Simon Spillett

Award Winning Saxophonist

Saxophone Tuition: everything you always wanted to know about sax but were afraid to ask.

Interested in getting more from your saxophone? Reached a plateau or even an obstacle? Feel like you need some fresh input? Are you self-taught and need a bit of guidance? Getting into jazz improvisation but finding it difficult knowing where to start? Taking the instrument up again after a lengthy break? 

Like a lot of professional musicians, I often have people come up to me after gigs asking whether I teach. The answer usually depends on what they want to learn. When I studied the saxophone with Vic Ash in my teens, I had consciously chosen a performer rather than a "teacher" as I knew I'd gain insights that can only come from a musician who was out there playing for the public. It was a choice that stood me in good stead - true, I may have learned more of the academic aspects of music through a classical teaching method but it certainly wouldn't have been as enjoyable, nor would I have felt so much first-hand connection to the music I love. To me, the ultimate purpose of teaching should be - how can I help a student achieve his or her goals? You'd be amazed at how many people never bother to ask what a student wants to achieve on their instrument. Identifying this is, to my mind, the fundamental basis of all good instrumental tuition and remains at the core of my own methods.

I now offer saxophone tuition covering technique, improvisation and harmony as well as group performance (classes for jazz ensembles of all sizes), jazz listening/history and developing repertoire.

I am prepared to travel to teach either individual students or groups, drawing on over twenty years experience as a professional musician. Teaching sessions are tailored to what you the student wish to cover, whether that be polishing up existing techniques, dealing with a specific gear-related issue (horns, mouthpieces, reeds etc.) or simply getting to grips with improvisation - this is not a regimented "through the grades" system! (Please note: I do not teach total beginners). It could range from finally getting to grips with those scales to simply blowing through some tunes together.

Sessions can be booked on a one-off basis (or, if you've had a lesson before, as a "top up") or a part of a series designed to help the student progress in structured stages. The only essential requirement is that you are prepared to work hard at what we cover!

If you are interested in lessons, please email me simonspill@aol.com 

Simon Spillett