Saxophon ab 130 (german) - Matthias Böyer

Saxophon ab 130

Matthias Böyer, a freelance saxophonist in various symphony orchestras like the WDR and SDR radio orchestras, teaches saxophone at the Havixbeck music school and at the Christoph-Stöver vocational school in Oer-Erkenschwick. His two-volume saxophone course for children (from 8 years old) familiarises young players with the instrument with lots of fun, funny illustrations and well-known songs. The first volume is also available in English: “Sax 130 Top!”.

Before the 20 musical lessons begin, there is a comprehensive introduction for teachers and parents which also covers the history of the instrument. The basics, how the instrument is put together, posture while playing and the correct blowing technique are all explained in a child friendly way, supported by lots of pictures and illustrations.

In the clearly arranged lessons, the pitch range will be expanded from chapter to chapter and music theory brought in in a practice-orientated way: dotted minims, crotchets and their associated rest values, syncopation, slurs and ties, and dynamics. By the end of the first book, pupils will be able to play pieces in the range of g to c6. Every new note is graphically demonstrated with a fingering diagram. Jazz-rock practice patterns and minor pentatonic scales for improvisation show young players what is technically and musically possible with the instrument, inspiring them to keep learning. The topic of improvisation is developed in an early stage of the book, as the author has noticed during his time as a teacher that children approach the topic in a much more objective way than young people. The material learned is solidified by three quizzes in the book. Of the 30 songs and simple pieces in the book, 23 are recorded onto the CD in 2 different formats: one to listen to, and one to play along with. 6 duets and 2 trios prepare students for playing in an ensemble.

The second book, “ Saxophon ab 140” is a challenging continuation of the information learned and the abilities developed in the first volume. Therefore, pupils can’t lose their determination and must find adequate time to practice. The topics of this volume include: organology (reeds, body, mouth piece), polyphony, homophony, entertainment music, enharmonics, swing phrasing, improvisation and many more. The stylistic range of the chosen pieces stretches from Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, to folklore (e.g. “Greensleeves”), film music (e.g. “Pink Panther”) and swing classics such as “In The Mood”. After successfully working through this book, pupils will be able to easily find their feet in a school Big Band or perform independently in a band.

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