Hello! In addition to the following paragraphs about me, you might also enjoy the video that I've prepared below entitled "your first lesson" (note: videos may only be available by accessing the Takelessons website on a web browser and may not show up if you are using the Takelessons app on a phone or a tablet). You can get a pretty good idea about what kind of teacher I am by watching that video. So, feel free to bypass this written section and go straight to the video. Just scroll down my profile to the "photos and videos" section. It is one of the first videos listed. Then come back up here when you are finished with the video and keep reading to learn even more. ***Covid19 update*** I have recently begun accepting students at my teaching location for "in person" lessons. I am, and my entire household are, fully vaccinated, and at this time I am asking that all of my students who visit me for "in person" lessons also be able to show proof of vaccination upon request. I am also willing and able to present proof of vaccination to any of my students (or parents and guardians) upon their request. My apologies for any inconvenience and please realize that this is not a political request. I'm just looking out for the well being of my family and all of my students. Thanks!! More about me... 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. *** 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
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate
Teaching since 2001
Bachelor of Music Performance
Teaches ages 7+
Has background check
I cannot recommend Matt highly enough as a saxophone teacher. As an adult student learning the saxophone for the first time, I could not ask for a better teacher. Over just one year, through Matt's easy-going and encouraging yet highly-effective instruction, I went from not knowing how to hold my instrument to improvising over jazz standards. Matt really meets the student where they are at. I have found him equally willing to take my lead when I want to learn a piece as he is running through his progressive sequence of standards and exercises he uses with students. Matt has been teaching online for years and has adapted to virtual pedagogy in a way that I find engaging and effective. I've never felt as if the online teaching was a hinderance to learning of having fun.
Despite the technical difficulties created by the pandemic, Matt manages to teach my son proficiently online. My son has been making great improvements and he was able to take NYSSMA this year with great confidence. Matt is also very flexible with scheduling.
I have made more progress with Matt in two years than with any other teacher I have had over a number of years that I am too embarrassed to disclose. Although I did stick with a couple of teachers because they were better than the ones I did not stick with; Matt is the only teacher I would recommend to a friend or anyone else.