Woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone) lessons are designed to assist students of all levels in making their musical goals a reality. Specialized teachers help the students to understand the challenges of their instrument, and to develop and enhance the problem-solving skills that will serve them throughout their journey. Instruction focuses on building consistency and control of technique and expression, through the forming and strengthening of habits that accompany success. Woodwind instructors use a variety of instrument-specific method books, exercises, repertoire, practice tools, and strategies to complement the needs of the individual student.
Beginners will use the “Rubank Method Book (Elementary and Intermediate)” for saxophone and will be given the choice of choosing to work from any number of other popular-genre method books including “Basic Jazz conception for saxophone” and “100 Solos for Saxophone”. Students can expect to work on tone production exercises developed by classical saxophone virtuoso Sigurd Rascher, as well as correct embouchure and articulation. By the end of the beginner level, students will be proficient with all major scales, major and dominant 7th arpeggios, as well as a two octave chromatic scale. They will also be able to play the melody to jazz, pop, and or classical pieces of their choice.
Intermediate Level: Students at the intermediate level will have a choice to concentrate on jazz or classical, but study of both will be encouraged to varying degrees. Students will work from the “Rubank Intermediate Method for Saxophone” and “Selected Studies: for Saxophone (Rubank Educational Library) which cover fundamentals of technique, alternate fingerings, phrasing and articulation. Other method books including Lennie Niehaus’ “Basic Vol. 2 Jazz Conception for Saxophone” and “Intermediate Jazz Conception for Saxophone”, will be used to develop the phrasing, articulation, and rhythmic idiosyncrasies of jazz music. Students at this level, may also begin learning jazz standard repertoire, both from the “Real Book: Sixth Edition” and by ear. Students at the end of this level will also be proficient with full range major, melodic and harmonic minor scales.
Advanced level: Students on the advanced level will be expected to own a copy of “48 Famous Studies for Oboe and Saxophone” written by W. Ferling and adapted for Marcel Mule. Practice of these pieces will prepare students to play fast technical etudes as well as challenging lyrical pieces in all major and minor tonalities. As a supplement to these studies, all students will be encouraged to work from Sigurd Rascher’s “158 Saxophone Exercises”. All advanced students will work from Lennie Niehaus’ “Jazz Conceptions for Saxophone Duets” which covers more advanced jazz phrasing as well as helps the student develop the rhythmic independence and confidence needed to play in the jazz big band style. Advanced students who want to work more with a jazz focus will learn to transcribe jazz solos by ear, learn jazz standards (melody and harmony) by ear, and will learn a variety of styles of jazz vocabulary as derived from transcribed solos or the “Charlie Parker Omnibook”. Students should not expect to learn “licks”, but instead will be encouraged and instructed on how to take characteristics from the vocabulary to construct their own truly improvised language.
Beginners will use the “Beginners Book for the Flute” by Trevor Wye, “Rubank Method Book” (Elementary and Intermediate levels), and “40 Little Pieces in Progressive Order for Beginner Flutists”. Students at the end of the beginner level will be proficient in all 12 major scales, a two octave chromatic scale, and will be able to perform the melody to jazz/pop tunes and/or a piece of classical music of their choice.
Intermediate level: Flute students at the intermediate level will work through the “Rubank Method for Flute” (Intermediate and Advanced) each week and begin working on flute repertoire. Students at the end of the intermediate level will be proficient in all two octave major scales, major arpeggios, and their two and a half octave chromatic scale
Advanced level: Students at this level will begin working on more advanced repertoire and can be expected to work from Marcel Moyse’s “25 Etudes-Melodiques” and will do scale and arpeggio practice from “The Complete Flute Method” by Paul Taffanel. Flute students at the advanced level will have the option to learn jazz flute as well.
Beginners will use the “Elementary Rubank Method Book” for clarinet and will immediately start working on fingerings for basic scales and overall tone production. Students at the end of the beginner level will be proficient in all 12 major scales, a two octave chromatic scale, and will be able to perform the melody to jazz/pop tunes and/or a piece of classical music of their choice.
Intermediate to Advanced level: Clarinet students at the intermediate level will work through the “Rose Etudes for Clarinet” each week and begin working on clarinet repertoire. Clarinet students at this level will have the option to learn jazz clarinet as well and can expect to work out of “Benny Goodman’s Clarinet Method” and will learn jazz standards in the same method as saxophone students. Students at the end of the intermediate level will be proficient in all two octave major scales, arpeggios, scales in thirds and a three octave chromatic scale.
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