Originally from New Zealand Brent Stanton began playing music professionally at age 16, performing and recording there.
In 1978 he moved to Australia to continue study saxophone, flute, clarinet and composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This led to an ongoing and varied performance, recording and teaching career in many music genres over a period of 10 years. Performance venues included live concerts, Broadway shows and many film and television soundtracks.
In 1980 Brent received the Don Banks Fellowship Award from the Australian Arts Council, which led to intensive studies in the USA for 10 months. There he studied with Al Regni (flute and clarinet), Eddie Daniels (saxophone, flute and clarinet), Dennis Smiley (bass clarinet), Nick Brignola (baritone saxophone) and Jamey Aebersold (jazz improvisation and teaching).
Upon returning to Australia in 1981, he formed the Sydney Jazz Quintet. For over 5 years, this group toured throughout Australia – performing and teaching in schools by day and performing in nighttime concerts. The project, funded and overseen by the Musica Viva arts organization partnering with the New South Wales Board of Education included diverse music groups including the Sydney Jazz Quintet, The Sydney String Quartet, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and Capella Corelli. This program afforded unique performance and teaching experiences not available to many musicians. Brent designed the curriculum for jazz study used by the primary and secondary school teachers in conjunction with the group’s visit to each school.
In 1987 Brent returned the US again for music study, met his wife-to-be and moved permanently to New York shortly after, where he enjoyed an extensive music career as a saxophone, flute and clarinet player, and teacher, again across many music genres.
He returned to study further at Manhattan School of Music in 1991 – flute with Linda Chesis, saxophone with Bob Mintzer and improvisation studies with Garry Dial. In 1998 he decided to concentrate solely on a flute and in 2000, released the CD “The Sign Of The Kiwi”. Check tracks out on iTunes and Spotify.
Over the past 20 years, he has also worked at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in a variety of administrative and executive positions. Brent was Director of Chapter Relations from 2002-2005, and for the past 12 years, has been the Executive Director of the Daytime Emmy Awards.
Brent has continued to perform music over this time. Over the years living in NYC, he attended and learned much from the Barry Harris Workshops. In 2009 he began private study again with Garry Dial, and continues to develop his own playing and teaching systems based on the influences and study systems of Garry and Charlie Banacos. He has most recently also been studying flute with the renowned Keith Underwood.
He is a father of 18 year boy/girl twins and loves the balance of inner city New York City living - and all its stimulation and inspiration - with a small house in Upstate New York and the great outdoors! (After all, he is still a Kiwi!).
I am passionate about teaching students improvisation techniques - melodic, harmonic and rhythmic - primarily those that have a jazz basis, but I actively encourage students to apply these techniques to any of the musical styles they love. Over many years of playing and teaching experience I have learned, developed, integrated and updated systematic approaches, honing them for both my own playing and for my students.
I teach improvisation to all ages, all instruments and voice, from beginner to advanced. I have a very flexible approach to my teaching style and to the content I include, depending entirely on the goals of an individual student. I can go very deeply in to practice strategies and ideas - and go even further for those who love to "geek-out" - but I try to be sensitive to the desires and the time that a student may have. I create an individualized plan for each person, one that is manageable and allows them to feel successful. I have every student, no matter their "main" instrument or level, integrate piano keyboard study, in order to fully understand and hear harmonic fundamentals and the relationship to their improvisations.
I teach flute playing, with a basis of classic tone production and articulation, but I do use a "jazz" approach to scale and pattern practice and in general I will refer more often to the jazz repertoire.
My goal as a teacher is to unlock the unique voice that every person possesses, but most importantly to bring an element of fun to the study process. We "Play" music rather than "Work" music! Based on each individual's personal music goals, I generally create an individualized study strategy blending listening, transcribing, melodic, rhythmic and harmonic study as applied to traditional jazz and contemporary repertoire. I have many self-created documents, audio and video which I upload to the student Lessonface dashboard along with links to audio and video examples to artists who demonstrate mastery of particular elements. I will recommend other books and texts if I feel they could be helpful in further study and encourage everyone to share their own personal or online discoveries. I want to ensure each person feels they are receiving a complete music "literacy." In order for every student to hear and feel the music, I incorporate piano keyboard study and rhythmic exercises using a student's primary instrument, voice, hands and feet!