All face-to-face teaching of saxophone lessons is currently suspended due to Covid-19. We will resume face-to-face tuition as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are pleased to offer online tuition – please see this page for more information.
One-to-one saxophone lessons
One-to-one saxophone lessons are available in person and online with our tutors Ellie Steemson and Catherine Evison. They offer 30-minute and one-hour long slots, and may take place weekly, fortnightly or an ad-hoc basis, depending on your needs. Lessons take place in West Wemyss, near Kirkcaldy, Fife.
30-minute individual lesson £16
60-minute individual lesson £32
30-minute individual lesson £20
60-minute individual lesson £35
Online saxophone lessons
Our online saxophone lessons are delivered via Zoom. We offer high-quality audio and visual, plus a host of additional supporting materials such as PDF’s and backing tracks.
Small group tuition is available provided there are sufficient numbers of students around the same ability level. Register your interest in group saxophone lessons via our contact page and we will keep you updated.
Large group workshops and Come and Play sessions are also available to complement one-to-one or small group tuition. For a list of available sessions and to sign up, please visit this page.
Ellie Steemson trained in saxophone performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, graduating with a BMus(hons) in 2008. She went on to take part in the Guildhall Artists Masters course, achieving an MMus in 2010.
Since then, Ellie has enjoyed a busy performing and teaching career spanning the U.K. and overseas, including work in theatre pits, big bands and orchestras. She is a member of the Scottish Sax Ensemble and Workers Union Ensemble, and teaches at St Andrews University and Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, as well as her work as a private saxophone teacher in Fife.
Catherine studied classical saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with John Harle and Christian Forshaw, graduating with a first class honours degree in 2007 and a master’s degree with distinction in 2014.
As a solo saxophonist, Catherine has reached the semi-final of the Royal Overseas League Music Competition and was runner up in The Needlemaker’s Prize. She is a composer, favouring saxophone and electronics and has premiered her works at both The Forge and Milton Court. As a chamber musician with saxophone quartet ‘Quadrophonia’, Catherine won the CASS quartet competition, and reached the finals of the St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition, The Tunnell Trust Scheme and the semi-finals of the Royal Overseas League Chamber Music competition. Catherine was Principal Alto Saxophone with the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain for 4 years, in which time she performed several concerti with the group at venues such as the Beijing Concert Hall, the CBSO centre and Mahidol University in Bangkok.
Catherine has a diverse range of experience as an educator. She has lectured on music education at The Guildhall School and Trinity Laban; taught the saxophone at City University and Junior Guildhall and was Education Director for the 2012 World Saxophone Congress. She is the founder and Director of Mosaic Music Education Ltd; winners of the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise, The Amati Global Investors Award and Guildhall School Creative Entrepreneurship Award, where she creates music education resources for young instrumentalists and supports new teachers in their delivery. Until recently Catherine was Director of Music at St. Aubyn’s School in London where she worked with children aged 3-13 delivering curriculum music sessions based on the Kodály method. However, following a pending move to Scotland, she recently began teaching the Saxophone at the University of Aberdeen and at North East of Scotland Muisc School.
What to expect
Lessons with our saxophone teachers are tailored to each student’s individual needs and aspirations. For some, this may be taking graded exams, for others just playing for enjoyment and learning songs. Whatever your aims as a player, we will help you to develop a solid grounding in saxophone technique. We can recommend exercises to help develop your sound, intonation and dexterity on the instrument, and much more.
Q: What is the minimum age for playing starting saxophone lessons?
A: This varies a little from person to person, but as a rough guideline around the age of 10 or 11 will be fine for most children. Children who are smaller for their age, or a little younger may still be able to take up learning on an instrument such as the Alphasax or the J-Sax, or begin on the recorder to learn the basics of reading music and co-ordinating the fingers.
Q: Am I too old to take up an instrument?
A: No, it’s never too late. A lot of adult learners worry that they will struggle to pick up a new skill, but in my experience this has never been a problem. Everybody learns at different rates, and this is true no matter what your age. As long as you are patient and willing to put in the practice, you cannot fail to improve!
Q: Do I need to be able to read music to take saxophone lessons?
A: No, this is something we can work on in your lessons. Some of the playing we do might not involve reading music at all, such as playing by ear, playing scales and improvising. It will really depend on what your goals are.
Q: Should I hire or buy an instrument?
A: This really depends on your budget, and how sure you feel about the saxophone being the right instrument for you. There are a number of retailers offering purchase and hire on the useful links section of this website. Many of them will allow you to hire an instrument before you buy, and in some cases use the hire fees paid towards the eventual cost of the instrument.
You can also keep the cost down by buying an instrument second-hand either through one of the above retailers, or privately through Gumtree (although this is potentially tricky, and I would only recommend doing it with professional advice).
The reality of playing the sax though is you do have to spend a few hundred quid to get something worth having. If someone is advertising a brand new saxophone on Ebay for £150 I can more-or-less guarantee you it will be awful! At Fife Sax School we know how difficult and confusing this process can be if you’re new to the saxophone, so please do get in touch if you’d like any help.
Q: What are the benefits of learning an instrument?
A: Learning an instrument is an enjoyable hobby, which can also allow you to make music with others. It’s a great workout for your brain, which can benefit you in lots of areas of your life, plus being able to communicate through an instrument can be great for your well-being and mental health (just like singing!).