Online Music Lessons

Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley, and Online Music Lessons
since 2008

Saxophone Lessons
Saxophone lessons online

Want to learn to play the sax? I've been playing since 1988, as it was my first "real" instrument. The tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, and all the others are almost identical in the playing. The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846. It's become a fundamental part of jazz. Rock out with your bad self and learn this amazing instrument.

Here’s Sonny Rollins playing the saxophone in 1959.

  And here’s a recording of me playing a piece I have taught to students (May I Tag Along, by Bruce Eskovitz and Ernie Watts):

Flute Lessons
Flute lessons online

I have played flute since 1995, and I would love to share this amazing instrument with you. The modern concert flute was invented by Theobald Boehm in 1847 as an improvement on earlier wooden models (see next instrument below). Its cylindrical bore allows for more consistent intonation, so it's ideal for classical music (as in an orchestra), and it's great for jazz and folk music as well.

 

Rob Christian playing jazz with the Swingin’ Shepherd Blues

And here’s a recording of me playing a piece I’ve been working on with a few of my students (with a drum loop added):

Celtic Wooden Flute Lessons
Wooden flute lessons online

Ever wanted to take Irish flute lessons? Also known as "wooden flute," "Celtic flute," or "simple system flute," this was the standard flute in Europe during the Classical era. The Boehm-system flute (or concert metal flute, see above right) replaced it in classical music, but the wooden flute became a part of Irish and Scottish music, and in my opinion, it has found its true home there.

Tin Whistle Lessons
Tin Whistle Lessons online

The tin whistle (or penny-whistle) is a fipple flute similar to a recorder, but it uses the same six-hole fingering system as a keyless "simple system" wooden flute. They were first mass-produced in 1840 in Manchester, England, by Robert Clarke's company.

The tin whistle is super fun to play, and it is now a staple of traditional Irish and Scottish music.

Celtic Low Whistle Lessons
Low Whistle Lessons online

If you play tin whistle, you might want to learn to play its larger and deeper cousin, the low whistle, as well. It makes a deep and haunting sound and requires a slightly different hand grip to cover the holes. It's different from a recorder in that it has six finger holes instead of eight, enabling easier ornamentation and identical fingerings to the Irish flute and the pennywhistle.

Native American Flute Lessons
Native American Flute lessons online

Do you want to learn to play the Native American Flute? This traditional indigenous American instrument plays in the minor pentatonic scale, which sounds complicated but is very easy and accessible. It is constructed with two separate chambers and a block that serves to channel the air from the upper chamber to the fipple, which creates the sound. You might enjoy this flute under an echo-y bridge or in a canyon. It is very easy to play and has a haunting, quiet tone. (Though there were other indigenous North American flutes, the term "Native American flute" specifically refers to this instrument.)

Testimonials:

Aaron gave beginning alto saxophone lessons to my 9-year old son a few years ago. Aaron was excellent at reading and responding to my son's feelings (he is very sensitive and can get frustrated easily), making the lessons fun, and encouraging creativity and love of music instead of just learning the notes. My son is in the Middle School band now and still loves playing.
- Julie T.

Aaron is a gifted singer and instrumentalist who is also a dedicated teacher. I came to him as a long-time guitar player interested in learning flute in the Irish traditional style.... He immediately took a genuine interest in understanding me and my musical background... He's been ... particularly good at raising my awareness of the possibilities with the instrument so I can better explore it on my own. Basically he's done a great job at tailoring our lessons to exactly what I need.

- Robert M.

(All music lessons are online due to COVID-19.  When you schedule, select my location, and understand that the lesson will be via video-conference.)