Ian Buss

Ian B.

San Diego, CA

Lesson Details



Ian passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Ian delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 1+ and special needs

Teaching since:
December 2009

Hi, my name is Ian and I have been playing music professionally since 2006 and teaching since 2009. A recent graduate of the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, I am building up my private studio. I am available to teach lessons at a studio location, your home, or online. I have worked with students who are looking to enjoy learning more about music as well as those who are preparing for important auditions and performances. I enjoy teaching students of all ages and skill levels.

When working with children and adolescents, I create a structured learning environment and provide comprehensive instruction in instrumental technique, musicianship, and music theory. With adults, I teach them the fundamentals of the saxophone and reading music. As these skills develop, we explore the styles of music that inspire you to play.

I have studied under Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Bobby Sanabria, Kirk Nurock, and many others and developed expertise in saxophone, improvisation, and composition (classical, jazz, rock, and pop). I look forward to helping you reach your goals!

I own both an alto and a tenor saxophone and am happy to work with students who play other saxophones. If you do not yet have a saxophone, I can sometimes arrange to have one available for you to use during the lesson, but I need to know in advance. Eventually, you will need your own instrument to practice. I am always happy to help students with saxophone rentals and purchases!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all about lessons or acquiring an instrument. I'd be happy to work with you!

You can check out some of my music in the videos or at my SoundCloud page: soundcloud.com/ian-buss

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Dec 2006 - Present

Performances at private events as well as public venues around the United States, including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Joe's Pub, Brooklyn Bowl, Shapeshifter Lab, Littlefield, Bowery Poetry Club, The Scripps Research Institute, Conrad Prebys Hall (UC San Diego), and others.

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Jam Session Instructor
Jun 2012 - Jun 2016
University of California, San Diego Jazz Camp

Taught ensemble performance skills through instructional jam sessions to students age 14-73.


BFA Jazz Studies
Aug 2010 - Dec 2013
New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

A video from my senior recital at The New School in NYC.
Photo by Ian B.

Photo by Ian B.
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19 Reviews

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Scott C. Mar 5, 2018
Saxophone · Online

Lessons with Ian are always the best

Ed Oct 18, 2017
Saxophone · In studio

Can't go wrong with Ian ! Shoot for the stars!

Bruce Engelhardt Sep 25, 2017
Saxophone · Online

can play AND teach!

Scott C. Jul 10, 2017
Saxophone · Online

Every lesson with Ian is perfect. He is encouraging and pushes me to work harder.

Really makes me appreciate the sax and how beautiful it sounds.

Bruce Engelhardt Feb 13, 2017
Saxophone · Online

having lots of fun - not intimidating and knows how to help me get better!

Bruce Engelhardt Jan 30, 2017
Saxophone · Online

great start

Paul Wenz Jan 6, 2017
Saxophone · In home

Ian was prompt, attentive and just a real pleasure to work with. I'm totally new to the instrument - and he was patient - started from the very beginning - and even gave me a song to practice at the end (which is how you stay interested). He clearly knows his stuff. How do I know? - Here's what happened - He taught me the first notes, and all was going well - he gave me praise - but when we got to "G" it was off. He worked with me on technique and said - "wait - something's off, may I see your instrument?" Handing it over - he worked the keys (I got it from craigslist) and ultimately ended up putting his neck on it. Played it - and although it sounded much better - was still off. He scratches head, then instinctively shook it a few times - and the cleaning cloth comes tumbling out of the bell! "Well - there's your problem!" We laughed and went right back into it. Two thumbs up and five stars for this guy.

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Jing Q. Dec 22, 2016
Saxophone · Online

Scott C. Oct 20, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

Ian is knowledgeable and patient - the perfect mix for an instructor. Looking forward to my second lesson

Anthony T. Oct 8, 2016
Saxophone · Online

Ian was very friendly and direct. He's knows what he's doing and greatly improved my ability to adjust quickly. Highly recommended!

Max M. May 24, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

First lesson was amazing from start to finish, great introductory from how to hold the instrument, down to first steps to making a sound, and even to a first song! Thanks Ian.

Herb B. Apr 21, 2016
Saxophone · In home

Ian knows how to approach teaching me at my level, he understands where my skill level is and how to help me improve. Makes the lessons interesting and helps create motivation for the music and skills I want to work on.

Steve P. Mar 30, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

I feel that he is very cool, and he will help me get ready for my competition.

Steve P. Mar 30, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

My son is very happy.

Marion Jan 21, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

I had a great first saxophone lesson. I'm looking forward to learning more.

Kathy Q. Nov 30, 2015
Saxophone · In home

Ian is great. He is always on time and very patient to his student. My son likes him. Highly recommend him to everyone!

Neil S. Aug 24, 2015
Saxophone · In studio

He is a good teacher. He's patient. He understands the whole music style we are doing. He is a great musician.

Max Jun 21, 2015
Saxophone · In studio

Very good lesson. Excited for the next one.

Emanuel S. Jun 1, 2015
Saxophone · Online

Ian is great. My 9 year old was very excited and is looking forward to his next lesson.

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