In my 25 years of teaching I've developed a highly organized and effective curriculum for teaching saxophone and Jazz improvisation. My Skype lessons are open to all levels of students, from beginners to working professionals looking to expand and advance their skills. I also specialize in preparing high-school level students for auditions at major Jazz conservatories.
- To Get Started: Email me at email@example.com and I will bill you through PayPal (at a cost of $100 for two 45 minute lessons). Once the payment has gone through we'll arrange a time your Skype lessons. Let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like to focus on, or we can discuss the direction you'd like to the lessons to take after I listen to you play.
Saxophone technique, working on reeds, hexatonics/triad-pairs, pentatonics, exotic scales, motivic development, chord substitutions, modal strategies, post-Trane chromaticism and harmonic devices, choosing and adjusting mouthpieces, Joseph Viola's method for sound and technique, metric modulation, free playing, voice leading exercises, Joe Allard's overtone exercises, correcting intonation issues, breathing exercises, multi-phonics and extended techniques, applying Slonimsky to Jazz improvisation, articulation, and much more.....
In the past four years alone my private students have:
*won full tuition scholarships to Julliard, Berklee College of Music, the New School, Manhattan School of Music, and William Patterson. *won chairs in the Grammy Band (3 students) *won the Mary Lou Williams saxophone competition at the Kennedy Center *won places in the Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation High School Big Band (more students than any other teacher on the West Coast) and the Jazz Band of AmericaMy educational materials are currently used as source material by educators at music schools around the country, including:
Berklee College of Music, North Texas State, Portland State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of North Carolina, and Oregon State University, California State University at San Bernadino and University of Maine at Augusta.In 2009 I was invited to teach at the Prague International Summer Jazz Workshop in the Czech Republic.
"I first came to David Valdez in the summer of 2006 to study the tenor saxophone and jazz improvisation. Throughout my studies with David, he instilled fundamental musical skills in my playing and opened up my mind to the infinite possibilities of improvisation. In particular, we worked on Saxophone technique, Sound, Transcription, Patterns, Voice leading, tunes and functional harmony. I wouldn't be the musician that I am today without his expert guidance and supportive demeanor." -Aaron Johnson (full scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music)
"David Valdez is not only personable, but his fundamental skills as a sax player and his deep knowledge of jazz theory and harmony are truly impressive. He knows how to break down complex topics and explain them in digestible ways while giving students concrete ideas to work on at home. He is an incredible resource for the musical community of Portland and an inspiring teacher." -Brooks M. Foster
"While trying not to fall prone to hyperbole, I can honestly state that David Valdez is the best teacher I've studied with. In just 4 lessons, I've learned enough to keep me busy for the next year, if not longer. David is able to communicate a great deal of information with a casual, understandable approach. He is very patient, and is always willing to answer questions (including emails and phone calls outside of lesson time) and repeat explanations. He also offers constructive playing advice in a very positive manner. David uses a structured method in his teaching that he tailors to each student. He makes sure that you understand the basic theory before moving on to more advanced concepts. Most importantly, the lessons are fun -- David is easy to joke around with, and he is very generous with his time, and for a player and teacher of his caliber, the price for a lesson is very reasonable." - Marty Sacks
"I really enjoyed my workshop and individual teaching sessions with David on the Prague international jazz workshop. His teaching approach is clear and methodical; he takes apart your technique and puts it back together step by step, carefully explaining how to get a better and deeper sound on your horn. Harmonically he explains substitution in a straightforward way that won’t bedazzle you and leave you confused like other teachers. Above all he is patient and will astound you with his level of knowledge but won't intimidate you in the process. A born teacher. Thanks Dave. "- Phil Chaundy
"David Valdez is among the top educators in the country, with extensive knowledge of harmony, saxophone technique, the jazz improvisational language and band leading techniques. David has the unique ability to cater his teaching to varying levels of players and is an inspiring person to work with. In addition, his blog is a staple on the Internet jazz community, and contains unique and interesting interviews and articles. As a student of his for several years, David gave me valuable knowledge of chord scales, chord structures, improvisational ideas, and saxophone technique while keeping me inspired and on my toes." - Ian Christensen (scholarship student at The New School)
"If you're tired of Bebop licks, and atonal free jazz hurts your ears, kick your improv skills up a notch. David is the master of inside/outside within a solid harmonic foundation. He is most generous when it comes to sharing his vast knowledge of harmony and the improvised line. I highly recommend studying with David if you're serious about improving your jazz skills." - Charles Guerin, Keyboardist with The Blue Gardenia Jazztet
"I've studied with David for the last three years and the experience has been terrific. His mastery of sax technique and advanced harmonic concepts are clearly evident. I truly appreciate David's ability to simplify complicated musical ideas and make the process fun. He is always patient and creates an ideal learning environment. I'd recommend David for students of all abilities."- James Joyce
"I studied with David's for two years, and it was incredibly rewarding. From the very first lesson I had with him, it was immediately apparent that he wanted the best for me, and seemed to take personal interest in my musicianship. David didn't hesitate to provide me with all sorts of resources - recordings, books, CDs, charts, arrangements, etc. I worked extensively with David not only on improvisation, but saxophone technique, ear training, harmony and theory, arranging, composing, music production, sight-reading, flute, learning tunes, and more. By the time I was a senior in high school, David helped tremendously in my college search and preparation. He again provided me with resources to prepare myself for college-level music courses, aided me in the making of my audition CD, and helped me to find a school that was suitable for me. Besides being a strong educator, David is a fantastic musician. I have enjoyed playing with him at my lessons as well as seeing his gigs with his own groups. He is (in my opinion) my favorite saxophonist on the scene today. I would recommend studying with David to anyone, regardless of age or experience."- Nicole Glover (William Paterson University scholarship student)