Lessons

One-to-one

One-to-one lessons are available in 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.

30-minute individual lesson £16

60-minute individual lesson £32

Classes

Small group lessons (up to six people) lasting one hour take place at the same time on a weekly basis in 10-week blocks, and present a more affordable option for regular tuition. Lessons take place in Kirkcaldy.

Please contact us to find out current availability.

10 weekly 60-minute group lessons £150 per person

Workshops

Large group workshops 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.

Qualifications & Experience

Ellie 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 private teaching practice.

What to expect

Lessons 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.

FAQs

Q: What is the minimum age for playing the saxophone?
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. Everyone 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?
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 fraught with danger 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. 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!).