Matthew LaVon

Alto Sax, Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax

Lesson Fees
from $25.00 / 30 Minutes

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Thanks for choosing me as you private music instructor. I’ve enjoyed teaching music since 2001, and also have many years of experience teaching over online platforms. I specialize in teaching beginner to advanced saxophone, beginner to intermediate clarinet, beginner flute, and beginner to advanced jazz improvisation. I welcome all ages and believe that it is never too late to pick up an instrument, even if you’ve had no prior experience in music. 

I have been teaching and playing music professionally for almost 20 years and began studying music and playing the saxophone at age 11.  I currently live and work as a professional jazz musician in New York City after moving there from Philadelphia in early 2001, having graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1999 with a Bachelors in Music Performance. 

Throughout my musical career I have worked in a variety of capacities in addition to being a performer, including working as a composer and recording studio engineer. My main area of expertise is performing as a jazz saxophonist on alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, and I regularly play throughout New York City in restaurants, jazz clubs, bars and other music venues.

As a regularly performing musician in New York City, I can be seen every Sunday night at Ba'sik (a very popular bar in Williamsburg Brooklyn) where I lead an open jazz jam session. A few of my adult students have even been able to reach a level in jazz improvisation that they've been able to come out and sit in with the band.

As a private music teacher, I place an emphasis on giving the student an in depth understanding of his or her instrument, and I place the utmost importance on explaining advanced concepts in the simplest of terms in order to insure that the student fully comprehends the objectives of each lesson. Such concepts that I cover regularly are sight-reading, ear-training, technique, and creativity.   

Any student, regardless of age or experience level, learns best when engaged in an activity that he or she understands and enjoys. Part of my success as a teacher can be attributed to my willingness to take into account every student's particular musical interests and strengths, and attempt to teach directly to those areas. For instance, in the initial stages of developing a student and teacher relationship, I like to request that the student compile a "wish list" of approximately ten pieces of music that he or she would like to be able to play. This list may include pieces in such genres as classical, jazz, and popular music, just to name a few. It is through this list that the student can begin almost immediately learning exactly what he or she likes, and by default, I can then teach the student all of the technical components needed to perform on his or her instrument, as well as determine the specific areas where the student needs to receive more focused instruction. More importantly, this "thinking outside of the box," customized approach provides a fun atmosphere and enables the student to enjoy learning the art of playing music by not being solely dependent on instructional booklets which many students, regardless of age and experience, find boring and tedious. 

Although I am new to, I've had taught through other companies since 2008. Here you will find screenshots of my review page from another website, so that you can see the positive testimonials of almost 90 other students who have been very satisfied over the years.

I prefer to structure each of my students' lessons based on their particular interests, so I do spend a lot of time customizing each lesson for each student.  I do use a few method books in order to get started and so that we can monitor progress.  For beginning students, I like to use Essential Elements for band.  For my more advanced students who are interested in learning jazz, we will use material from these texts: Basic Jazz Concepts for Saxohone, The Realbook, and The Charlie Parker Omnibook. I also suggest that the student download the app "iReal Pro". 

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