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Old 18.11.2011, 19:31
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clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Have you always wanted to learn an instrument but not sure how to start? Are you searching for a dedicated and experienced teacher for yourself or child? I love to teach all ages and abilities and have many creative and fun teaching methods that will help you reach your unique goals!

I recently moved to Zürich for graduate studies at the ZHdK and I previously completed a Performer’s Diploma at Indiana University, my Masters at Rice University, and my Bachelors at UCLA. In recent years I’ve performed at the Aspen and Lucerne Music Festivals and as a regular substitute with the Houston Symphony. I have also performed in concert with many distinguished musicians including Reneé Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Pierre Boulez, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis.

In addition to my experience as a performer, I also have over 10 years experience teaching privately as well as well as at music schools in Los Angeles, Houston, and Switzerland. Although clarinet is my main instrument, I also teach saxophone and piano and am happy to teach a combination of styles (classical, jazz, klezmer, rock, pop, etc.), or focus on any individual goals you may have. I think everyone can learn an instrument but don’t expect everyone to learn in the same way. I work to keep lessons as insightful and fun as possible :-)

As well as teaching at the ZHdK (5-10 minutes from the main train station), I’m also happy to travel to teach at homes within an hour of Zürich. Because I appreciate how important finding the right fit between teacher and student is, I'm happy to offer a free trial lesson with no commitment to anyone interested. My normal rates are 35 CHF per half hour or 60 CHF per hour, with additional fees if I’m traveling to you (depending on your location). While I have to work to support myself, I don’t want the costs of lessons to deter anyone who really wants to learn to play music but is under financial hardship, and I will teach for less on a case-by-case basis.

I plan to be in Zürich at least for a couple years, so even if you come across this as an older post, feel free to send me a private message. I should get a copy cc’ed to my home email even if I haven’t signed on the English Forum in a while. Or, if you’re looking for a teacher on another instrument (violin, trumpet, etc.), I’ve been meeting a lot of musicians and may know someone to recommend.

If you have any questions or would like any references, please let me know!

-Benjamin
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Old 02.04.2012, 21:48
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Ben is fantastic and I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a music teacher, either for yourself or your kids. He’s very patient and knowledgeable, great at breaking things down and explaining them, and makes lessons really fun! If you’re looking to learn clarinet (or sax or piano), Ben’s your guy. You’ll be amazed at how much you learn from studying with him!
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Old 02.04.2012, 21:50
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Welcome to the forum, Purplebrains.
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Old 10.04.2012, 14:17
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Hi Ben,

how far is the clarinet from the oboe? I am trying to expose my son to musical instruments and wondered if he could not only begin learning the clarinet but also the oboe.

He's 2.5 years old now but I am thinking forward a few months and would like to get him started with formal lessons around 3 or 3.25 years old. I would also be interested in piano lessons for him.

Thanks for your advice and feedback.
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Old 10.04.2012, 21:48
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Thanks for the interest, I think it's great that you want to expose your son to music!

Depending on the maturity level, one could definitely start music lessons at age 3, but it would be best to wait at least until age 5 to consider playing the clarinet (or oboe). Clarinets come in different sizes and keys, the smallest one being the E-flat clarinet. Even the smallest clarinet is usually too big for children before the age of 5 or 6, and it's important for them to be able to reach all of the keys/toneholes and hold the instrument without discomfort. I don't play the oboe so I can't comment on it much, but I think it would be confusing to study both the clarinet and the oboe at the same time since they have many differences.

The best thing to do now is to expose your son to as many different types of music through listening and encouraging him to move/dance/sing to it, if he feels like it. Perhaps listen to an orchestra piece like Benjamin Britain's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra or Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, so he can learn to understand the differences in sound between a violin and a clarinet and a French horn. You can also take him to a children's concert at the Zürich Tonhalle, or a jazz concert, or whatever, where he can actually see people making music in person! Of course, there are many great things to watch on YouTube as well, but seeing a concert in person is much more special and makes him part of it, by being part of the audience. Without an audience there would be no concerts!

Often young children will feel especially drawn to the sound of a particular instrument, and if he has a favorite, that's what he should study when he's big enough to handle it. Like the clarinet, many other instruments have smaller versions which are more appropriate for young children.

3 years old is not too young to begin studying the piano, violin, or other wind instruments like the recorder or penny whistle (which I also play). However, especially at a young age it is imperative that playing music be something he wants to do and has fun with. Music should always be something that's fun for anyone but especially a young child! You should also consider a program that combines music and a playgroup like the Gymboree in Zumikon:

http://www.gymboreedach.com/en/location-zurich.html

Sally Bantock who runs this Gymboree is terrific and they have a lot of great programs there.

Please send me a PM when you're ready to start lessons or if you have any more specific questions!

Ben
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Old 14.04.2012, 21:15
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Thanks for all the info Ben.

Good to know regarding the instruments. We listen DAILY to the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (the game version offered by Carnegie Hall's interactive site). He LOVES the woodwind family and seems to prefer the flute and bassoon sounds. We went to the Tonhalle concert on Thursday and he had a blast but struggled to stay attentive the last 20 minutes but he's 2.5 and sitting in a chair so I guess that's to be expected.

He knows all the instruments in Britten's piece by sight and sound. I would be interested in starting him with piano at 3 (he turns 3 at the end of September) as he seems to have the attention span as well as the interest for it. We are going away for a bit this summer and we have the possibility of spending 2 months in Wash DC in late Autumn so I would be interested in starting when we return in early January 2013.

Let's keep in touch.

Sincerely, Sharolyn
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Old 18.05.2012, 14:17
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

If anyone is interested in starting music lessons soon, I plan to be in Switzerland most of the summer and still have some room in my schedule. Please send me a PM with any questions!

Ben
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Old 31.08.2012, 19:16
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Dear Benjamin
I have a 13 year old son who would like to continue taking saxophone lessons. We would prefer that you come to our house which is just 10-15 minutes away from Bellevue by bus.

My son is available everyday after school except Tuesdays. Weekends are also possible.

Please let me know of your availability. Thanks
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:56
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Thanks for the inquiry! I just returned from summer vacation and I have time available most days. So, I’m sure we can find some possibilities in common and I’m happy to come to your home to teach.

I will send you a PM in a minute with my contact info.

Benjamin
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Old 08.11.2012, 20:51
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Hi Benjamin,
I am 15 in 2 weeks and I was looking to start lessons on the clarinet. I am post grade 8 on the piano and I am around 6/7 on the violin so I am fully capable of reading notes. I also learnt the basics from a friend so I can play from around a bottom g until b flat. I cannot yet cross the break. I am not entirely certain whether I am definately going forward with this, I just wanted to look into it.

Thanks

Zara
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Old 08.11.2012, 21:05
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Insofar as it bears any relevance, I'm a first-study violinist and started the saxophone at 16, got to grade 7 in 18 months - and have now played sax in a big band here for the last 12 years. I own a clarinet but don't play it very well Not sure where I'm going with this at all! but just wanted to encourage you to cross the family divide and to reassure that it's perfectly possible. I really ought to get that clarinet out again and see if I can learn it properly (Still tons to learn on the sax, mind, because you never stop learning)
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Old 08.11.2012, 21:07
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

I'm pretty set on the clarinet, I bought one cheap off a friend, and I am a classical musician, therefore I want to be able to play in orchestras of some kind.
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Old 09.11.2012, 01:24
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Hi Zara,

Thanks for the post, it sounds like you’ve made a good start

Yes, I still have time for new students and would be happy to help! I will send you a private message in a minute with my contact info so we can find a time to meet.

Benjamin
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:01
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Hi Ben,

Do you happen to know anyone closer to the Geneva area for sax lessons?
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:14
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

I would suggest contacting one or both or the saxophone professors at the conservatory:

http://www.cmusge.ch/cmg/pages/profe...eurs_tous.html

Good luck!
This user would like to thank swisschard for this useful post:
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Old 10.01.2013, 21:08
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Re: clarinet, saxophone, or piano lessons – FREE TRIAL LESSON!!!

Hi. Are you still looking for a tutor in the Geneva area?
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