I've had five years of combined experience teaching students of all ages in both large and small groups as well as privately.
Everyone learns differently and at a different pace so all of my lesson plans are designed individually for each of my students depending on what they would like to achieve.
I've had a love for music since I began playing saxophone 17 years ago. I earned my bachelor's degree in saxophone peformance at the university of West Florida and I am currently working on my Master's in Jazz performance at Portland State University.
Music is my joy and my passion and there's nothing that I enjoy more than being able to share that joy with students.
I believe that music is a sonic art and a universal language that has the power to create bonds among strangers through shared experience. Music is a force that can change the feeling of room and create a palpable vibe.
Music is also fun and there's so many options and the possibilities of what you can create are endless. Music can take you places, both figuratively and literally.
I enjoy seeing the spark of hapiness in a student's eyes when they start to grasp the concepts of sound that we're discussing. Teaching also helps me review and improve upon musical concepts by forcing me to think about them in varying ways to be able to successfully communicate them to my students.
Neil gave me confidence in my ability and we were able to focus on expanding the skillset and refining the skills I already had. His approach helped me stay motivated because even though I have tons of room to grow, it's nice to feel like you can truly achieve your goal.
Neil is a fantastic teacher and a great person. Our 12-yr old son is learning sight reading, rhythm, music theory, ear training, and breath control in addition to the mechanics of the instrument. He is excited to share what he's learned after each lesson. We highly recommend Neil!
Neil is a great listener and that's for me his biggest strength. It is what makes him a good teacher. I've taken lessons for a couple of months, and I'm already feeling more comfortable when playing. As a beginner, I would recommend Neil 100%. Excellent teacher.
Neil is a fantastic teacher - and person! We met one day in a public area while he was playing his saxophone. Very gentle, he did not aggressively push his services on me. Instead, he was simply open to talking about his horn, music, and the lessons he teaches. I took lessons for 6 months with a brief and rusty background in music. Neil was very accommodating to my learning style and goals, letting me choose what style of music I would learn. He also adjusted my “homework” according to what I could realistically reach for. I never had to make excuses if life got hectic and I could not make as much time for music. Neil helped me remember my love for music, without pushing his way of teaching and music on to me. For that, I will always be grateful!!
When working with a new student I first ask them what they want to learn and what they would eventually like to achieve. Then I figure out what their current musical knowledge is and go from there.
With beginning saxophone students, I start with a mix of breathing exercises and basic saxophone techniques (embouchure, hand placement, etc...). Once the student has learned all of the notes on the horn we move onto scales and different musical exerpts. I also include music theory and ear training exercises in all of my lessons.
I have my Bachelor's degree in Classical Saxophone Performance from the University of West Florida and I am currently working on my Master's degree in Jazz Performance from Portland State University.
I was the woodwinds instructor at the Lamont Community Music program in Pensacola, Florida from 2016-2017.
I've been a volunteer instructor at two different middle schools in Florida and one in Portland for extended periods of time. So I have experience working with with younger students who are new to playing their instrument.
I've also taught privately to a number of students of different ages and skill levels.
I've worked with a number of younger students as young as 11 who are just starting to play their instruments. I've also worked with students who are in their twenties or thirties that have had a little more musical experience and are ready to take the next step.
I accept students of any age and ability. It's never too late to learn.