Along with traditional face-to-face lessons, here are some of the additional perks:
- personalized video and audio recordings to model exercises and techniques
- customized improvisational exercises with play-along accompaniment
- an online lesson journal
- credit for high school students
This short example video demonstrates a ii-V-I improvisational exercise.
iReal Pro Accompaniment - PDF
Ben’s Approach to Teaching
Students learn to:
- intuitively understand music
- master the basics of the instrument
- develop musicality and personal style
- play what they hear or imagine
- play with a great sound, which makes a big difference in how well they perform
- expand improvising skills through tailored approaches
- play with musical maturity and creativity
Ben Britton, an award winning saxophonist, has performed throughout the U.S. and recorded and performed with world renowned musicians like Chris Potter and Bobby Sanabria. He was the winner of the First Annual Charlie Parker Cutting Contest hosted by NPR's 12th Street Jump, and he placed as a finalist in the Detroit Jazz Festival National Saxophone Competition. Having taught at several colleges and maintained a private studio for over a decade, he has worked with both young students and thriving professional musicians. He has written two saxophone method books, which are used in college teaching and endorsed by significant saxophonists, including Ben Wendel, Dave Liebman, Walt Weiskopf, and Charles Pillow. In his own training, he has studied with renowned saxophonists Chris Potter, Rich Perry, Steve Wilson, Walt Weiskopf, Charles Pillow, George Garzone, and Chein-Kwan Lin. Britton earned a doctoratate and bachelor's degree from Eastman School of Music and a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music.
Take Lessons Anywhere or Anytime
Students are accepted from all over the world. All you need is an internet connection and Skype or FaceTime. Ben has worked with students in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia. Another option is taking lessons through video or audio recording exchanges, which lets students practice and send in recordings on their own time.
Helpful Learning Aids/Materials
Custom improvisation exercises are created and shared through iReal Pro. Video or audio recordings are provided to give audio/visual reminders of how to successfully complete exercises. Musical examples are also provided. A shared online document tracks goals, assignments, and learning aids to keep things moving in the right direction. Students are also sometimes assigned to make recordings to help assess their progress.
Credit for High School Students
High school students can get credit for private lessons. Ben is an instructor with Educational Advantage, which offers courses in saxophone. Once completed, Educational Advantage transfers credit to the student's high school.
“Ben is a fantastic teacher. In order to adapt to your abilities, issues and personal goals, he will come up with tailored exercises and lesson plans rather than apply a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. I believe this comes from his relentless work on himself as a musician, and how his mind has acquired a taste for problem solving as a consequence. Ben's lessons can be challenging, but never gratuitously, as he has the ability to gauge his students' potential, and unbelievable ears, which allow him to pinpoint weaknesses almost instantly. When approaching challenges, Ben's teaching is always clear and structured, coming up with practical goals and exercises, focusing on the bases of problems. One of the best example of this can be found in the books he published, which approach age-old saxophone related subjects with clarity and conciseness, when previous literature was rather esoteric. Finally, as Ben is always working on his own abilities as a musician and saxophonist, you will be carried along by his energy and positive outlook on the journey that is practicing. I can't recommend Ben enough.” – Vic
“Ben is engaging, knowledgeable and patient, qualities any student should appreciate. I certainly appreciated the attention to detail on developing a good tone with a follow-up check, after the actual "tone" lesson was completed. If one puts the work in the advice from Ben will produce results. Look out Chris Potter!” – Adam
“Ben is a world class musician, and an equally amazing teacher. Studying with him I made some serious progress, and through his methods we would discover lots of uncharted territory. We covered sound production, transcription, ear training, and various topics from his insightful perspective and guidance that I have never explored in the 20 years I have been playing the saxophone. His lessons are the perfect balance of fun, yet very challenging. I noticed huge improvements right away studying with him. I think of the concepts and his unique perspective on how to approach improvisation every time I pick up the horn. I first sought him out for private lessons after picking up his "Complete Approach to Sound" book and was completely floored when I noticed how significantly my sound changed when we started working on those concepts. We worked through some really fun transcription projects with John Coltrane, and Chris Potter, we worked on some different areas of Time and Bebop language characteristics as well as ear training to hear the changes. Before studying with him I had never transcribed changes- I would look at a lead sheet or fakebook, and in a relatively short time I made some great leaps in my own musicianship and began hearing things (Root Movement, Chord Quality) and experiencing music on a more profound level, and that, to me, is what it is all about. World Class Musician and Teacher!” – Ted
“Ben is a fantastic instructor! He's professional, personable, and clearly knows his stuff. He does an excellent job inspiring students and adapting to students' needs and interests. Highly recommended!” – Sara (parent)
“Ben is a fantastic teacher, HIGHLY recommended! He is an accomplished musician himself and is a seasoned professional in the fields of teaching, writing, theory and general promotion of the arts. He is patient and positive in all things. He quickly identifies areas of a Student's performance that can be addressed easily and directly for noticeable improvement in a short time. He works with what he has (meaning student skill levels across the spectrum) and is able to propel a student forward and help them advance, while remaining fun and upbeat. The lesson cost is very reasonable and online lessons seem to work out fine. Be sure to watch his Blog regularly because there is always fresh information there that keeps you thinking and motivated to surge forward in your playing. You will be glad you took instruction with Ben Britton!” – Steve Brasagalla