachers National Association, treasurer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and an Honorary Member of Tau Beta Sigma. He has held previous memberships with Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Delta Pi, and the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association.
While at KU, Carl was also a graduate teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and jazz studies program. His responsibilities included Assistant Director of the KU Jazz Festival, directing Jazz Ensembles II-III, directing Jazz Combo III-VI, assisting with the KU Jazz Festival, directing Saxophone Quartets II-III, teaching private saxophone lessons, assisting in saxophone studio class, and teaching the music education woodwind methods course. His Lecture Recital Document, A Performer’s Analysis of Selected Jazz Works for Saxophone Quartet, featured an interview with Bob Mintzer. Carl was a member of KU Jazz Ensemble I, KU Saxophone Quartet I, and KU's Helianthus New Music Ensemble. As a member of KU's Jazz Ensemble 1, Carl has performed with Dave Douglas, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Alex Sipiagin, Steve Owen, Gary Foster, Steve Houghton, Clint Ashlock, David von Kampen, Peter Epstein, Jeff Miley, James Miley, Roger Shew, and Brian Hamada, Brandon Draper, Rich Wheeler, Beau Bledsoe, Jeff Harshbarger, and Matt Otto. In July 2014, Carl went on a European tour with KU Jazz Ensemble I featuring Steve Leisring and Deborah Brown. Together, they performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Vienne Jazz Festival in France, and performed in several cities in Germany. Recordings by this band resulted in KU winning the DownBeat Student Award (Graduate College Large Jazz Ensemble Division) in 2015.
While at OSU, Carl was a GTA for the saxophone studio and music theory programs. His responsibilities included Music Theory I-IV tutoring and grading, sight-singing grading, piano labs, classical and jazz saxophone lessons, saxophone quartet coaching, saxophone studio Webmaster, and saxophone studio class. Carl was a member of the OSU Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble 1. He had a regularly performing jazz trio and played in OSU's X2End saxophone quartet. The X2End quartet performed locally at the 2011 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., at the 2011 NASA Region IV Conference, and has won the state and division rounds of the 2010-2011 MTNA Chamber Music Competition. The X2End quartet went on to win the 3rd place prize at the national final round of the MTNA Chamber Music Competition. They also were the Division II Chamber Ensemble winners at the 2011 Hubbard Music Competition where they were awarded the 2nd place prize in the overall finals. Carl's final degree paper at OSU was a study of composer/performer collaboration. He traveled to Texas, Michigan, and Ohio to interview saxophonists and composers including David Dees, Peter Fischer, John Sampen,Marilyn Shrude, Joe Lulloff, and Charles Ruggiero. He has presented his lecture at the 2011 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, the 2011 NASA Region IV Conference, and the 2012 OSU Single Reed Summit. As a member of OSU's Jazz Ensemble 1, he has performed with Bob Sheppard, Conrad Herwig, Wayne Bergeron, and Andy Martin.
While at SWOSU, Carl performed as a member of the marching band, wind ensemble, Jazz Ensemble A, saxophone quartet, and his own jazz combo named Five-Seven. As a member of SWOSU's Jazz Ensemble A, he has performed with Dan Haerle, Bob Bowman, Jack Mouse, Fred Forney, Janice Borla, Eddie Daniels, Pamela York, Lynn Seaton, Carl Allen, Dr. Michael Cox, Tom Williams, Dr. Robert Chambers, Dave Hanson, Drori Mondlak, Delores Williams, Byron Stripling, Frank Wess, Kenny Drew Jr.,Dennis Mackrel, Bill Watrous, Rich Eames, Jennifer Leitham, and Randy Drake.
Carl's primary saxophone instructors have been Vince Gnojek, Dr. Jeffrey Loeffert, Dr. Ann Bradfield, Dr. Keith Talley, and William Rodney Hull. He has had additional instruction in lessons and masterclasses from Gary Foster, Dr. Joseph Murphy, Dr. Michael Cox, Bob Sheppard, Johnny Salinas, Dr. Kimberly Goddard Loeffert, Dr. Geoffrey Deibel, Dr. Jonathan Nichol, Dr. Griffin Campbell, Dr. James Laughlin, and Dr. David Dees. Carl's jazz directors have included Dan Gailey, Bob McCurdy, Dr. Jonathan Martin, Dr. Keith Talley, and Dr. Terry Segress.
Carl lives in Brookings, South Dakota. He enjoys recording several instruments in his home studio and composing new music. His compositions that have been performed include his big band arrangement of Cat Battles by Joshua Redman,September in the Refrain (alto saxophone and electronics), Funk-o-matic (jazz combo), Smooth (jazz combo), and The Deadline Arrives at Dawn (alto saxophone and electronics). As an advocate of new music involving the saxophone, he has participated in a commissioning consortium for Alone Together by composer David MacDonald through Kick Starter. In 2013, Carl performed the premier of Cuento #3 by Nelson Ramirez Diaz. During summer of 2014, he recorded selections from Dr. John Walker's "The Alto Saxophone in the Attic," published by Carl Fischer. At the 10th Annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival in 2015, Carl directed SDSU Jazz Ensemble I's premier of Dog, Tired by David von Kampen.
Dr. Carl is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist. He is hosting the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 3 (ND, SD, NE, MN, IA) Conference at South Dakota State University on March 17-18, 2017. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Carl will be performing Dreams in the Dusk by David Biedenbender with South Dakota State University's Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Jacob Wallace. On Monday, February 6, 2017, Carl will be performing the premiere of Lhotse for alto saxophone and percussion by Steve Danyew with Dr. Aaron Ragsdale.
Instructor of Saxophone and Jazz
Graduate Teaching Assistant of Saxophone
Graduate Teaching Assistant of Jazz Studies
Graduate Teaching Assistant of Music Theory
Graduate Teaching Assistant of Saxophone
Head Band Director for 5th-12th grade band program
Tau Beta Sigma is a highly respected pre-eminent music organization comprised of over 160 collegiate chapters and more than 3,800 collegiate members with a balanced representation of women and men. Strong leadership thrives throughout our organization and we have a solid financial foundation. We cultivate and sponsor a variety of music education programs for our diverse membership and work closely with collegiate band directors. Our alumni association is an integral part of Tau Beta Sigma, promoting diversity efforts, social networking and assisting members in enhancing their professional leadership and employment possibilities after graduation from college. We are actively engaged in the community through music.+ Read More
JEN was formed in 2008 to help bring together the jazz arts community. It hosts an annual conference with concerts presented by students and professionals, a student jazz festival, workshops, research presentations and an exhibition area with manufacturers, retailers, schools and other jazz related organizations. JEN also offers many educational programs, from an outreach program, to mentoring and scholarships.+ Read More
The National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors is a forum for communication within the profession of applied music on the college campus. The Association is composed of university, college, and conservatory teachers and is dedicated to:
Encouraging and developing more effective teaching of wind and percussion instruments on the college level.
Providing the efficient interchange of information, ideas, and materials among the members.
Encouraging the publication, recording, composition, and distribution of good music for wind and percussion instruments.
Fostering the development and manufacture of the best in wind and percussion instruments.
Coordinating the activities of the membership with other groups having common interests.
Encouraging the performance of solo and chamber music in which wind or percussion instruments have significant roles.
The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.+ Read More
The North American Saxophone Alliance is an organization made up of individuals who share a common interest in the saxophone. Members include professional performers, university professors, public school teachers, students of all levels, and others who have an interest in the saxophone. In addition to the Alliance's emphasis on disseminating information concerning the saxophone, the organization also works to provide opportunities for its members to make music, fostering fellowship among saxophone enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.+ Read More
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America (also known as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Mu Alpha, or simply Sinfonia) is an American collegiate social fraternity for men with a special interest in music. The fraternity is open to men &amp;quot;who, through a love for music, can assist in the fulfillment of [its] Object and ideals either by adopting music as a profession, or by working to advance the cause of music in America.&amp;quot;+ Read More
Founded on the campus of Oklahoma State University on November 27, 1919, Kappa Kappa Psi is a guiding light with which band students can grow, learn, and develop themselves and their band programs. Kappa Kappa Psi is an organization of opportunity and quality, brimming with historic, well-developed leadership and membership programming that students use to become great leaders, better band members and better adapted young adults prepared for what lies ahead of them.+ Read More
Dr. Spaeth is an amazing teacher. Knowledgeable, patient, easy to understand, and a great teacher for all skill levels. He is a great musician and impressive improviser.
First lesson. Carl gave my son so many pearls I had to keep writing them down. They were important details - small, simple changes that make a huge difference and improve the sound of an instrument. Great lesson
Carl is an exceptional teacher! He makes effective use of the time, generates and shares a lot of resources, and explains everything clearly. He provides positive and constructive feedback that encourages / motivates to continue practicing. I would highly recommend to anyone.+ Read More
Great teacher! My daughter goes back to the group lessons every chance she gets.
Excellent teacher.Has lots of patience. Explains in detail .i could learn the basics which never were thought at my school.
Best instructor ever we found for my kids.With his help and guidance they could make to jazz ensemble of their school competing with 54 kids.
Mr.Carl Thanks for the guidelines and lessons wish to work for longer time together.
The way he teaches helps me understand how to play better.
Carl is patient, more patient than I am with my progress. Transitioning from working with a harp and keyboard to a woodwind is getting in the way. I can dedicate an hour's practice a day, but perhaps that's not enough.
Great lesson - got a very nice primer on music theory from Carl today.
Great experience so far, really enjoying learning with Carl.
Carl is a wonderful teacher. We covered a lot of ground in my first lesson, but at a pace that was comfortable for me. Looking forward to the next lesson!
After our first online session, I am totally convinced that my prolonged and diligent search for the "very best saxophone instructor" has absolutely led me to the very best for me. Dr. Carl far exceeds the standards and expectations for which I sought in my new saxophone instructor!
Vikram loved the class. He is looking forward to the next one!
Vikram loved the class. He is looking forward to the next one!
Carl is an excellent instructor for our daughter who is somewhat unsure of herself, especially with a new instrument. With his expertise, patient and guidance, I can see her saxophone skills already improving. Two thumbs up!!!
Excellent teacher. Helping with jazz band and marching band. We are also going to start the clarinet.
First Lesson was fun and extremely informative. Can't wait to get my book and start playing some tunes!
Carl did a great job. Looking forward to learning more
The Best. I truly couldn't have asked for a more confident, more affordable, and more experienced teacher. If there's someone you're looking for with help to get started, or simply improve your saxophone skills, he's your man.
I didn't feel uncomfortable when the lesson started; I felt more relaxed. I like it how he focuses it more on what you want to do, and not what he wants for you to do. He is a great saxophone teacher!
You won't find a better sax instructor than Dr Spaeth, in my opinion.
First lesson went extremely well-learnt quite a few things about overtones and gave me a goal to work towards. Was great! :-)
I really like how patient Carl is. I feel like is knowledge along with his patience makes him the best instructor. Carl is so easy to work with which makes me look forward to each lesson! I would give 10 stars if I could!
I feel that Carl did a great job of keeping a very positive feel throughout the lesson. I am a pure beginner so that was probably the most important thing.
I've been a part of Dr. Carl's Jazz ensembles playing Piano and Trombone. His teaching has brought my appreciate and level of achievement in both up tremendously. He has a great sense of humor and relates well with students. He is both technically and musically proficient on his instruments, and knows how to communicate effectively in both areas.+ Read More
Carl has been wonderful instructing our son on the tenor saxophone. Our son really enjoys working with Carl, and Carl is very patient and encouraging. Let's not forget that Carl is extremely knowledgeable, and we feel fortunate to have such a qualified teacher instructing our son.+ Read More
Awesome music instructor! We feel so fortunate to have Carl as our daughter's musical teacher and influence!
Carl is a wonderful music instructor and we highly recommend him!! He is patient, thorough and teaches with an individualized approach as our daughter progresses with her guitar abilities. You will be very pleased choosing Carl as your coach, mentor and teacher!+ Read More
If I could give Carl more stars I would, because he is a great teacher! I really like how patient and professional Carl is and his extensive knowledge makes each lesson that much better.
Carl is a top-notch performer, educator, and clinician! In February, he served as a guest clinician to two of my middle school woodwind classes and gave them fantastic remarks to make their music and playing ability reach the next level of musicianship! As a performer, Carl is at the top of his game! He is always prepared and performs to the highest of abilities. Carl and I have collaborated on pieces of music for saxophone and percussion before and it is such a treat to get to work with such a highly regarded musician! I've only heard the best of compliments about Mr. Spaeth!+ Read More
Dr.Carl is a great music teacher. He has help me with reading music and learning my instrument correctly.
Dr. S is a fantastic instructor. I am a senior at South Dakota State, and have been studying with him for a year. He has proved to be a very outgoing and diversified teacher who is always willing to donate extra time to his students. Dr. S is an excellent performer in both classical and jazz. He guides students in musical interpretation and constantly encourages individual growth. I highly recommend him as an instructor, saxophone or otherwise.+ Read More
It has been an absolute pleasure working with Carl! My son and I both are taking lessons with him. He is very patient and supportive during our lessons. I have learned so much in such a short time with Carl, and is one of the best teachers I have had. I did take band in my younger years so I have some music behind me, but it was for tuba not sax. I wasn't sure about doing this and it was more of a Christmas present for my son and I, but I will reschedule when I am done with my current schedule. It has been well worth my time and money! Thanks Carl!!!+ Read More
I have had the pleasure of working with Carl over the past few months, and he has proven to be a capable and patient teacher. He gives thoughtful musical feedback. I recommend him with no hesitations.
I've been a quality assurance engineer for over thirty years. how does this apply? well, I've learned all the 'degrees' of good and bad in manufacturing which inherently includes people and their skills. Carl is an excellent teacher because he has all the characteristics that go into the making of a good product--or, in this case, teaching. I know that I'll get the most for my money when working with Carl because he is that good. that's why I've decided to open end my lesson plan with him. I know he'll teach me a lot and, for me, that's what it's all about.+ Read More
I was in a jazz trio with Carl several years ago and he was a joy to perform music with. He's an all around great musician, and rises above the expectations of a typical horn player. His experience with several instruments, music theory, and his extensive performance history all contribute to his expertise. Not to mention, all the awards and videos speak for themselves.+ Read More
Carl is a great teacher
I have been taking lessons from Carl for three months and he helps me understand and improve my playing immensely. Beginning with fingering, breath, equipment up to theory. Carl is very positive, encouraging and friendly. Even though I am a beginner I never feel like he is bored teaching me. I know he can teach very high level players too. I highly recommend Carl.,
Excellent, thoughtful teacher.
I took saxophone lessons with Carl over the summer to catch up with our local high school band. He did a great job with teaching me the fundamentals of playing classical music, but he also taught me how to improvise, giving me a good introduction to jazz. The lessons were very relaxed, while at the same time very productive. He's a great teacher, and I would highly recommend him.
Carl is a great teacher and will do anything to help students understand theory. I majorly struggled with theory in college and Carl went out of his way to help me! I recommend him as a teacher!
In his many years as a student and an educator, Carl understands the difficulties in learning and teaching an instrument. He does a fine job explaining several methods that may correct a problem and has helped me greatly improve my classical and jazz saxophone playing within the past year.
Carl is an excellent instructor. He gave me sax lessons during my concert season. I learned a great deal from him and excelled in my concert performance. He was very reliable, flexible, and fun to be around. I would recommend lessons from him to anyone who wants to improve their playing ability.
Carl is a fantastic saxophone teacher. Very helpful with minor details that greatly increase skill and ability. Very easy to get along with. I enjoyed lessons with Carl, and felt I improved at a greater pace than with any of my previous teachers.