Meet Our Saxophone Teacher, Ari!
When did you start playing? I began playing clarinet in fourth grade and then saxophone in high school. At a young age I was inspired my music teachers’ love of music. I then feel in love with jazz and it’s messages and cultures. My curiosity about jazz and other styles of music inspired me, and continue to inspire me today.
Instruments and styles you teach? I teach alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Although my specialty is in jazz saxophone, I work with all students to help them find their own musical passion.
What was music like for you as a kid? As an elementary school student I played in jazz band and orchestra. In middle school and high school I continued with these school ensembles in addition to playing in a New Orleans style brass band, a funk band, a contemporary and improvised music ensemble, and more.
Tell us about your educational background In middle school and high school I studied with Los Angeles based clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer Brian Walsh. I graduated with honors and was awarded a distinguished graduate in the field of jazz from Sonoma State University, where i studied with alto saxophonist and composer Kasey Knudsen. I am always working on my own playing and composing. To me this means having a mentor, which I have found in tenor saxophonist and composer Daniel Rotem.
Tell me about some of your favorite instructional books or materials Although I have a few favorite method books, including the Essential Elements book for beginning students, I like to use instructional books as supplemental resources. I engage with the student’s interests and use their favorite songs or connect their interest to teach melody, harmony, and rhythm.
What are the essential things for a beginner to have? A student must have their own instrument (rented or owned) and any cleaning supplies. All other supplies or books will be shared later after evaluating the student’s needs.
Tell me about your teaching approach/philosophy I have a student centered teaching philosophy. I believe each individual student is unique, so I am aim to their learning style as opposed to any particular method. I aim to spark the student’s creativity and curiosity and I encourage my students to advocate to me what interests them the most. We will be able to learn rhythm, harmony, melody, basic ear training, and more through standard repertory and learning their favorite songs.
What do you enjoy doing, when not teaching? In addition to playing music and teaching, I enjoy hiking, surfing, indoor bouldering, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.