Teaching

Josh's Thornbury Studio

Josh is a passionate and dedicated music teacher who enjoys imparting knowledge and seeing his students thrive and improve. He aims to approach his teaching with the same passion he has for performance, providing a completely tailored lesson experience. Rather than using lesson plans or following a workbook, Josh instead chooses to address students' problems as they are uncovered, often composing exercises on the spot that help to fix any problems.

Lessons offered

  • Saxophone
  • Improvisation
  • Clarinet 
  • Piano
  • Music Theory & Harmony
  • Ear Training

Josh is an engaging and experienced teacher with an exemplary track record. Detailed information on lessons offered is below and flexible lesson structures are available. If you are interested in lessons, please send an expression of interest here.

Saxophone Lessons

Josh teaches alto, tenor, soprano and baritone saxophone to students of all experience levels - complete beginners to very advanced. Whilst primarily a jazz saxophonist, Josh has also studied classical music with an emphasis on Bach and Marcel Mule. Josh also has a keen interest in funk and pop music styles, this diverse appreciation of music means he is a very knowledgeable and versatile teacher, appropriate for students with an interest in any genre. 

In lessons, Josh addresses the fundamentals of music and saxophone technique, whilst encouraging his students to explore musical material in a creative way. His lessons promote learning through a constant balance of left and right brain techniques. 

Improvisation

No matter what style of music you are primary into, Josh encourages all of his students to explore a little bit of improvisation, as it helps to develop all areas of musicality. Josh is an accomplished improviser, coming at it from a jazz background and exploring improvisation within more contemporary music spheres as well. Josh teaches improvisation fundamentals within the context of the jazz tradition, and later expands this to other styles.

If you are an advanced student, Josh has techniques that can really improve your ability to improvise and encourage you to play in a different, spontaneous and creative way every time you pick up your instrument. 

Clarinet Lessons

Josh has played the clarinet for 12 years and has studied the instrument alongside the saxophone in both classical and jazz contexts. Josh is keenly aware of the differences between the two instruments and he directs his students appropriately. Clarinet and saxophone have subtle embouchure differences, as well as different ways of using your air stream, and Josh pays extra attention to this while teaching the instrument.

As a beginner clarinetist or saxophonist, it is fundamental to develop a good and solid technique from the beginning. If you are squeaking a lot, having trouble playing (especially low or high notes) or difficulty developing a good sound, there could be simple changes to your technique that you are not aware of inhibiting your development. 

Piano Lessons

Josh originally studied classical piano, from a very young age and began teaching himself jazz on the instrument at around the age of 16. Josh developed to a high technical level in his teens, and he still practices the instrument alongside the saxophone, primarily using it for composition. Josh has a number of beginner and intermediate piano students, and he encourages his more advanced saxophone students to learn a little bit of piano to further develop musicality. He considers his piano background imperative to his musical sound, and attributes a large part of his harmonic concept on the saxophone to his piano background. 

Piano lessons tailored to the student can include:

  • Classical piano
  • Technique development
  • Jazz harmony and voicings
  • Pop and contemporary
  • AMEB exams

Theory and Harmony Lessons

Josh always approaches teaching music theory with a practical application. For him, the first step for students is to understand the theory conceptually, then finding examples of the theory in existing musical works, and finally finding your own way to apply the theory (either within a compositional context or an improvisational context).

Josh finds this approach means students internalise theoretical and harmonic concepts to a far greater degree than if the theory was taught independent of any application. Josh teaches theory from complete beginners to tertiary level, perfect for VCE study. Josh can direct theory lessons towards a classical focus, jazz focus, or both.

Ear Training

Josh has developed his aural perception of music to a high level, training himself to have pristine relative pitch, and he can help you, or your child, to acquire the same level of aural ability. Josh has fun, practical approaches to developing your ear, something that is vital to performing music, especially if you want to play jazz or improvise. If you need help with the aural section of your VCE work, lessons with Josh will give a guaranteed improvement of your aural skills.

One-off Lessons

Josh is also effective in a one-off lesson for any jazz musician or ensemble. If you are a saxophonist, I have a deep knowledge of many aspects of saxophone technique and tone production, as well as different approaches to harmony, rhythm, articulation and improvisation.

If you are a pianist, drummer, bass player etc. I will focus more on different musical approaches to improvisation, as well as addressing what you can do differently that will make you sound better in a jazz context. 

Skype Lessons

Josh is also available for lessons over Skype, if you live interstate, internationally or just don't want to leave your lounge room. Skype lessons can be surprisingly effective.


If this sounds good to you and you'd like to get in touch, then don't hesitate to contact me. Please send an expression of interest with a little bit about your background, or your childs' background, and we will go from there!