Posts tagged: teaching


By , April 6, 2015 3:59 pm

Hi everyone!

Lots of exciting stuff happening.  Polyrhythmics just returned from 4-day west coast tour that culminated in a show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA.  The Hall has been the site of many amazing concerts over the years, and is a beautiful room to play in.  I felt very lucky to play there!  The Polys will be going down to New Orleans for JazzFest once more at the end of this month, another place that seems like a blessing for me to visit.  I look forward to taking in as much music as I can and getting input and advice from other musicians.


Theoretics are gearing up for several festivals this Summer, which is very exciting since the band is, to me, still pretty young, at least with its current sound, and I think there are a lot of new listeners out there that will really appreciate what we do.  Our Seattle show at the Tractor Tavern went very well, and we will be opening up for Robert Glasper on April 14 at Neumos.  I have enjoyed Glasper’s music for a while now (here’s an older post about him here ), so this is a great opportunity to maybe get a little closer experience!

Teaching is going well, although working out the education/performance balance is constantly ripe for improvement.  For the future, I am thinking of experimenting with Skype lessons while on the road, as well as keeping students more informed about what touring and performing is like.  Perhaps a mailer or more consistent blogging is in order…


P.S.  Check out The Main Squeeze.  This is the band we shared the stage with in San Francisco.  Great stuff!




By , December 3, 2012 11:32 am

Hi all!

Happy holiday season to everyone; so far the Winter has me settling in to a new living space in the Magnolia area of Seattle and getting my playing and teaching schedule together, hopefully in some kind of sustainable manner.

Bands have been progressing forward in really notable ways: tours, new venues, and plans to record; and I’m very happy to be teaching excited students, which hopefully become greater in number in the next year. If you know of anyone, of any age, interested in lessons, please do not hesitate to have them shoot me an email!

3 Months In

By , March 10, 2012 2:57 pm


So here I am, almost 3 months into working exclusively as a musician and teacher.

It feels as though my workdays have become compressed; lessons can’t start until kids get out of school, and gigs and rehearsals are almost always at night, plus most gigs are squeezed onto the Fridays and Saturdays of the week.  In this way, I kind of have an early night schedule now, which is kind of funny.  The trick, as I’ve told several of my friends, is turning that downtime during the day into something productive, which I’m still learning to do.  So far I think I’ve been doing okay.

I also feel like I’ve learned a bit about the business and non-musical side of playing saxophone over the last 3 months.  I’m really lucky to be playing in 3 bands with a member that has taken it upon themselves to handle those aspects, and in all 3 cases I’m really impressed with what they do.  Right now I’m just trying to watch them and pick up what I can.

Something I’ve been thinking about more and more is how important it is to believe in the value of your music.  It may seem obvious, but I have to condition myself to see the music I play as something of real value and importance, and a service worth paying for.

Of course, that mindset can be taken to an extreme, and of course I want to share my music with as many friends and family as possible (without milking them for money all the time), but I think I do need to get more into that mindset of music performance as a job, a job I enjoy and am lucky to have, but a job nonetheless.  And, by the same token, I always should work toward doing that job in a professional way and at as high a level as I can.

See you out and about soon!




By , August 27, 2011 12:44 pm

Some new things adding a bit of organization to my life:


This Sunday I start teaching again. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m motivated to be a better teacher this time around.

I wasn’t awful before, just disorganized, constantly scribbling things out for my kids on staff paper or making copies out of the various books I had. Now I want to have a solid curriculum, a better plan with goals and markers I can use for students to actually mark progress. We’ll see how it goes.

Teaching also affects the way I look at my own playing, which would be good for me right now. (And it ensures that I will be in a practice room all day, another good thing).

I started swimming laps a couple of times a week. I swam in 7th and 8th grade, but that was it. I enjoy it though; maybe I get some sort of Zen thing out of it, being isolated from the rest of the world, just focused on yourself and your breathing, and it feels good to exercise again (it’s been a little while). Who knows, maybe that will help my playing too.

I think what I really hope to get out of adding this stuff is a bit of direction, or at least some more productivity.  I’m pretty sure most of the time I’m not feeling great it’s because I don’t feel like I’m doing anything of value, to other people or to myself, so hopefully these will help. Time will tell!

– Art

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