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Alto - Tenor - Baritone and Soprano saxophones

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Basically, if you learn to play any one of the saxophones, you will be able to play all of them. The fingering is more-or-less the same throughout the entire family. The big divider is size. It is usual for the beginner to learn the Alto first.

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Clarinet

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Sometimes - (affectionately and not-so-affectionally) - referred to as the "Misery Stick". This, because of the difficulty in gaining a complete mastery of the instrument. The clarinet was my first instrument and I was a very long time learning it to the nth degree. But it is a beautiful thing to play - when you can play it!

Clarinet Page


Flute

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In my musically-formative years the flute was a purely "classical" instrument. Then an American jazz musician started to play jazz on it and its popularity in improvisation soared. These days I cannot think of a top-line saxophonist who does not also have a flute on his/her instrument stand. I am also hard-put to come up with a jazz musician who does not also play - and love - classical music.

Flute Page


Jazz Piano

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If you are headed for improvisation you will also be well-placed to learn basic keyboard skills. It should be remembered, however, that there is a huge gap between knowing how to play something, and actually being able to do it! Nevertheless, it is very rewarding to be able to pick a few tunes out of the piano, without tying your fingers up in knots.



Thoughts

There is a much-overused maxim out there: "No pain - no gain"... In my view, the word "Pain" should be replaced by "Time" (Even if it doesn't rhyme!) If you don't actually do it, you'll experience no progress, and you'll quickly lose interest. In that case you would miss out on a skill that can give a lifetime of fullfillment.

It is that "interest" that started you on the road to musicianship in the first place, and that same interest should carry you through to completion - at whichever level you wish to be at. With the right attitude there should be no pain involved, either mental or physical.


An art form

Music is an indispensable part of most people's lives, and more beneficial to our physical and mental health than it may at first appear.

Keyboard music training - even in its most basic form - is known to improve skills which require mental imagery.

Performing music in an ensemble environment teaches us to interact, listen and respond to others. Improvisation and Composition open up the imaginative and creative persona, whilst "Music Therapy" is at last gaining the support it deserves.


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Student resources