Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon!

I work with a tutoring program that helps with homework of all subjects. One of our students just started playing sax and, although I do have a history playing marching band in a drumline, I honestly am struggling to teach how to use the instrument.

The student is in 4th grade and is just begining to learn alto sax.

I know scales but don't know reed placement or how to blow into the sax.

Any tips and guides are appreciated.

Thanks!
- Nick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,545 Posts
Stick with what you know - time, rhythms, dynamics, musicality, possibly key signatures and scales. Then try to connect the student with the appropriate resources for learning the rudiments of the instrument. Passing along expert knowledge second hand won’t work. You have to actually know and fully understand what you’re teaching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is fair to say that it is like learning a new language. I agree that teaching secondhand is not optimum for his learning experience. What other ways could I encourage him to develop his talent so I don't confuse him while he learns the alto sax?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,592 Posts
You are to be complimented for volunteering to help students in a tutoring program. My mentor in music education used to say: "You can't teach what you don't know". In your situation, you can guide the student to resources like the one shown below and offer support and encouragement. You can share how much fun and enjoyment you got from participating in marching band. Help the student with the aspects of reading and playing music that you know, and let those with experience teaching and playing the saxophone take it from there.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,545 Posts
What worked for me when I was an absolute beginner was listening and attempting to copy what I heard. Encourage him to find some sax music he likes, find it on youtube and try to play along. The rest has to come from his sax teacher.

I taught my own children how to become excellent musicians on piano, trombone, violin, etc., none of which I knew how to play myself, by teaching them musical concepts common to all instruments, as I said before - time, rhythm, reading, etc. Their music teacher had to teach the fingerings, positions, technique, etc.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,588 Posts
Good afternoon!

I work with a tutoring program that helps with homework of all subjects. One of our students just started playing sax and, although I do have a history playing marching band in a drumline, I honestly am struggling to teach how to use the instrument.

The student is in 4th grade and is just begining to learn alto sax.

I know scales but don't know reed placement or how to blow into the sax.

Any tips and guides are appreciated.

Thanks!
- Nick
Find another tutor with woodwind experience to help the kid learn to play the saxophone.
You trying to 'instruct' the kid would be like having a tuba player trying to teach you how to use your sticks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Just out of curiosity, where are you at? Perhaps someone here can suggest a private teacher in your area or an online teacher if that works for this particular student.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I recently bought Ray Smith’s book “The Science and Art of Saxophone Teaching”. It is written from the perspective of a teacher, which I am not. But I find it useful as a player who doesn’t have a teacher. Anyway, if you are serious about learning the saxophone, or especially learning to teach saxophone, you might give it a look. The author also has a YouTube channel where many of the topics are covered.
 

·
Registered
Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
Joined
·
2,523 Posts
Jay at Better Sax has a lot of beginner material in video form. Here's his video on reed and mouthpiece set up. He has other beginner videos on how to put the instrument together and take it apart along with care and maintenance. Best to start at the very beginning and have you student learn how to take proper care of the mouthpiece, reeds and instrument. Jay has a free beginner's course online. I think it could be very valuable to you and your student. I commend you for wanting to help. Of course it's best to have a teacher that knows the instrument but until then there's a lot of good info on YouTube.

 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top