Matt Burkett Music

Matt Burkett Music

5.0 (5)
Best of 2022
10 hires on
1 employee
8 years in business

About this pro

I'm a professional saxophonist and composer with 14 years playing and 7 years teaching experience. I have a virtual and in person studio in Inwood, NYC.

I take great pride in tailoring lessons to meet my student's wants and interests with the saxophone, while still making sure that the fundamentals of the instrument are thoroughly understood. Ultimately, my goal is to give people the skills needed for them to teach themselves what they want to learn!I'm a professional saxophonist and composer with 14 years playing and 7 years teaching experience. I have a virtual and in person studio in Inwood, NYC.

I owe everything to the teachers that inspired me when I was young. I love passing on what I know, and to learn from my student’s unique viewpoints and experiences.

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New York, NY 10040
Email verified
Phone verified

5 Reviews


  • Chad Nislow

    I've been playing the saxophone for 10 years, and I have never sounded as good or felt as confident since taking lessons with Matt. Matt plans lessons around achieving my goals as a musician, specifically improving my improvisation. Matt explains ideas I have struggled to comprehend in a way that makes me feel like I could have discovered these musical ideas myself. We work on everything from fundamentals, sound, technique, and theory, and Matt provides fun exercises that allow me to put ideas into practice. Contemplating concepts like voice leading, chord progressions, and substitutions have given me a plethora of material to keep me busy, and makes me excited to pick up the saxophone and continue working on my musical journey. I highly recommend lessons with Matt for any level player.

  • Cedric Rucker

    Matt is extremely knowledgeable and patient. I have learned a lot about music and music theory. My wife can see the improvement from where I started 10 months ago. Matt is more than capable of helping achieve your musical goals.

  • Elizabeth Kimmell

    Matt is a wonderful teacher. I have thoroughly enjoyed my lessons wirh him. Sadly i have had to take a vrief hiatus, but am looking forward to resuming soon!

  • Armand Boricianu

    Great lessons, nice relaxed atmosphere with a lot of flexibility regarding the timing of the lessons as well as the level of progress. Very positive build up and pleasant learning environment.

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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. 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 addressing fundamentals and 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 $65/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. After I graduated, I began taking the teaching other places, to students around my area (then Annapolis, MD). I've been teaching ever since!

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with students from ages 10-70, from absolute, never-played-a-note beginners, to middle/high schoolers looking to improve faster, to adults looking for a greater theoretical understanding about music and saxophone, to people who haven't played saxophone in many years and are looking to pick up the horn again.

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.