Saxophone Lessons in Mississauga

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Saxophone Lessons in Mississauga

Learn to play the saxophone in-person & online

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Is The Saxophone Hard To Learn?

You would like to learn to play the saxophone but you are wondering: Is the saxophone hard to play? Do I need to sign up for saxophone lessons somewhere near me to learn to play the sax, or I can take them online?

The truth is the saxophone is not difficult to play but regardless of your previous skill level, to master playing this instrument you do need highly-knowledgeable and experienced instructions that can provide private, one on one saxophone lessons tailored to your learning style.

We at Mississauga Fine Arts Academy offer you the best chance to learn to play the saxophone from some of the best saxophone teachers in Ontario.

Regardless of your previous knowledge and saxophone playing skills, our teachers will support you, your learning style, special considerations, and will guide you every step of the way to help you master this instrument. It is of course faster and easier if you already have some experience or knowledge about any woodwind instrument, like the clarinet, but any self-disciplined and dedicated person can easily start from the very beginning and succeed.

Our music school offers beginner level saxophone lessons for anyone interested in this instrument and advanced level saxophone lessons for anyone with previous saxophone playing knowledge and skills.

We strive to match you with one of our talented instructors that will inspire you to practice and help you build your fundamental skills, which in return will guarantee your success.

We Teach Saxophone Lessons

Our highly accredited music teachers have received their music education from prestigious institutions such as The University of Toronto, Humber College, York University, Conservatory Berklee College of Music, Glenn Gould Professional School, McGill University Faculty of Music, to name a few. 

Our music school offers a cutting-edge curriculum developed in collaboration with the Royal Conservatory of Music providing our students access to a nationally accredited program and giving them an excellent foundation in their music education. Our music teachers will work with you to prepare you for every level of your Royal Conservatory of Music examinations (RCM exams).

Our music students look forward to participating in their organized recitals and many music festivals and events across Ontario.

Our students come for in-person private saxophone lessons not only from Mississauga, but also from Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Etobicoke, and the Greater Toronto Area. This is a testimony to the quality of the music lessons provided at the Mississauga Fine Arts Academy and the satisfaction of our students.

For any of you interested in online saxophone lessons our music school provides the same quality private saxophone lessons online, anywhere in the world.

What Is A Saxophone?

The saxophone (also referred to as the sax) is a wind instrument (aerophone) belonging to the subcategory of woodwind instruments. Even though most saxophones are made of metal (brass) the sax is classified as a woodwind instrument due to the way it produces its sound. The saxophone has a mouthpiece with a single oscillating reed traditionally made of wood. Nowadays the mouthpiece can be made of other materials like hard rubber, fiberglass, metal, or plastic. The size of the reed and the mouthpiece varies according to the size and type of the saxophone.

The body of the saxophone is a conical metal tube with around 24 openings (tone holes) controlled by padded keys and 2 small vent holes allowing for playing music in upper registers. 

The soprano and sopranino saxophones are designed like a straight conical tube with a flared bell opposite the mouthpiece.

The alto and other larger saxophones have a detachable neck just above the highest tone hole. The set of curves near the bell is a distinctive feature of the saxophone.

Saxophone

The most popular is the alto saxophone

Saxophone Parts

The natural range of the saxophone

Saxophone range depiction

Types Of Saxophones

The saxophone is available in several different types allowing saxophone players to choose the one that best suits their needs, skill set, and personality. There are five most common saxophone types:

  • Soprano saxophone
  • Alto saxophone
  • Tenor saxophone
  • Baritone saxophone
  • Bass saxophone

Other saxophone types:

  • Sopranino saxophone
  • Sopranissimo saxophone
  • Mezzo-soprano saxophone
  • C-Soprano saxophone
  • C-Melody saxophone
  • Contrabass saxophone
  • Sub-contrabass saxophone
  • Tubax

At the outset of your studies, you could rent a saxophone until you are sure what type of saxophone you would like to play.

Here Is How To Play The Saxophone

The most played and beginner-friendly saxophone is the alto saxophone. It gives the player the choice to play a variety of music genres and styles, like classical orchestral music, blues, jazz, and rock and roll music.

  • The first step in learning to play the saxophone is learning the proper positioning of the body, hands, and mouth

  • The saxophone can be played sitting or standing

  • Beginner saxophone players could get familiar with the instrument better if they are sitting down on a straight back chair when playing with both feet planted on the ground and the right leg supporting the instrument so it doesn’t bang against the chair

  • The player should sit up straight and avoid slouching

  •  A neck strap will help hold the saxophone in position along with both hands on either side of the instrument

  • The right thumb rests under the lower thumb rest and the right-hand fingers wrap around the saxophone and rest on the bottom three keys

  • The lower thumb rest allows the player to move the saxophone and also hold it firmly while playing 

  • The left thumb rests on the upper thumb rest, a key that is in the middle of the backside of the saxophone’s neck

  • The left-hand fingers wrap around and rest on the three keys on the upper part of the neck

  • The players bottom lip is drawn taut over the bottom teeth, the tip of the mouthpiece is placed over the bottom lip and the top teeth rest over the mouthpiece  

  • The mouth should then create an airtight seal over the mouthpiece

  • The proper mouth position while playing the saxophone is called “embouchure”

  • The next step is to blow air into the saxophone, making adjustments to the mouth positioning until a clear sound is produced by the instrument

  • Pressing the top 3 keys with the left hand will play B, A, and G notes

  • Pressing the bottom 3 keys with the right hand will play F, D, and E notes

A Brief History Of The Saxophone

The first saxophone was invented by Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax, (hence the name saxophone), a Belgian instrument maker in Paris in 1846. The first saxophone was made of wood.

The saxophone in this image was made by Adolphie Sax in 1857 and was constructed from wood. Later he will switch the material from wood to brass.

Adolphie Sax was first a flutist and clarinetist. Prior to the invention of the saxophone, he worked on improving the bass clarinet and succeeded in extending its range. He continued experimenting with the bass clarinet by adding keys and improving its acoustics. Furthermore, he made changes to the mouthpiece of the clarinet leading to the invention of the single-reed mouthpiece and the saxophone. He made several types and sizes of saxophones in the 1840s and requested patents. He received a fifteen-year patent for the saxophone on the 28th of June,1846, which included fourteen different versions of the instrument. His saxophones were largely used by the French military bands.

When Adolphie Sax’s patent expired in 1866, other instrument makers continued the development and the improvement of the saxophone. This included adding extra keys and alternate fingerings to allow for playing certain passages with ease.

First Saxophone - made of wood

One notable advancement was the use of the left thumb to operate both tone holes using a single octave key, which is still common in today’s saxophones. 

Other advances came in the 1930s and 1940s by the woodwind and brass instrument makers C.G. Conn, King Musical Instruments, and Henri Selmer Paris. The modern saxophone, as we know it today, is based on Selmer’s “Balanced Action” saxophone. This sax had balanced key work and distribution of weight. This was followed by the “Super Action” saxophone, which was launched in 1948, and the “Selmer Mark VI” that was refined, manufactured, and widely used in the golden age of jazz in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1980s Selmer launched the first of the three “Super Action 80” series of saxophones.

The quest was to improve the saxophone’s acoustics, intonation, tone, and ergonomics.

Famous Classical Saxophone Players

The saxophone is used in many genres and styles of music, most notably in jazz music.

 

Well-known classical saxophone players include:

  • Marcel Mule - one of the greatest French classical saxophonists. Many classical pieces for the saxophone were written for him, arranged, and premiered by him, a true sax legend
  • Sigurd Rascher - attributed as one of the most influential classical saxophone players in the 20th century

In this video, you can learn more about the influence of Mule and Rascher on the acceptance of the saxophone in classical music and saxophone quartet formations:

Saxophone history
Play Video

In the 20th and 21st centuries, many classical compositions included the saxophone. Its use includes opera, choral music, saxophone quartets, chamber music, orchestras, and even musical theatre.

Classical composers and compositions include:

1901

Claude Debussy

Rapsodie pour Orchestre et Saxophone
[Rhapsody for orchestra and saxophone]

1901

1934

Alexander Glazunov

The Concerto in E flat major for alto saxophone and string orchestra, Op.109

1934

1958

Erland von Koch

Saxophone Concerto

1958

1995

Phillip Glass

Concerto for Saxophone Quartet

1995

2013

John Adams

Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra

2013

Greatest Jazz Saxophone Players

Greatest Jazz Saxophone Players
  • Lester Young - known as “Pres” or “Prez”, is an American tenor saxophonist from the mid-1930s jazz scene in Kansas City who introduced jazz saxophone improvisations that provided the basis for the modern saxophone jazz solo

  • Coleman Hawkins - also one of very well known American Jazz musician who like Young, delivered many harmonically complex improvisations that demanded the listeners' full attention

  • Charlie Parker - also called “Bird” or “Yardbird”, American alto saxophonist, composer and bandleader, who is considered together with trumpeter Louis Armstrong and  saxophonist Ornette Coleman as one of the greatest geniuses in jazz music

  • John Coltrane - known as “Trane”, American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader, considered to be one of the most iconic figures of 20th-century jazz
  • Ornette Coleman - American Jazz musician, tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He is known as the initiator and the best leader of the free jazz movement in the late 1950s. In 2005 Coleman with a quartet with two double bass, drummer and Coleman on saxophone, trumpet and violin, he recorded “Sound Grammar” for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for music in 2007

  • Sonny Rollins - also known as “Newk” is an American tenor saxophonist, considered to be one of the finest saxophone improvisers in the 1950s. He has been awarded many awards including two Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, and Kennedy Centre Honors

  • Art Pepper - an American alto and tenor saxophonist known for his beautiful improvisations on alto saxophone and influential figure in West Coast jazz (Cool jazz)

In this 1950s video, you can hear Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins playing jazz compositions on alto saxophone:

Charlie Parker & Coleman Hawkins
Play Video

Rock & Roll and Other Genres Saxophone Players

Kenny G. Playing Saxophone
Play Video
Jim Rolland - Jimmy Sax Playing Saxophone
Play Video
David A. Stewart and Candy Dulfer playing Lily Was Here
Play Video

What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Play The Saxophone

Learning to play any instrument has been proven to be beneficial in many ways. The saxophone is no exception. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved cognitive function of the brain

  • Improved sensory and motor skills

  • Promotes discipline, patience, persistence, and discipline

  • Reduces stress and improves the player’s overall health and wellness

  • Promotes creativity and boosts confidence

  • Learning to play the saxophone involves breathing techniques that improve lung capacity

Benefits of Learning to Play Saxophone

The sound produced when playing the saxophone can be adjusted and modified, in terms of pitch and volume among other things. With the help of many breathing techniques taught by a qualified instructor, the sax player can have better control over the quality of the sound produced by their saxophone. Many saxophone players not too long after starting to play the instrument are able to produce distinct tones and notes. The progression from beginner to intermediate level saxophone lessons is said to be faster than with other instruments.

Instruments We Teach & Tuition

Our Academy of Music provides the highest quality saxophone lessons as well as many other different types of private music lessons. Our music school has a wide selection of teachers. And to accommodate your busy schedules and lesson preferences, we provide private in class music lessons in Mississauga, Ontario (Peel Region) and online lessons, including:

  • Piano Lessons
  • Classical Guitar Lessons,
  • Bass Lessons, and Ukulele lessons
  • Voice lessons and Harmony lessons
  • Violin lessons and Cello lessons
  • Drum lessons
  • Saxophone Lessons, Clarinet lessons, and Flute lessons
  • Brass instrument lessons including Trumpet lessons
  • Music theory lessons and Music History lessons

We provide one on one private music classes for children and adults, including RCM theory classes, in person at our convenient Mississauga location and online saxophone lessons and other types of music lessons.

Our current rate is $33.00 per 30-minute private guitar lesson.

Lessons are scheduled once a week and available seven days a week. There is a one-time registration fee of $25.00.

No prior musical experience is required to start lessons. 

Learning to play the saxophone will bring joy to your life and boost your creativity. Come and become a member of the Mississauga Fine Arts Academy music family! We will ignite your talent within and help you become the best musician you can be.

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