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Bachelor Degree: University of New Hampshire, Master Degree: Lesley College
My experience of studio saxophone teaching covers over 40 years and includes time at various New England universities as adjunct faculty at Dartmouth College, the Univ. of New Hampshire, and Univ. of ME at Augusta, as well as my current position at Phillips Exeter Academy, where I am also a member of the Faculty Jazz group. I acquired a Master's in Composition and Saxophone Performance in 1996 from Lesley College in Cambridge, where I spent a year taking lesson with Jerry Bergonzi. I have also studied with Jerry Coker, Charlie Mariano, Ted Casher and Dr. Donald Bravo from the Univ. of MA Lowell. I've been most fortunate to appear on the concert stage with Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy De Franco, Alan Dawson, Delfeayo Marsalis, Sheila Jordan, Bob Wilber, Goeff Keezar, Milt Jackson, MIlt Hinton, Marshall Royal, and many others.
I have been fortunate to be able to teach at a prestigious private school in New Hampshire for over 30 years and have worked with a wide range of students, both high school age and adult to help them develop their skills as budding saxophone, clarinet and flute players. I have also organized, conducted and written arrangements for several jazz ensembles and combos of different sizes and am excited to share my knowledge of jazz and improvisation with interested students. I like to have my students work not only on fundamentals, but also have the experience of ensemble and solo playing as well, so a typical lesson will contain elements of warm up exercises, etudes, duets and solo material.
I am a great believer in the importance of a guided warmup routine and have developed a practical method for students to acquire facility with all of their scales and arpeggios in all the keys with various articulations in a logical and efficient way using standard materials. This is backed up with a "saxophone curriculum" to bring a student from beginning stages all the way to solo recitals at a college level. I have also created a method book with transcriptions and exercises to convey the jazz language of the saxophone from the first half of the 20th century to aspiring improvisors.
I believe on an emphasis of performance over theory; learning to make a kinesthetic connection with your instrument is most important in developing both a good sound and adequate technique. The value of a good warm-up is most important in establishing a successful practice routine. We are all pressed for time, so I help students focus on the most important elements of breath control, embouchure and articulation at the same time that they are acquiring technical facility through the logical development of scales and arpeggios. Following that, method and duet material are introduced before solo study.
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