Are Private School Lessons worth it?

Mr. Sax

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Rockwall, TX
I am about to finish the 5th grade and I will be playing the sax in 6th. Is enrolling in private lessons a waste of time & money? Or should I just take free online lessons?
 

Ne0Wolf7

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Long Island United States of America
I think private instructors are very helpful.
I'm not sure what you mean by free online lessons (youtube?) but a few things a live teacher will always have over an online one is to be able to hear you without the middlemen of microphone and internet, they can physically demonstrate what they are doing right in front of you, and if something may be wrong with your equipment they can test it for you or even let you use theirs (if they're generous).
Lessons are especially important at the beginning stages because a good teacher will notice your bad habits and make sure you replace them with good habits. A strong start will make any learning down the road much easier.
I would definitely say private lessons are not a waste of money.
 

randulo

18 months of alto
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There is a problem with YouTube "lessons" in that there are thousands of videos and they don't agree. A good teacher will be able to tailor their methods to your initial level and to your progress. The other thoughts above are perfectly true, too, and I agree completely. I myself take both private in-person lessons and paid online lessons. These are reasonably priced, and offer a large library of coherent resources like exercises, backing tracks and sheet music as well as the lessons with world-class professional musicians. Nothing will replace a good in-person teacher, but finding one depends on where you live, available teachers and recommendations.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Private lessons are definitely worth it as long as you have a good teacher whose style suits your needs.
 

Veggie Dave

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You've all hit the nail on the head, but there's just one teeny little problem - a beginner has no idea if a teacher's good or not.

I know some people who've been playing for 4 years and more who are still very much beginners even though they've had lessons for some if not all of that time.

Luckily Mr Sax is in the US, so should have rather more choice than we have over here.
 

jbtsax

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Anyone have thoughts on what makes a teacher good (or not)?
A comprehensive answer to this question would be voluminous. In my experience the very best private teachers have the greatest number of students and even a waiting list. "Word of mouth" gets around and folks can find out who the best teachers are by asking others in the music community.
 

stitch

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Nottingham, UK
I'm not familiar with the US educational system, but the OP asked about private school lessons, whereas the responses seem to be about external teachers.
 

jbtsax

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I'm not familiar with the US educational system, but the OP asked about private school lessons, whereas the responses seem to be about external teachers.
In the U.S. band classes are generally offered in public schools beginning as early as 4th or 5th grade. Unlike the UK the term "public schools" in the U.S. refers to those that are state funded and free of charge except for special supplies or activities. Outside of school students at all grade levels can pay to take private lessons in addition to their regular band instruction from either their band teacher or another instructor.
 
OP
Mr. Sax

Mr. Sax

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Rockwall, TX
I have a neighbor that has been playing the sax for a year now. Could it possibly be a good idea to take lessons from him if he will let me?
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I have a neighbor that has been playing the sax for a year now. Could it possibly be a good idea to take lessons from him if he will let me?
Almost certainly not, in my opinion.
Your teacher should be a professional with experience.
 
OP
Mr. Sax

Mr. Sax

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Rockwall, TX
I do not really mean to get more than a year ahead. I am just wondering if he could give me a few beginner tips & lessons.
 

jbtsax

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I do not really mean to get more than a year ahead. I am just wondering if he could give me a few beginner tips & lessons.
Teaching the fundamentals of good playing habits and skills are best done by an experienced professional teacher---especially at the beginning stages of one's playing experience.
 

Jeanette

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Playing with your neighbour will be fun though. You will learn from each other but not necessarily food things.

Keep it fun

Jx
 

randulo

18 months of alto
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What you can do is play harmonized lines with a friend who plays saxophone. That's fun and good practice.
 

thomsax

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I can't see any harm to play/meet other saxplayers. You can take private lessons as well. I try to keep together a group of saxplayers. We are around 25 persons. Most of the players are Rocksax players (contempoary sax; blues, rock *n' roll, soul, funk ......). There are some woodwind teachers in the group as well. I think this is good complement.
 
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