I talk to so many people at gigs that come up and say, "Your band's really great - I'd really love to learn to play the sax". So I say "what's stopping you?"
The response is either 'not enough time', 'I do too much already', or 'dunno' really'. But whatever the excuse, ultimately, as already stated on the front page of this website, the answer is......You!
As with anything in life, if you really want to do something you'll end up finding the time, making the time, or becoming more efficient with other things to make it possible.
So what's my background?
I was brought up in a very musical household with my brother playing just about every brass instrument and my mother and father playing the piano and singing - all to a high standard.
During my school years I studied piano to grade 8, oboe to grade 6 and dabbled with the violin and guitar. More recently I've taken and passed grade 6 theory and also completed the Certificate in Teaching from the ABRSM - an excellent teaching course covering learning styles, teaching practices and the wider issues surrounding instrument teaching.
Whilst living in Hertfordshire, I spent several years playing with Funkify - the area's premier function covers band - playing at corporate events, weddings and parties all over the country. I also played with Faultline Jazz, a St. Albans-based African-influenced blues/jazz group in pubs, restaurants and at various events. I have also played with south-east-based function bands 'Big Soul' and 'Shake, Rattle & Soul'. After moving to Cheshire in 2012, I joined the Cheshire20 Big Band and Function9 party band based in Crewe. I've now played at nearly 400 events.
I started playing the sax in my early thirties and am self-taught, benefiting greatly from the music teaching I had during my school years and the various bands I've played and gigged with.
I have a dedicated music teaching room with the latest teaching and playing aids. The range of play-along CDs currently available is a vast and beneficial resource for music learning and this makes teaching and learning alike a pleasurable and fun experience. From film scores to chart hits, show tunes to jazz standards, there's a book for all tastes, all standards and all keys (specifically Eb and Bb for the saxophone family). Visit www.ackermanmusic.co.uk for a vast selection of music and play-alongs at reasonable prices. There's also some great computer software out there to play along to and help you along the road to improvising and understanding more about chord sounds, changes and symbols.
I teach all levels, from absolute beginners upwards - and all ages. Around nine years of age is when kids are big enough to be able to hold and play an alto sax. However, Nuvo produces a fun 'mini' saxophone for younger players to start them on the road to playing the sax - these are small, plastic, lightweight and available in a choice of funky colours. Cost is around £90.
I charge £10 for half an hour and £20 for one hour.
I try to make lessons interesting, informative, but above all, fun! If you don't yet own a saxophone, most good woodwind shops offer saxes on rent/purchase/buyback schemes. The rent/purchase scheme works by renting a sax for around £25 per month (generally for up to six months) and then you buy that horn less the amount of rent you've already paid. The buyback schemes work by selling you a sax on day one, but guaranteeing a buyback price of typically 80% should you no longer want the horn after, say, six months.
If you know someone else who's always had a yearning to try the sax but never quite got round to doing anything about it, why not surprise them with a lesson as a gift? You won't even have to worry about a saxophone as I have a spare alto that can be used for a first 'try out'. Email me with your details and let's see if we can turn wishes into reality...You might find it's the best present you've ever given!
Although my first instrument is the saxophone, I studied piano while at school and passed all the ABRSM piano exams up to and including grade 8. I increasingly get asked about piano lessons so I offer these also. It's a number of years since I passed my last piano exam, but the knowledge, background and experience of playing still remains. Whether for fun, or for graded exams (both practical and music theory), I teach all ages, from absolute beginners through to intermediate level players.
So if you live in Nantwich, Wistaston, Crewe or surrounding area and fancy learning the piano or saxophone, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you to start you on the road to all things sax and piano...