Saxophone Lessons

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions & Advice Related Pages

2010 - 2014 Recommendations

Saxophone for 10 yr old boy in El Cerrito area

July 2014

I am looking for a kid oriented beginning saxophone instructor for my son near El Cerrito. Any suggestions?

Jamison Schmeltz teaches saxaphone at Music Works on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito.My daughter,who is now in her twenties took lessons for years from him and really liked him.He has a lot of experience working with kids of all ages and he is a really nice guy and good teacher. Ellen

2005 - 2009 Recommendations

Looking for Saxophone and Clarinet teachers

Oct 2009

The reviews for Saxophone and Clarinet teachers are a few years old. We are looking for a clarinet teacher for my daughter who is intermediate level and a saxophone teacher for my son who is just beginning. Does anyone have a recommendation? We are in Oakland Hills - but are willing to travel if the teacher can do both and is good. Thanks Terese

I highly recommend Ian Willson (pronounced ''yon''). My daughter studied sax(4th & 5th grade), and my son has studied clarinet and bass clarinet for three years. Ian's an excellent player on multiple instruments (plus flute), and has a steady, dedicated following of students. I'm a musician myself, and it's been gratifying to see how he has picked up on what my kids liked to do (some fun stuff) vs. what they _needed_ to do, and he helped them all along the way. Two thumbs way up. Ian Willson teaches from his house in Albany. 510-418-8268

Jeff Luna-Sparks is the most fun, sweet guy you could meet. He also has a Bachelors and a Masters in Musical Ed. Kids learn in a non-pushy environment. (510) 334-8851 anon

Saxaphone teacher for adult

May 2009

My partner had taken soprano sax lessons for over a year, then the newborns ate into the time. They're older and he'd love to start back. Current recommendations for teachers? Oakland would be great but would consider commuting for the right fit. Evening hours are desirable, though he would wait-list for an opening. thank you, Anne

Ernie Mansfield is an excellent music teacher who teaches soprano sax. He's taught my son and he's terrific. His phone number is (510) 524-2055. Ernie teaches in Berkeley. Larry L.

10 year old wants to try alto saxophone

Dec 2008

Hello, I have a six year old who wants to start recorder and a 10yr old that wants to try alto saxophone. I want someone who is a conservatory graduate and has experience teaching young children. Thanks Dianne

I recommend Jamison Smeltz for saxaphone lessons. I believe he also teachers clarinet, but I'm not sure about recorder. My 9-year-old just started alto sax with Jamison in September and I think he's a really good teacher. He's got a lot of experience with both teaching and playing and he was also recommended to me by a sax repair person and was on the teacher list provided by the school. He's firm with his students but also has a sense of humor and an ability to meet each learning style. He teaches out of Music Works in El Cerrito. You can reach him at 672-0409. Kira

9 year old wants to learn how to play saxophone

Nov 2007

My 9 year old wants to learn how to play saxophone. Any suggestions about teachers in the Berkeley area? Thanks! non-musical mom

My son has been taking sax lessons for 4 years from Jamison Smeltz,who we meet at Music Works in El Cerrito after school. He's enthusiastic and creative, and my son has learned much more than just how to play the sax from him. He is also helping to run Winds Across the Bay, a youth wind orchestra for middle and high school kids in the East Bay.I highly recommend him. His phone is:672-0409. Helene

If you are looking for a wonderful multi-instrumental musician who lives in Berkeley and gives lessons to children, Ernie Mansfield is your man. I have one of his CDs and you're sure to like his music. He is patient and knowledgeable. He has a website where you can find out the things I'm not aware of. 524 2055

Begining saxaphone for 11 year old

Oct 2006

Does anyone have a recommendation for someone in the Berkeley/Albany area who teaches beginning saxophone to children (my daughter is almost 11 years old)? The postings in the BPN archives are several years old. Thanks! Marguerite

I reaa-a-lly like Ian Willson (pronounced like ''yon''). He taught my daughter sax when she was in 4th and 5th grade, and has taught several other kids I know. My son is currently studying clarinet with him. He's a very nice guy, total professional, and a very talented player to boot. He also has a daughter in 6th grade, so he's very well tuned in to this age group. He lives near Memorial Park in Albany -- 418-8268 Jeff

Ernie Mansfield of Mansfield Music teaches Saxophone. He works with students of all ages, but most of his students are youth. He is in Berkeley, not far from the North Berkeley BART station. I went to a recital of his once and was really impressed by him and his students. Music is his passion and I think helping others reailze their passion for music is part of that passion for him! 510-524-2055 Julie

2004 & Earlier

Saxophone teacher for a 10-year old boy

November 2002

I need a saxophone teacher for a 10-year old boy. He's musical, but needs an inspiring teacher (someone better than his critical mom). The group lesson once a week in school doesn't seem to be enough, and he gets bored of the practice without much feedback. I've looked at the recommendations already on line, and they are all pretty old. Ian Willson would be great as he lives just down the street, but he's not taking students currently, and I can't contact the other two listed. Can anyone recommend a good teacher in the Albany area that could work well with a lovable but somewhat stubborn boy? Thanks, Pam

Try Jean Feinberg (deuceband (AT) msn (DOT) com). She teaches in the east bay (Albany/El Cerrito, I think) and at the Jazz School in Berkeley. I'm taking a class with her now and she's a great listener, an excellent musician, and always extremely encouraging. Good luck! - David

I enthusiastically recommend Larry de la Cruz as a saxophone teacher for your 10 year old. My son, also 10, took lessons from Larry last year for about 6 months. Unfortunately, my son had an opposite problem from your son's: He didn't have group lessons to let him see that all new saxophone players quack like ducks. He got discouraged with the difficulty of the instrument and never wanted to practice on his own. However, whenever Larry came for a lesson my son loved playing with him. He adored Larry and always looked forward to lessons. Feel free to email me at mariab964ATearthlinkDOTnet if you want any more specific info. Maria

Donna Viscuso is a great teacher of flute and saxophone (harmonica and some other instruments as well) - for adults or children. East Bay or SF. Contact her at 415-863-7739 tialollie

Steve Feierabend is a wonderful musician and saxophone teacher of children and adults who recently relocated to the Bay Area from San Diego. He is gentle and patient. His number is 510/644-2223. Edith

September 1998

I highly recommend Ian Willson. He lives in Albany, teaches out of his own studio in Oakland, and also teachers at Tupper & Reed in Berkeley. He was my saxophone teacher and is still a great teacher for young people. He knows classical, jazz, sight-reading, piano, all woodwinds, and composes. Sax is his favorite instrument. He is a father and a devoted musician/teacher. As soon as my son is old enough, I will have Ian teach him music. Wendy

We can recommend Susie Laraine, 655-0599. She teaches saxophone and flute, and is primarily a jazz musician. John