Neal Smith

Neal S.

Davenport, IA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Private one-on-one saxophone instruction has been my primary vocation for nearly 30 years. I've also worked as a professional performing musician for over 35 years. Each lesson is tailored to the tastes and needs of the student, with traditional method books rarely used once the basics are under control. Instruction is based on a strong working knowledge of scales. The informed use of these scales leads to a heightened understanding of improvisation, ear training, and other practical aspects of music theory. Students are encouraged to choose from a variety of jazz standards and transcriptions, classical themes, and pop tunes that I’ve transcribed and engraved. Rudimentary instruction is also available for saxophonists wishing to learn flute and/or clarinet.

About Neal S.

I started giving saxophone lessons nearly 30 years ago when I began to realize how little I was taught about the way music works in the real world. Despite studying Music Performance at Illinois State University, my most meaningful education has been earned through mistakes I've made, or through trial and error. I'm determined to show others how to take a more direct path to get lasting results from their efforts, hopefully avoiding many of the uninformed choices that made up my early career.

Having worked as a professional performing musician for over 35 years, I’ve toured extensively, signed recording contracts, and worked with musicians such as Alex Chilton, The Temptations, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Louis Bellson, Chuck Loeb, and have been featured as a soloist with the Quad City Symphony.

Students of every race, nationality, physical and mental ability, religious belief, political affiliation, and gender orientation or gender identity are welcome in my online studio. You'll be encouraged to establish your own goals and proceed at a pace that is comfortable for you. I'm grateful for every opportunity I'm given to teach what I've learned about the saxophone and the music industry and will go the extra mile to ensure that you feel I've earned the time and money you've invested in your lesson.


Write a Review
1 Review
Profile-location-online Online

Great lesson - assessed where I am and what I need to get where I want to go. I'm really pleased

Posted Aug 1, 2020

Photos & Videos

10 Photos & Videos


Private Saxophone Instructor
Jun 1993 - Present


Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
Sep 1982 - May 1985

Illinois State University

Associated with the Music Theory department of the university. I graded papers, tutored students in music theory, and produced made-to-order handwritten music manuscripts for students and faculty.


Music Performance, Music Journalism, Music Education
Aug 1981 - May 1985

Illinois State University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Best Horn Player
Nov 1995

Oil, The Music Magazine

Illinois All-State High School Jazz Band Participant
Jan 1980

Illinois Music Educator's Association


Aug 1995
Broadcast Music Inc. was founded in 1939 by forward-thinkers who wanted to represent songwriters in emerging genres, like jazz, blues and country, and protect the public performances of their music. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, BMI is now the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and is still nurturing new talent and new music.

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