Nathan Kersey-Wilson

Nathan W.

Los Angeles, CA

Lesson Details

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About

Nathan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
July 2008

I'm Nathan, and I am completely fascinated with music.

I have been playing saxophone and piano, arranging and composing since I was 9 years old. In middle school, I was already organizing bands and writing and arranging songs. While at Berkeley High School, I began playing guitar, bass, and flute. I also led a 12-piece funk/R&B band that became quite popular in the East Bay. I played in the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, a highly competitive group that performed at most of the high school jazz festivals on the west coast, placing first on many occasions. I was often recognized as a soloist at the performances. During my senior year in high school I wrote and arranged the music for an original musical called "Double Digits," that received incredible reviews and raised over $12,000 for the school's theater department.

In 2009 I entered the UCLA Ethnomusicology Department, with a concentration in Jazz Performance on the saxophone. At UCLA, I wanted to push my musical boundaries, so I joined different kinds of bands- I played bass in rock groups, keyboard in a hip-hop group, guitar with some singer-songwriters, I even joined an a cappella group, and received an award for my vocal arranging. This is also when I began to teach lessons, and students began to say that my lessons were uniquely rewarding because they emphasize creativity and technique equally. I continued to play and compose jazz throughout college, and, having graduated this past June, I will be releasing my first jazz/fusion album in the next couple of months!

My musical journeys have led me to share the stage with legends like Kenny Burrell, Joshua Redman, Dave Koz, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Dam-Funk, and I've been a supporting act for groups like Charles Bradley, Portugal the Man, Haim, Shiny Toy Guns, Lalah Hathaway, and Common.

I've done a lot of stuff, but every day I find myself amazed and humbled by the endless possibilities and the magic of music. And I want to share these opportunities with you!

*** Lesson Details ***
Welcome young and old, beginners and professionals!

I can teach you how play jazz, funk, R&B, blues, pop, hip hop, gospel, classical, rock, folk, and almost anything in between! So my lessons are built around what you want to learn. But here are some general things I can offer:
-learning the technical skills of playing your instrument
-complementing technical skill with general understanding of the music
-jamming and improvising
-learning to read sheet music, lead sheets
-putting the music in context and learning about the historical and cultural significance of the style that we're learning

What I expect from students:
-a positive attitude =)
-active engagement during lessons
-practicing: it's up to you, but the amount of time you spend thinking about or working on concepts from the previous lesson usually reflects what you will get out of the next lesson. A healthy amount is 30 mins-2 hours a day.
-listening to music- we all love to listen to music, but its actually almost as important as practicing, so don't forget about doing it!

My aim is to balance three things: technical skills on your instrument, general knowledge and understanding of music, and discovering the creative process through music. Soon you will be able to not only play your instrument, but form a band, be ready for an audition, explain musical concepts to your friends, play at a jam session, or write a song. It's exciting!

If you're a beginner, I cannot wait to help you discover music for yourself! If you're already an advanced player, I've found that each aspect of music that I understand only leads to 10 more things that I want to learn- so let's explore!

I can't wait to get started working with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a keyboard, bass, acoustic guitar, alto sax, tenor sax, flute at my studio. You are welcome to use my keyboard, bass, and guitar, but woodwind players please bring your own instrument.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If you play saxophone, I will bring my own saxophone; if you play flute, I will bring my own flute, etc. Not for you to play, but so I can play along with you and demonstrate certain things. I will also bring different instrument so that I can accompany you and so that we can jam. If you are a bassist, I might bring a keyboard one day and a saxophone the next, so that you can see what it is like playing in a group with different kinds instruments. We can talk about this once we get started because is depends on what instrument you play and what style you want to learn.

*** Specialties ***
--I teach from the bottom up, integrating music theory concepts that align with each technical skill on the instrument. This way, students can develop an understanding of the music they are learning.

--I emphasize creativity, and encourage students to improvise and compose.

--We will work at the pace that you prefer, whether you want to learn some simple songs, jump into complex harmonic theory, or learn how to confidently jam, or gradually develop an understanding of music as a whole.

--FUN- Having fun while learning to play your instrument is crucial to your continued interest in music. Fun will be had.

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Photos & Videos

Check it out! I'm covering Joe Zawinul's "The Chicken" using my loop pedal and playing keyboard, sax, and beatboxing.
This a video of my playing "Georgia on my Mind" as the lead saxophonist for the UCLA jazz orchestra.
Playing flute and bass on stage at UCLA's Royce Hall with my rock band, The Ten Thousand. This was a big night for us, opening for Portugal The Man and Haim!
Photo by Nathan W.

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Photo by Nathan W.

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Photo by Nathan W.

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Photo by Nathan W.

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Photo by Nathan W.

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Photo by Nathan W.
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