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Beginner A New Learning Experience


Daydream Believer
County Limerick Ireland
Not so much a question...but brief feedback on my experience of my first Skype sax lesson, today.

It was with Nigel McGill (from Sax School and He's an Australian sax player based in the UK, with a very good pedigree (West End shows as performer and musical director - including "The Rat Pack" amongst others).

As a teacher of adults in higher education, myself - and someone who has employed university lecturers - I can be fairly picky about the teaching methods of others. I was also fairly sceptical about how well a Skype lesson would work. And, if I'm honest, having only had 5 months practice, I felt a bit daunted by the thought of exposing my playing (if I can call it that at all) to someone of his calibre.

The first thing he did was chat. Had I been told that 15 minutes of the lesson would be taken up with general chat, I might have cancelled. But actually it was all very relevant and not only did it help to make a connection - which is not always easy with a new teacher/student relationship, and certainly not helped by the fact that we were in diferent countries - but also he answered in a few minutes questions about reeds and mouthpieces that had been bugging me for some time.

He is a very amiable man, which helped to make the connection and assauged some of my fears about playing for him. My comment that a mouthpiece he recommends on the Sax School website wasn't working for me, resulted in us both having a good laugh.

His comments about my playing were all extremely positive but also very contructive, and I will be working hard to improve my tone, as recommended, but not feeling that my tone is especially bad, at the same time. I learned a lot about tonguing - and actually overcame a concern I had about how often to tongue during a tune, and I could see the real improvement in my own playing just from tonguing more frequently.

I feel that I have learned so much more than I expected to, in the hour, and it dispelled any concerns that I would have had about being taught via a computer screen. It has really encouraged me to work even harder on my playing.

Even though I will be starting a series of lesson with a new teacher (in the same room) next week I will be back in a couple of weeks for another lesson.

Overall, a very valuable experience and one I would recommend to anyone.
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Cafe Moderator
Cheshire UK
Thanks for the update, so pleased you got a lot out of it.

Onwards and upwards :)



Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Yes. Keep us posted. That is most interesting.

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