Sam Spear is a jazz woodwind instrumentalist, composer, and educator based in Boston, MA. She creates music that explores the broad spectrum of the jazz idiom.
Currently, Spear is a second-year master’s student completing a degree in Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory. She has studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Ken Schaphorst, and Frank Carlberg. As a member of the NEC Jazz Orchestra, she has performed with Dave Holland, George Schuller, Luciana Souza, and Antonio Sanchez, among others.
Spear has been a rising voice for gender equity in the jazz community. She presented her lecture Mary Lou Williams in the Age of #MeToo at the 2019 IAWM and FT&M15 joint conference. Her advocacy work has been featured in Downbeat Magazine’s February 2019 issue and in a news story on Boston’s local NPR station, WBUR. Spear co-founded Women in Jazz Collective, a student-run organization at Berklee College of Music with the mission of empowering female and non-binary jazz musicians.
Spear graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2019, with a double major in Performance and Jazz Composition. At Berklee, Spear was awarded a Presidential Scholarship (2015-2019), the Jazz Composition Achievement Award (2017), the Woodwind Department Achievement Award (2019), and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Award (2019). She was a member of the prestigious Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra directed by Greg Hopkins. During her time at Berklee, Spear studied saxophone with Shannon LeClaire, Jim Odgren, and George Garzone. She has studied composition with Ayn Inserto, Greg Hopkins, and Bob Pilkington.
I let students guide their learning experience. I like to find out what makes them excited about music whether it's a specific artist or genre and find a way to tap into that passion to help them reach their goals.
I believe that having a strong foundation on instrumental technique is extremely important. This includes posture, breathing, finger/hand position, embouchure, tone production, and intonation.
Most importantly, music lessons should be fun! I want students to leave a lesson feeling curious, creative, and motivated to work toward their goals.
• Saxophone technique
• Clarinet technique
• Jazz improvisation
• Concert Band/Wind Ensemble repertoire
• Solo and Ensemble Contest Preparation
• Audition Preparation
• Ear Training
• Music Theory (jazz-based and 18th century tonal harmony)