Hi everyone! My name is Clayton DeVries and I am a freshman at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC pursuing my bachelors in Jazz and Contemporary Music as a saxophonist. I have been playing saxophone since I was in the 5th grade, so about 9 years now almost. I fell in love with it right away and can tell you I am blessed to be playing it every day. I have been honored to play in many elite ensembles including the Michigan All-State Jazz Ensemble, the Interlochen Jazz Ensemble, and The New School Afro Cuban Orchestra under the Grammy-nominated Bobby Sanabria! I have also won awards including The Outstanding Jazz Soloist award at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. If you were to take lessons with me, I can assure you-you would have a fantastic time. I am trained classically, but I do focus on jazz more. From beginner to advanced, I can do almost anything to make sure you're playing improves. Whether you want to start digging into the jazz world from your classic background, or you're just starting and want a little boost, I can assure you will get what you deserve. The unique thing about my teaching, because as a younger player, I am able to help kids understand easier with the lingo and I am able to work with different personalities so I know exactly what to say if they are not getting it right away. If you would like to check out some recording or just read about me or my weekly blog I'm on youtube and facebook as Clayton DeVries, or you can go to my website claytondevries.com! Thank you for considering me and have a fantastic day!
I enjoy everything about the work I do. There is just a glowing energy involved with this, especially when I see someone succeeding. I strive to have students who, in the future, will be as good or even better than me. I enjoy seeing the smiles on the faces of people when they accomplish something they've worked so hard for when they deserve it. It is such a treat to have a student who you know is going above and beyond. As a performer, the vibe is crazy in a setting with good players.
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My typical process for a student is this. This will be based on a 1-hour session with a student, where we will plan on meeting once a week. The first time the student and I are introduced to each other I like to take 15-30 minutes to introduce myself to the student and have the student introduce themselves to me, get to know them a little better. During that time as well, we will discuss what the student's main goal is e.g. be a better saxophonist, learn to improvise better, produce a better tone, learn to read music or learn new music. We will also discuss the student's micro-goals as well e.g I want to learn Take The A Train, I want to learn altissimo, I want to learn all the modes. After those 15-30 mins are up, then we start digging into their major goal and set a plan for their first week, where we will have them look at material that they will in the future try to master. Usually what I'll have them take home the first day is a recording, along with exercises, because I want them to know why they want to learn what they want to learn.
Currently, I am a freshman at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, pursuing my bachelor's degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music studying saxophone currently with Jim Snidero. I have had previous training my high school year's under Bill Sears at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Diego Rivera at Michigan State University, Sam Pilnick at Western Michigan University, and Eddie Codrington at Western Michigan University.
I like to keep it low compared to what some professional teachers would charge so I keep my hourly rate to $50.
I started teaching when my band director wanted me to come to the middle school every day so I could do lessons with all the woodwind players (I am also a clarinetist, flutist, and piccolist). That is when I started teaching
I worked with mostly younger kids in the middle school range, but I have also worked a little bit with people my age like juniors to seniors in high school and also freshmen in college.
A recent event I was fond of was a gig I did with Bobby Sanabria and The New School Afro Cuban Orchestra. The vibe was insane and everybody was having a blast, including the audience, everybody was dancing and you could tell the energy was off the charts. I want my students to take a look at something like that and strive to be able to do something like that because it's something that could turn a frown into a smile in an instant.
The best advice I could give to any student looking to hire is that they should look out for people who know what they are talking about. There are some people out there who are looking to get in just for the money, and there are some who want to teach because that's what they love doing and they want to see other people succeeding.
The biggest thing I absolutely want and need for students to think about is commitment. I don't want kids or even adults going into this thinking this is just to be on the side. No. There is going to be work involved with a good teacher and the student needs to know beforehand that if they want to learn, they need to put in the effort.