Matt La Von

Matt L.

Astoria, NY

About Matt L.

Background check: Last verified 10/30/2016
Matt passed a background check on 10/30/2016 that included the following:
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Matt teaches: Ages 7 and up
Teaching since: February 2001
Last sign in: Today

Overview

Hello!

Thanks for choosing me as you private music instructor. I’ve enjoyed teaching music since 2001 and being a Takelessons teacher since 2008. I specialize in teaching beginner to advanced saxophone, beginner to intermediate clarinet, beginner flute, and beginner to advanced jazz improvisation. I welcome all ages and believe that it is never too late to pick up an instrument, even if you’ve had no prior experience in music. Specifically when it comes to beginners, I am able to provide virtually everything that you need to get started, including access to brand new and lightly used student model instruments that I have for sale at very reasonable prices.

I have been teaching and playing music professionally for almost 20 years and began studying music and playing the saxophone at age 11. I currently live and work in New York City after moving here from Philadelphia in early 2001, after graduating from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1999 with a Bachelors in Music Performance.

Throughout my musical career I have worked in a variety of capacities in addition to being a performer, including working as a composer and recording studio engineer. My main area of expertise is performing as a jazz saxophonist on alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, and I regularly play throughout New York City in restaurants, jazz clubs, bars and other music venues.

As a private music teacher, I place an emphasis on giving the student an in depth understanding of his or her instrument, and I place the utmost importance on explaining advanced concepts in the simplest of terms in order to insure that the student fully comprehends the objectives of each lesson. Such concepts that I cover regularly are sight-reading, ear-training, technique, and creativity.

As a regularly performing musician in New York City, I can be seen every Sunday night at Ba'sik (a very popular bar in Williamsburg Brooklyn) where I lead an open jazz jam session. A few of my adult students have even been able to reach a level in jazz improvisation that they've been able to come out and sit in with the band.

YOUNGER STUDENTS: I’ve found that in most cases, it is very difficult for students younger than 8 or 9 years old to learn instruments like the clarinet, saxophone and flute. Occasionally, an exception can be made if a younger student is taller than average for his or her age, but most of the time the size of a student’s hands, as well as his or her amount of a physical strength, are not adequate enough until around the ages of 8 or 9. A worthwhile alternative, if a student is absolutely enthusiastic about learning a woodwind instrument, is to begin them on an instrument called the recorder. The recorder is a real instrument, but it is a more primitive, smaller, and simpler of an instrument than the saxophone, clarinet, or the flute; however, it is a great way for young students to begin learning the basics of playing a woodwind instrument and also learning important musical concepts such as reading music notation, pitch, and rhythm. I have also been introduced to a new line of instruments that are developed for younger students by a company called Nuvo. These instruments are smaller and simpler analogs to the saxophone, flute, and clarinet, and they can function as the next step in a younger student’s progression between the recorder and an actual saxophone, flute, or clarinet. The specific instruments that I deal with are called the jSax and the DooD by Nuvo Instrumental. I was asked to demo these instruments and you can check them out if you scroll down to the video section of my profile and look for the videos entitled “jSax and DooD review and demo. Nuvo Instrumental” or “jSax and Dood demo. Nuvo Instrumental”.

In addition to teaching woodwind instruments and jazz improvisation, I also have experience teaching Sibelius music writing software, and audio engineering and editing with Pro-tools LE and Logic Pro X.


PLEASE NOTE: Because the NYC area is very different geographically from other parts of the country, especially in terms of transportation, I may appear outside of your area in terms of where I am available to travel. If you are very interested in taking lessons with me, but you are outside of my travel zone, please feel free to follow up with a Takelessons counselor and have them contact me personally to see if we might make an exception. I am available to travel to virtually all areas of Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan as well as Jersey City and Hoboken, depending on if the day and time selected allows me acceptable travel time between other scheduled lessons. If my location in Astoria Queens is not convenient for you, and you are unable to have lessons in your home, then there is also an option where I can most likely find a very affordable teaching studio in an area that is more convenient for you that we may rent by the hour and split the cost for your lesson.


*** Lesson Details ***
Any student, regardless of age or experience level, learns best when engaged in an activity that he or she understands and enjoys. Part of my success as a teacher can be attributed to my willingness to take into account every student's particular musical interests and strengths, and attempt to teach directly to those areas. For instance, in the initial stages of developing a student and teacher relationship, I like to request that the student compile a "wish list" of approximately ten pieces of music that he or she would like to be able to play. This list may include pieces in such genres as classical, jazz, and popular music, just to name a few. It is through this list that the student can begin almost immediately learning exactly what he or she likes, and by default, I can then teach the student all of the technical components needed to perform on his or her instrument, as well as determine the specific areas where the student needs to receive more focused instruction. More importantly, this "thinking outside of the box," customized approach provides a fun atmosphere and enables the student to enjoy learning the art of playing music by not being solely dependent on instructional booklets which many students, regardless of age and experience, find boring and tedious.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Additional saxophones for students who do not currently have a saxophone to use during a lesson. Recording equipment, including software and microphones. Mac book pro with music writing and recording software. Full 88 key keyboard.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Additional saxophones. Macbook pro with recording and music writing software

*** Specialties ***
music, music theory, home recording, saxophone, clarinet, flute,
all styles

Photos and Videos

This is one of my original compositions entitled "Attack the block" performed at the Rosemont in Brooklyn earlier in 2016

Education

Bachelor of Music Performance
Sep 1995 - May 1999
The University of the Arts in Philadelphia

46 Reviews on Matt L.

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Máximo Feb 12, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
A good instructor. Easygoing and flexible with student's acomodation. Either for a few introduction lessons to long term lessons he is the person you would like to go with.
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Máximo Feb 12, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
A good instructor. Easygoing and flexible with student's acomodation. Either for a few introduction lessons to long term lessons he is the person you would like to go with.
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Geoff T. Jan 9, 2017
· Flute · In home
very knowledgeable, kind, and took the time to individualize lesson to my particular experience.
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angelo M. Jan 7, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
my first language is spanish, I tough that was going to make it more dificult for me to learn. I can now tell you how wrong I was. Matt took me from not knowing anything about music to playing the Ave Maria on Sax at the St. Patriks Cathedral in NYC .
Matt you are the best. I can't thank you enough.
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Annie Jan 4, 2017
· Clarinet · In home
Matt is a 5 star teacher for sure and my boys are so blessed to have him as a teacher! Matt has all the qualities as an excellent teacher, he is very reliable, patient, encouraging, knowledgeable, and friendly. My boys enjoy learning clarinet and saxophone with Matt, and even my dog loves to see him whenever he comes! I'm thrilled to find him as a parent.
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Alissa Rudes Jan 4, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
I have been receiving weekly lessons from Matt for over a year now and he is terrific. He has a great disposition and is able to articulate (no pun intended:)) the proper way to play the instrument. He also focuses on music theory in a relaxed and enjoyable manner. I would highly recommend Matt.
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Janice C. Aug 5, 2016
· Clarinet · In home
Thank you for last two months clarinet lesson for Dorothy! He was very patient with my niece and focuses on the part that she is not familiar or good at. It was good experience for her to learn new songs with Matt and got some confidence through the lesson!
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Louisa B. Aug 2, 2016
· Saxophone · In studio
Matt's awesome- I love our lessons. I'm learning so much and he pushes me! After several years not playing, it's been amazing to get back into it.
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Mendel May 31, 2016
· Flute · In home
Wonderful teacher and very patient
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Jeffrey D. Feb 5, 2016
· Clarinet · In home
Matt was great teaching me about rhythm. He was patient with me as I struggled getting the song right.
Matt La Von
Matt L.

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