Studio

 

Saxophone Studio Overview

One of my favorite elements of being a teacher is the one-to-one relationship in private lessons.  Over the course of private study, I’ve had students receive accolades in district, regional, state, and even national auditions.  Likewise, I’ve also had students that are studying saxophone as a secondary musical element and are just wanting to have better familiarity and facility on the instrument.

I teach almost all students both concert classical and jazz styles.  I feel that as a saxophonist, you should at least be equipped to approach any type of music written for the instrument.  Regardless of idiom, students will work to develop their music literacy, refine a characteristic tone, advance their basics and technique, organize a practice routine, and expand their repertoire.

Here are example grade-level technique and repertoire expectations:

8th Grade — Can play full-range chromatic scale and major scales two octaves (4s-4f) from memory.  Can perform a half-page lyrical etude and half-page technical etude with minor error.  Can perform a whole-page solo piece with minor error.  Can improvise over a 12-bar blues.

10th Grade — Can play full-range chromatic scale and major and minor scales two octaves (4s-4f) from memory.  Can perform a full-page lyrical etude and full-page technical etude with minor error.  Can perform a multi-movement contrasting solo piece with minor error.  Can identify and play vocabulary over five primary chords (major, dominant, minor, half-diminished, whole-diminished) in a set of chord changes.

12th Grade — Can play full-range chromatic scale and major and minor scales full-range from memory, as well as various modes.  Can perform a full-page lyrical etude and full-page technical etude with minor error.  Can perform a multi-movement masterworks solo piece with minor error.  Can play head tunes of jazz standards and improvise serval chorus from memory.  Can transcribe short excerpts and commit vocabulary to memory.

Practice Routine Examples

Current Studio Members


Wren Wilkins is currently an eighth grader at Platte City Middle School. She has played saxophone for four years. Wren has been a member of the NWMMEA All-District Junior High Band for two years and has earned honors in the All-District Jazz Band, as well. For fun, Wren enjoys reading, playing sports, and going on trips.  When she grows up, Wren plans on becoming a brain surgeon, but continuing her passion of playing saxophone.


Kade Meinke is currently an eighth grader at Platte City Middle School. He has played saxophone for three years. Kade has been a member of the NWMMEA Junior High All-District Band for two years and has earned honors in the All-District Jazz Band, as well. For fun, Kade enjoys reading, playing sports, and going on trips.  When Kade grows up, he plans on becoming a physical trainer, but continuing his passion of playing saxophone.


Ella Lowstetter is a freshman at Platte County High School; she has been playing saxophone for four years.  She has earned honors in the NWMMEA All-District Jazz Band.  She plays in the PCHS Pride Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups.  Ella is one of eight siblings and enjoys spending time with her family.  She plans on going to college to study music and becoming a music teacher.


Andreas Kellepouris is a sophomore at Platte County High School.  He has been playing saxophone for five years.  Andreas has earned honors in both the NWMMEA All-District Band and Jazz Band.  As well, Andreas made Honorable Mention for the Missouri All-State Band and “gold” ratings at state contest.  Andreas plays in the PCHS Pride Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups.  Andreas loves sports and riding bikes.  He hopes to one day become John Coltrane.


Landon Talley is a junior at Platte County High School.  He has been playing saxophone for six years.  Landon has earned honors in the the NWMMEA All-District Jazz Band.  Landon plays in the PCHS Pride Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups.  Landon loves baseball, riding his bike, and flying airplanes.  After high school, Landon hopes to get his pilot’s license and become a full-time pilot and fly people all over the world.


Ethan Light is a junior at Platte County High School.  He has been playing saxophone for six years.  Ethan has earned honors in the NWMEEA All-District Jazz Band.  Ethan plays in the PCHS Marching Pride Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups.  Ethan loves playing board games, card games, and video games in his free time as well as participating in the debate team.  Ethan plans to study music in college and become a music teacher.


Carter Beucher is a senior at Platte County High School.  He has been playing saxophone for seven years.  He earned second chair in the Missouri All-State Band and lead alto in the All-State Jazz Band as well as “gold” ratings at state contest.  He has attended the Interlochen Saxophone Academy and was selected for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.  As well, Carter was an inaugural fellow for Kansas City Area Youth Jazz.  Carter plans to study music in college and become a professional musician and teacher.


Jake Richardson is a senior at Platte County High School.  He has been playing saxophone for seven years.  He earned honors in both the Missouri All-State Band and All-State Jazz Band as well as “gold” ratings at state contest.  Jake was selected for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.  As well, Jake was a drum major for the Platte County Pride Marching Band.  Jake plans to study engineering in college, but still continue his love for music and jazz.


Will Duncan is a senior at Smithville High School.  He has been playing saxophone for seven years.  He made the Missouri All-State Band two consecutive years and has earned “gold” ratings at state contest.  Will also earned honors three years in the NWMMEA All-District Band.  He enjoys playing baseball, playing drums, and singing outside of saxophone.  Will plans to study engineering in college, but still continue his love for making music.


Alumni Studio Members


Emilio Alvarez graduated from Staley High School in 2019.  He made honors several years with the KCMMEA All-District Band and All-District Jazz Band.  As well, he earned many “gold” ratings at state contest.  Emilio was an inaugural fellow for Kansas City Area Youth Jazz.  Emilio plans to attend UMKC to study with Stephen Martin and pursue Jazz Studies as well as get trade school training in becoming a mechanic.


Payton Beucher graduated from Platte County High School in 2019.  He made honors several years with the NWMMEA All-District Band on clarinet and All-District Jazz Band on saxophone.  As well, he earned many “gold” ratings at state contest.  Payton was accepted and attended NYU’s Broadway Winds program in New York City.  Payton plans to attend UMKC to study with Stephen Martin and pursue Jazz Studies as well as continue study in multiple woodwinds to perform Broadway shows.


Austin Allen graduated from Platte County High School in 2019.  He made the Missouri All-State Band and All-State Choir as well as reciting several “gold” ratings at state contest.  Austin attended the Interlochen Saxophone Institute and was selected and attended the NAfME All-American Concert Band.  As well, Austin was selected as a finalist for the Northwinds Concerto Competition.  He was also a drum major of the PCHS Pride Marching Band.  Austin is studying music at Truman State University.


Dre Tolbert graduated from Platte County High School in 2019.  He made the Missouri All-State Choir and received many “gold” ratings at state contest for vocal events.  Dre also was selected and attended the Vocal Institute at Westminster Choir College. In addition, Dre studied electric bass and classical piano.  Currently, Dre is a freshman at William Jewell College studying both instrumental music and voice in effort to become a well-rounded music educator.


John Taylor graduated from Platte County High School in 2018.  He made honors in both the NWMMEA All-District Band and All-District Jazz Band as well as received many “gold” ratings at state contest.  During his time at PCHS, John performed in the Pride Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups. Currently, John is a sophomore at Northwest Missouri State University studying mass media while still remaining active in his saxophone playing.


John Morrione graduated from Platte County High School in 2017.  He made honors in both the NWMMEA All-District Band and All-District Jazz Band as well as received many “gold” ratings at state contest.  During his time at PCHS, John performed in the Pride Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and jazz groups. John was also a drum major of the PCHS Pride Marching Band.  Currently, John is a junior at Truman State University studying chemistry while still remaining active in his saxophone playing.


 

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