Matt Burkett Music Studio

Matt Burkett Music Studio

5.0 (1)
4 hires on

About this pro

I've been playing saxophone for 11 years, with 4 of those years spent in the Manhattan School of Music's jazz department (BA Jazz Tenor Saxophone Performance '18). 11 years of practicing and constantly refining my practice routine has given me lots of experience to share with people!

I believe in paying attention to the person that your teaching, and not teaching straight out of a book. Therefore, I don't subscribe to a particular method, but if a student was interested in learning a specific way, I wouldn't hesitate to encourage them to do so and help them in whatever way I could. 

My expertise is mainly in the field of improvisation. For those wishing to learn how to play over chord changes (or learn what chord changes are and how to read them in the first place), or to learn to get the 'jazz sound', come to me! Improvisation is not just a musical skill to learn, its a way of life. 

I owe so much to the teachers that helped me when I was younger. When I teach, I get the sense that I can help give to someone the love and opportunity that was given to me by my formative teachers as well, and I hope to be able to inspire others to go above and beyond, and to embrace music in their own personal way as much as possible. 

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New York, NY 10040
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1 Review


  • Sally Carpenter

    Matt is great. He is patient, flexible and knowledgeable.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First lessons are generally diagnostic. First, I'll ask some questions about past experience, and gauge how much has happened in terms of a practice routine. Second, the student and I will make some sounds with the saxophones, and from there I'll assess which aspects of the fundamentals (breath, usually) need to be adressed. The remainder of first lessons are generally spent devising a practice routine, and if the student has a very specific goal in mind, we can talk about how to best achieve that goal. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I'm a graduate of Manhattan School of Music's jazz program, where I majored in Tenor Saxophone Performance (BA '18) and studied with Dave Liebman, Dayna Stevens, and Rich Perry. While in college, I took pedagogy classes in addition to my major. Prior to college, I took saxophone lessons for 7 years, with the last 3 of those years being focused on learning jazz and improvisation. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

In general, and hour long lesson at my studio (Inwood, Manhattan) is $60/hr. If the student needs me to travel to them, I calculate additional cost based on travel time (a formula of $7.50/hr of round trip travel + cost of public transportation). Prices are negociable, within reason, and according to need. 

How did you get started teaching?

I first started midway through highschool, tutoring fellow students in my school's jazz band, at first just saxophone players, then anyone who wanted to learn how to solo on the songs we were playing. AfterI graduated, I began taking the teaching other places, to students around my area (then Annapolis, MD).

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with students of all ages and experience. There's about an even split between students in middle school picking up sax for the first time, people later in life looking to learn a new skill, and people that played saxophone some time ago and are looking to refresh their skills. I welcome all kinds of students! 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Know what you want to learn! It's always a good idea to have a plan going in to trying to learn a new skill. The next most important thing is to know when to throw out the plan and reasses. There is no point in sticking with a practice routine that isn't going to work for you anymore! This is why it's important to find a teacher who is going to work for you, you specifically, and not just from a book. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

It depends on the experience of the student. If you've never touched a saxophone before, maybe the most important question is how long can I set aside to practice. For students with more experience, the question may be what is holding me back from improving right now? Sometimes, that question can only be answered by a teacher.