Ian Buss

Ian B.

San Diego, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I teach saxophone lessons to students of all abilities, ages, and interests. A working professional musician and current graduate student at New England Conservatory, I offer online saxophone lessons that include instrumental technique, expression, and different styles of music. Ear training, sight reading, and rhythm are included as the student develops. Most importantly, studying any musical instrument is a fun and gratifying experience.

About Ian B.

Hi, my name is Ian and I offer online saxophone lessons to players of all ages, levels, and backgrounds!

I have performed with Grammy Nominated blues singer Sugaray Rayford, jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis, blues legend Buddy Guy, Brazilian vocalist/composer Luciana Souza, amongst others.

Currently a grad student at New England Conservatory in Boston, I have been lucky to work with a wide range of students (elementary schoolers, retirees, and everyone in between) at Palomar College, the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, UC San Diego Jazz Camp, and my own private studio.

A big part of my teaching philosophy is that music should be fun, even though there are challenges along the way. I have worked with students who are looking to pick up a new hobby 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 little pieces of music theory. With adults, I teach them the fundamentals of the saxophone and music, including sight reading and ear training. As these skills develop, we explore the songs and styles of music that inspire you to play.

I have studied under Jerry Bergonzi, Donny McCaslin, Ken Schaphorst, 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 currently have tenor, soprano, and alto saxophones and am happy to work with students who play other saxophones. When possible, I am always happy to help students find a quality saxophone to buy or rent, though I do not personally sell or rent instruments. Even if we are not in the same city, I may be able to recommend an instrument or a store for you. Generally, it is best to avoid buying from a marketplace like Amazon or Ebay, where anyone can sell anything. It is ideal to buy from a reputable instrument seller, many of whom sell online.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about lessons or getting started with music. I'm happy to help.

Thank you and best wishes in your musical journey!


Write a Review
23 Reviews
Yuka O.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Me and my 12-year-old son started saxophone two years ago together. Ian had a great guide to us who had never played the instrument. My growth is slow due to age issues, (of course satisfied) but my son's growth was great. My son now has a great deal of confidence as a jazz player, and he was able to work on other things positively too. We met Ian then became more into music and jazz. He is patient and will tell you until we can do. Ian is mainly jazz, but he is also very familiar with brass band and classical saxophone too. He is a working musician who do live performance, gig, and compose in various places. He loves music from the heart, his solo is so beatuiful. Ian's lessons has changed our life. We really grateful for giving us his time.

Posted Jul 26, 2019
Bruce Engelhardt
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jul 23, 2019
Scott C.
Profile-location-online Online

Always a great lesson

Posted Jun 4, 2019
Scott C.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Sep 24, 2018
Scott C.
Profile-location-online Online

Lessons with Ian are always the best

Posted Mar 5, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Oct 18, 2017
Bruce Engelhardt
Profile-location-online Online

can play AND teach!

Posted Sep 25, 2017
Scott C.
Profile-location-online 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.

Posted Jul 10, 2017
Bruce Engelhardt
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Feb 13, 2017
Bruce Engelhardt
Profile-location-online Online

great start

Posted Jan 30, 2017
Paul Wenz
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Jan 6, 2017
Jing Q.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Dec 22, 2016
Scott C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Oct 20, 2016
Anthony T.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Oct 8, 2016
Max M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted May 24, 2016
Herb B.
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Apr 21, 2016
Steve P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Mar 30, 2016
Steve P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son is very happy.

Posted Mar 30, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Jan 21, 2016
Kathy Q.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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

Posted Nov 30, 2015
Neil S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Aug 24, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very good lesson. Excited for the next one.

Posted Jun 21, 2015
Emanuel S.
Profile-location-online Online

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

Posted Jun 1, 2015

Photos & Videos

5 Photos & Videos


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.

Jan 2018 - Jun 2019

Young Lions Jazz Conservatory

Direct ensembles and provide instruction in jazz repertoire, performance skills, rhythm, ear training, and music theory.

Applied Music Faculty
Sep 2018 - May 2019

Palomar College

Provide one on one saxophone instruction at the college level, evaluate juries of all instruments.

Saxophone Instructor & Jam Session Host
Jun 2012 - Jun 2018

University of California, San Diego Jazz Camp

Taught group theory and saxophone classes and hosted instructional jam sessions for students age 14-73.


MM Jazz Studies
Aug 2019 - Present

New England Conservatory

BFA Jazz Studies
Aug 2010 - Dec 2013

New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency

Let Our Student Counselors Help You

We can match you with the perfect teacher and take care of all your scheduling needs.
Reserve Your Spot
change subject
  • {{ subject.value }}
{{ (view.locations.length > 1) ? 'Select a ' : '' }} Lesson Location
Other lesson locations may be too far away. show all
Ian's Availability
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
Time Zone:
Ian's {{ (view.location && view.location.isStudio) ? 'Studio' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isTravel) ? 'In-Home' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isOnline) ? 'Online' : '' }} Lesson Pricing
{{ rate.duration }} minutes
${{ rate.rate }}
{{ view.loadingText }}
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Recently Viewed