Teachers Taster lesson

Discussion in 'Teaching' started by MandyH, May 18, 2017 at 10:33 PM.

  1. MandyH

    MandyH Sax-Mad fiend!

    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    The Malverns, Worcs
    Positive Ratings:
    +1,274
    If you were going to teach a taster lesson to an adult who has never played any instrument (and doesn't read music) what would you teach?

    Would you attempt to teach a well know tune using a few notes?

    Obviously, the first challenge is to get any notes out of the sax (alto), but I am trying to decide what is the best outcome; what would inspire the pupil to come back for more etc.

    I have been asked to give a trial lesson, but it's not something I've done before and I want this one session to inspire.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads - Taster lesson Forum Date
    What to expect from first lesson.... Teaching Feb 28, 2017
    Another lesson? Teaching Jan 20, 2017
    Bob Reynolds Online Lessons Opinions... Teaching Dec 16, 2015

  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff Cafe Moderator

    Messages:
    9,446
    Location:
    Sunny Southampton
    Positive Ratings:
    +4,120
    Normally I would teach a tune, by ear/memory not written notes
     
  4. Colin the Bear

    Colin the Bear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,582
    Location:
    Burnley bb9 9dn
    Positive Ratings:
    +6,779
    For a complete novice. How to put the reed on the mouthpiece. How to put the mouthpiece on the crook. How to put the crook on the body. How to attach and adjust the sling. How to hold the instrument. Where to put your fingers. Which end to blow (kidding). How to form an embouchure. Lets try a note. Finger positions for G major scale. Lesson over. Home work for next lesson. Learn G major and 3 blind mice.
     
  5. MandyH

    MandyH Sax-Mad fiend!

    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    The Malverns, Worcs
    Positive Ratings:
    +1,274
    I agree with all of this. But there is no guaranteed next lesson. This is just a one off trial. It is a birthday present to the adult pupil from their spouse. I would just like to get far enough to hang together an opening few bars to a tune they know / recognise, with the hope that they feel inspired to get an instrument and keep learning.

    (I know instant gratification is unlikely in a 30 minute session, it took me weeks to even get a decent note out of the thing, but...)
     
  6. jbtsax

    jbtsax old and opinionated

    Messages:
    5,092
    Location:
    Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
    Positive Ratings:
    +6,173
    30 Minute first lesson
    • Teacher select the proper strength reed and put it on the mouthpiece
    • Have the student work on the mouthpiece + neck till he/she can hold a tone at the proper pitch 8 counts
    • Assemble the saxophone and show how to finger B, A, and G in the first octave
    • Have the student play each of those notes starting the tone with a "tu" syllable.
    Tell the student to go home and practice what was shown in the lesson and figure out how to play as many 3 note songs as they can.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. trimmy

    trimmy One day i will...

    Messages:
    8,372
    Location:
    Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
    Positive Ratings:
    +4,518
    Wouldn't C major be the first scale ?
     
  8. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

    Messages:
    18,977
    Location:
    Just north of Munich
    Positive Ratings:
    +5,436
    Given the circumstances. I'd think fingers, single note. Then if time a simple tune would be best. If there are more lessons, then do the more academic stuff and assembly etc.
     
  9. Jeanette

    Jeanette Organizress Cafe Moderator

    Messages:
    18,483
    Location:
    Cheshire UK
    Positive Ratings:
    +6,546
    Suggest to purchaser 30 mins isn't sufficient time?


    Jx
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. tenorviol

    tenorviol Full of frets in North Shropshire

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    Whitchurch, North Shropshire
    Positive Ratings:
    +1,975
    Not on a sax for a novice as GAB are much more like key to sound than either octave CDE
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. tenorviol

    tenorviol Full of frets in North Shropshire

    Messages:
    3,944
    Location:
    Whitchurch, North Shropshire
    Positive Ratings:
    +1,975
    I've always had hour lessons.
     
  12. Nick Wyver

    Nick Wyver noisy

    Messages:
    5,153
    Location:
    Minster On Sea
    Positive Ratings:
    +3,000
    Don't mention the word "scale" on the first lesson.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Zugzwang

    Zugzwang Member

    Messages:
    96
    Positive Ratings:
    +33
    Speaking from the receiving sideā€¦ As long as it's not Three Blind Mice or Row Your Boat (aargh!), a tune. And if it fits the person's musical taste, so much the better. But what would make the lesson very special is if you played with them. They only need to get one note and you can give them some sort of rhythm to play, then you can make music together, it's what it's all for.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  14. Colin the Bear

    Colin the Bear Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,582
    Location:
    Burnley bb9 9dn
    Positive Ratings:
    +6,779
    G to G on alto Bb will be easiest. Low C will happen later if at all.
     
  15. brianr

    brianr Senior Member

    Messages:
    414
    Positive Ratings:
    +365
    I think learning a tune is the way.

    stay away from scales/too much theory, its far too early.

    start with getting a sound on one note. talk embouchure, teeth position ie how much mouthpiece to take. bottom lip over teeth etc etc
    talk about two ways to get from one note to the other . ie tongued or slurred . show both/difference

    demonstrate a lot.

    then on to a tune. I find God Save the Queen is good, starting on a low G, as you can get quite a recognisable lot of it done within the range of low f sharp to middle c. ie no higher octave stuff to worry about .

    30 minutes isnt long. dont rush/confuse by trying to cram in too much

    good luck
     
  16. trimmy

    trimmy One day i will...

    Messages:
    8,372
    Location:
    Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
    Positive Ratings:
    +4,518
    Yeh, i remember starting on Gmaj, it eventually came back to me o_O
     
    • Congratulations Congratulations x 1
  17. nigeld

    nigeld learner

    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Bristol
    Positive Ratings:
    +1,015
    What a nice birthday present!
    I also feel that 30 minutes is rather short.

    I presume the student doesn't own a saxophone, so I wouldn't spend any time on how to assemble or look after the instrument - have it ready for them beforehand, with the reed soaked in a glass of water.

    The 2 goals I would set for the lesson are:
    1. Getting a sound. I think it's easiest to start with just the mouthpiece and neck. Then a G. Try loud and soft.
    2. A very simple tune.

    A friend of mine just had his first lesson and managed a full G major scale. But he has played guitar, so he knew what a scale is. He is now completely hooked!
    So be ready for questions about how to continue.
     
  18. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Chief of Stuff Cafe Moderator

    Messages:
    9,446
    Location:
    Sunny Southampton
    Positive Ratings:
    +4,120
    I might initially teach the A minor scale, because then they can play either Summertime or the Snake Charming tune (one of my favourite for beginners).

    It also provides notes for part of C major, C to G so they can the play Oh When the Saints go Marching In.

    I'd be carful to balance a teaser lesson though, a bit of scale (obviously they need to learn some notes) a bit of tune, and a bit of all purpose how to put the reed on etc. An initial lesson should possibly be best as a longish lesson, at least one hour maybe one and a half.
     
  19. Dave Mac

    Dave Mac Member

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Home is Aberdeen
    Positive Ratings:
    +77
    I think everybody is being a bit too sensibly constructive - Mandy just wants the "pupil" to get the hook. I would suggest NO theory, just get the notes to play the first two (maybe four) bars of "Oh when the saints" ....... sure to be "honky" but very recognisable. And it's not a nursery rhyme!!! They'll be back for more, and more.
     
  20. mpj.brennan

    mpj.brennan Persistent Pensioner

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Rowlands Gill, UK
    Positive Ratings:
    +58
    How about asking the student what they want to play - odds on it'll be Baker Street.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  21. GJ77

    GJ77 Senior Member

    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    Dunmow, Essex.
    Positive Ratings:
    +308
    Teach g, a and b; put on a funky backing track and do some call & response phrases based upon those notes. No theory, just a little creative music making.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page #cafesaxophone