Stephen Yee
Media, PA
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Stephen Yee

Stephen Y.

Media, PA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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, Advanced
I teach a blend of classical based theory, jazz harmony, and ear-based sensibilities for a unique, intuitive approach to music composition.

Fundamental Classical Theory
Jazz Harmony
Jazz Composition and Arranging

About Stephen Y.

My name is Stephen and I’m a passionate saxophonist, composer, and arranger. Having just graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts where I studied with the legendary saxophone virtuoso/composer Ralph Bowen, I’ve already amassed significant experience in performance and music education.

My first musical experience, at five years old, was under the tutelage of classical Suzuki piano, a discipline which revolves around learning pieces by ear and performing pieces from memory sans sheet music. By the end of my piano studies, I had graduated Suzuki Association’s Level V and performed pieces at the highest level (level 8) under the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Towards the end of my classical piano studies, I transitioned into focusing on saxophone as my primary instrument.

In high school, I primarily played tenor saxophone. There, I had the distinct honor of leading the marching band, wind ensemble, and jazz band saxophone sections as section leader, a position in which I held the responsibility of teaching, preparing, and organizing students to meet the challenges of a variety of musical performances. As well as performing in nearly every music ensemble at the high school level (including performances of the musical “Little Shop of Horror” on alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and flute) I had the distinct honor to participate in the classical and jazz offerings of the rigorously auditioned Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) ensembles. Out of countless saxophonists in the state, I was one of two tenor saxophonists chosen to perform in the district, region, and all-state wind ensembles and the only musician to be regaled the PMEA Richard Merrell Band Scholarship. In the jazz realm, my high school jazz ensemble auditioned and was chosen to be the only high school ensemble to perform at the 2015 PMEA state conference. With such a variety of music education and performance experiences, I was ready to continue my music education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, an undergraduate program I chose specifically to study with Grammy nominated Ralph Bowen, known in the jazz world as a gifted educator.

Before heading off to college and over course of two summers, I had the opportunity to study at the prestigious Berklee Five Week Summer Jazz Performance Program. For the second summer, I auditioned and earned a half-tuition scholarship.

While at Mason Gross, as well as having the opportunity to study with Ralph Bowen on a weekly basis, I had the amazing opportunity to study with one of world’s greatest jazz drummers and composers, Victor Lewis, and other luminaries of the music including pianist Bill O’ Connell and bassist Kenny Davis. I performed in both classical and jazz ensembles, including the symphonic band, a myriad of chamber jazz ensembles, and the school’s top jazz band, “Jazz Ensemble 1.” As well as performing in school ensembles, I performed with my own jazz quartet in locations all around the New Jersey area including shows for the New Brunswick Jazz Project and the New Jersey Jazz Society. As a composer, I worked hard to compose a new piece every week for my junior and senior years. This productivity, as well as constant refinement under the guidance of Ralph Bowen and Victor Lewis, resulted in an honors college guided senior recital with all original material and an accompanying 40-page honors thesis on my personal process in jazz composition. As well as practicing and composing for many hours every day, I made Dean’s list every semester throughout my college career and maintained a high GPA, ultimately graduating with highest honors, Summa Cum Laude with an Honors College certificate and award.

Over the summers between undergraduate study, I have been blessed to have amazing opportunities to teach both privately and with excellent music programs. The most notable of music program experiences have been the two years in which, I interned at the Play, on Philly! summer program. There, I worked as a teaching assistant in the classroom and taught jazz, woodwind chamber ensembles, and assisted students during orchestral rehearsals, while also juggling administrative responsibilities for students ranging from 6 to 18 years of age. Most recently, I was back with the Play, on Philly! summer program as a teaching artist, where I taught a high school music composition course that ended with an opportunity for the students to have their compositions workshopped and recorded in a studio by a professional group, “Orchestra 2001”, an ensemble which focuses upon the Grammy nominated works of modern classical composers.

My teaching philosophy, shaped through years of varied classroom and private experiences, revolves around empathy and individuality. Every student is unique in their strengths and deficiencies, and it is my job as a teacher to figure out the most effective and enjoyable method of conveying knowledge. I specialize in creating personal, individualized practice plans and exercises for students, even going so far as writing etudes and recording transcription exercises with specific students in mind. I am looking forward to teaching students in any and all categories of music, including:
Saxophone Technique
Jazz or Classical Saxophone
Jazz Improvisation
Jazz or Classical Composition
Jazz and Music Theory
Preparation for PMEA or College auditions
Jazz Transcription
Sibelius or Finale Notation Software


Write a Review
10 Reviews
Rocio B.
Profile-location-online Online

My son really enjoys learning to play the saxophone with Stephen. Stephen is a patient, knowledgeable, and understanding individual.

Posted Apr 24, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

He is slways ready and on time. He is very patient with my son, who is learning to play the saxophone.

Posted Nov 18, 2020
Pascal G.
Profile-location-online Online

Thanks for being so patient to our beginner 10y/o

Posted Jul 25, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Great instructor! Can’t wait to continue with more lessons! He helped me understand what I was trying to focus on!

Posted Jul 9, 2020
Uche E.
Profile-location-online Online

Stephen is extremely patient, skillful and presents his lessons in an easy to understand manner. I can always recommend him to anyone.

Posted Jun 13, 2020
Eric C.

Excellent teacher, really good with teaching

Posted Jan 4, 2020
Joe D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Stephen does an excellent job of instructing and encouraging. I've always wanted to learn how to play an instrument but was a little intimidated due to my lack of experience. Stephen put my anxiety to rest and made me feel comfortable learning something new. Did I mention I am 52? Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Stephen shows it just takes the right teacher.
Joe D.

Posted Dec 18, 2019
Marie H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Stephen is an excellent teacher. So clear with his instruction and patient. I would highly recommend him.

Posted Dec 5, 2019
Michael N.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

steben is a wonderful teacher. He is teaching me me alto sax in way that works for me as an adult student. I really enjoy my lessons and am eager to practice. I highly recommend Steven

Posted Oct 7, 2019
Jasmine M.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 20, 2020

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos


Play on, Philly! Summer Music Camp Composition Teaching Artist
Jun 2019 - Aug 2019

Play, on Philly!

Taught a high school composition course for the duration of a six week summer camp. Topics included classical theory fundamentals, diatonic harmony noteflight software, and musical creativity.

Play on, Philly! Summer Music Camp Classroom Teaching Assistant
Apr 2016 - Apr 2017

Play on, Philly!

Two summer's worth of teaching at a five-week summer camp with 160 hours of classroom service. Helped teach saxophone, clarinet, flute, music theory, jazz, orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber ensembles, and more.

Rutgers Summer Jazz Camp Adjunct Counselor
Jul 2016 - Jul 2016

Rutgers University

Assisted teachers in the classroom with jazz history, large & small ensembles, and masterclasses for a week long jazz summer camp program.


B.M. Jazz Studies & Honors College Scholar
Sep 2015 - May 2019

Mason Gross School of the Arts



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Rutgers James Dickson Carr Scholarship
Sep 2015

Rutgers University

Jack Ozawa Scholarship for Academic Excellence
Jun 2015

Philadelphia's Japanese American Citizen's League

Penncrest High School Excellence in Band Music
May 2015

Penncrest High School

Pennsylvania Music Education Association Richard Merrell Band Scholarship
Feb 2015


Half-Tuition Scholarship for Berklee College of Music 5 Week Summer Program
Jul 2014

Berklee College of Music


National Association for Music Education
Jul 2019
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.

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