I hope you’ve had a great week. Just a reminder that TFS is closed for their fall break this week and there are no music lessons today. Here is a homework update. I’ll see you next week!



  1. Continue work on Fm etude
  2. Technique: Take a look at the chord changes for La Vie En Rose and arpeggiate them full range.
  3. La Vie En Rose: Practice embellishing melody with scoops, trills and chord tones (arpeggios)
  4. Listen to I Want To Talk About You by the John Coltrane Quartet. He embellishes things a whole lot! We’ll start by playing the pared-down melody, closer to what I played you last week. Compare the delivery of the melody to Ella Fitzgerald’s version. What is different, what is similar between them?


  1. Galper #70, #25 (slowly, but in time).
  2. Continue register switch exercise. Remember, good air support and static embouchure are key to success in jumping registers!
  3. Listen to Sonnymoon for Two and take a shot at the melody (written on your page).
  4. Listen to Glenn Miller’s version of American Patrol. This is a swing rendition of the classic – listen to how they slightly alter the melody to add more offbeats and make it more rhythmically interesting. This is called syncopation and is a key element to jazz, pop and adjacent styles of music (funk, rock, RnB, hip-hop, not to mention groove-based styles of music from all over the world).


  1. Chromatic scale, ascending in half notes at 100 bpm (two metronome beats per note), descending note-by-note out of time.
  2. Etude (handout). Aim for connected (legato) phrasing, and do your best to take deep belly breaths and play one breath per bar.
  3. Frosty the Snowman – bars 5-13.


  1. Continue chromatic scale, focusing on the transitions between notes (envision the finger changes needed, anticipating the actual physical movement).
  2. Galper 21, 22, 25 and 68*.
  3. Register switch exercise*.

* remember: when playing in the middle register or switching registers, big breaths and proper air support are necessary! If you’re having trouble, try playing a little louder (it’s often easier to play with proper support at high volumes – we’ll work on extending the support to your quieter playing as time goes on).


So nice to meet you for our lightning-round lesson this week! Some general points on technique to increase the vibration of the reed are: playing with less lip in your mouth, trying to relax the tension in your lower jaw as you play, and tonguing the beginnings of notes with the tip of the tongue touching the tip of the reed. We’ll break all of those down in our future lessons. Here’s a recap of what we looked at together. See you next week!

  1. Pick up the Voxman Selected Duets for Saxophone, Volume 1 at Amazon or our local music booksellers St. John’s Music (Eglinton and Brentcliffe) or Long and MacQuade (Bloor and Ossington).
  2. C major scale, one octave. Always start descending, then ascending; this way, you’ll learn to properly support the low register notes with good air support and minimal embouchure tension.
  3. Listen to When The Saints Go Marching In, then play through it from your sheet. Remember F# and C#!