The life time value of learning Breathing Techniques
It is interesting to note that some studies suggest people who play wind instruments are less likely to suffer from the affects of asthma. Whether this is true or not, learning correct breathing techniques is helpful in many areas of life. Wind instrument players receive extra health benefits simply by learning to play their instrument.
Choosing an instrument
Good quality, affordable student clarinets are usually made of a durable plastic product. The more expensive wooden clarinets will provide a more professional sound, but need special care to keep them out of temperature extremes and free from damage. Along with the instrument itself you will need reeds, a cleaning set and cork grease. Clarinets are relatively easy and fun to play at beginner level but as for all wind instruments regular practice is required to develop a strong and stable embouchure (mouth position).
The alto sax is the beginner’s choice. The alto requires less air than the tenor and there is a lot of music written for the alto sax.
The saxophone is not as prone to “squeak” like the clarinet or sound airy and flat like the flute at the beginning, however, as for any other instrument proper technique must be followed for successful playing. As for all instruments, purchase the best quality you can afford.
Care and cleaning of the sax will require a pull through and reed case. You could possibly buy other simple tools for reed care such as a trimmer and re surfacer, however these are not necessary at first. A new player goes through many reeds so it is better to use a beginner’s brand such as Rico or Juno at first going on to the more expensive Vandoren brand once some experience has been gained. You will also need a well fitted neck strap as the instrument is heavy.
A music stand will make practising at home much easier, and encourage correct posture, whether sitting or standing as the music stand can be adjusted according to height. The cheaper thin wire fold up stands may be suitable for transporting, but for home use the more sturdy, flat, metal, height adjustable stand will provide better support for your music.
All clarinet/saxophone lessons include rhythm taught separately on percussion or drums.
Children who have been through the Early Learning Music program will easily transition to clarinet or saxophone.
Lessons include playing along with various CD tracks, playing duets, playing along with percussion.
A range of method books are used at Music Matters including Hal Leonard, Alfred and the Progressive Series. Students are also welcome to bring their own books to lesson. Theory lessons are an integral part of clarinet/saxophone tuition.