Willem Moolenbeek has performed in Canada and the US as soloist with orchestras and bands, in recital and pop groups. His tone has been described by one reviewer as “setting a standard for tonal elegance in the world of reed playing”.
As a proponent of new works for his instrument he has premiered and recorded works by many Canadian composers. He taught saxophone at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from 1987 to 2017 and is an artist/clinician for Jupiter Instruments and Vandoren reeds. A result of his long tenure at a post secondary institution is that he now teaches the students of his students. He currently teaches for the University of Waterloo (Conrad Grebel University College).
His work has been featured in Saxophone Journal and he has written articles for many publications including Canadian Musician, Saxophone Journal and the Journal of the Ontario Music Educators' Association.
Scheduling: The times given on the website are generally a good place to start, but as the season develops the schedule may change. We can deal with any changes once we have established communication. If none of the listed times is suitable for our first session send me a note and we can look for an alternate.
As a saxophone specialist I teach beginning to advanced players. I am encouraging and find a pace that complements the learning style and needs of the student. I often have students come to me to analyze their playing and suggest corrections for problems they have developed. I am familiar with much of the standard repertoire and can prepare students for recitals, competitions and auditions. My goal is to enable students to develop a great sound and fluid technique that will allow them to play whatever music they choose with confidence.
Are you a beginner? I have started players of all ages. Correct techniques at the beginning will result in pleasing results and confidence. I can help with the selection of an instrument. Many former students have careers as players and educators. I have worked with elementary and high school students at the National Music Camp of Canada every summer since 1987. I will teach you how to read music as well as how to play. The first lessons of younger students , ages 9-12, should be attended by a parent to assist with instrument and teaching space setup.
The instrument must be in good working order. There are many moving parts and it should be tested by a competent player or technician prior to starting lessons online. I like to work with the Rubank series of instructional books. These are readily available and inexpensive.
Experienced player? I can help correct counterproductive habits and improve sound and technique. I teach on two university music faculties and can prepare you for auditions. Play with confidence and enjoyment any music you wish to play. Learn advanced techniques: vibrato, overtones, altissimo, multiphonics, flutter tongue, growling, circular breathing and more. Many of my students play in school and community bands. Former students are professional players and teachers in schools and colleges.
In all cases we can develop a practice routine to keep your progress on track. Remember that practicing, even a little, every day is the best way to develop your skills and the muscles required for success and enjoyment on any instrument.
The times given on the website are generally a good place to start, but as the season develops the schedule may change. We can deal with any changes once we have established communication. In the fall and winter I will also have university classes that I will need to fit into the week.
"Willem is an excellent saxophone educator: patient but relentless demanding attention to tone and proper technique."
-Juan E. Muñoz, MD and saxophone student.
"Willem is not only a professional artist on the saxophone but also a very patient, sensitive and highly motivated teacher with lots of experience. So glad to have him as my teacher!"
-Martin Giebel, pastor and saxophone student
"Willem's passion and insight as an instructor has inspired me not only to improve my performance ability but to go beyond what I thought I was capable of. I look forward to passing on his knowledge and insight to my students in the future."
-Lizuarte De Sousa, saxophonist and teacher
And from a student and his mother:
"Willem has been teaching me for four years, since I turned 11.
Willem teaches at a fast pace, and it isn't easy, but if you stay with him you will grow more than with any other teacher.
My confidence has grown a lot. I am comfortable on stage, and speaking publicly.
I have been able to join groups like the KW Symphony Youth Concert Band and Senior Bands at Eastwood Collegiate, at a younger age than most other players. And even though I'm the youngest I am respected for my playing.
I owe my playing skill to Willem.
I couldn't ask for a better teacher."
"Andrew, 15, has been working with Willem for four years.
I greatly appreciate his professional approach which keeps the program moving forward, and constantly challenges Andrew.
Willem's expectations are very high, and when Andrew earns praise he knows that he has accomplished something significant.
As Andrew's ability increased Willem facilitated opportunities to support this growth. Willem prepared Andrew for auditions, and recommended him for participation at National Music Camp, where he instructs. These experiences have allowed Andrew to grow not only as a saxophonist, but as a person as well.
Willem is a valued saxophone teacher, mentor and role model."