Janet Davies from England is our Student of the Week! We loved Janet’s video of Dave Koz’s “Know you by Heart,” which she shared in our Facebook Community. Janet is a really active member of Sax School and a great inspiration to other players.
Starting out on Saxophone
Janet has been playing sax for over eight years, and plays alto, tenor, and soprano! “My daughter played flute and clarinet, and used to attend a music centre locally.” Janet explains. “They had a swing band and I loved hearing them.”
Janet found out she could hire a saxophone online, so decided to give the alto a try. “I could already read music because I play the piano, and I played recorder at school so the fingering was similar,” Janet says.
Joining the Band
Janet joined the music centre wind band, and then the swing band. Janet decided to buy a tenor after hearing about Calderdale Big Band. “I got in touch with the band leader and he said they needed tenors, so I bought one!” she explains.
Janet also joined a local sax choir, playing a borrowed soprano sax. “There are 17 of us in the sax choir,” she says, “we play everything from classical to big band music.”
“I got in touch with the band leader and he said they needed tenors, so I bought one!”
Finding Sax School
It was through the sax choir that Janet learned about Sax School, two years ago. “Another member, John, mentioned that he was in Sax School and he thought I would like it,” says Janet. “As I’m self-taught on sax, I find the technique tuition really useful; things like long tones, and vibrato. I love the classical lessons, and the jazz standards too.”
Like many of our members, Janet really enjoys being part of the Facebook Community. “John and I have posted several videos of duets from Sax School,” she says. “I’ve even created backing tracks using “Band in a Box” for some of them!”
Janet’s biggest achievement so far was to pass her grade 8 saxophone exam, 3 years ago. “It was the first saxophone exam I had done,” she explains, “and it was very nerve-wracking!”
This is even more of an achievement as Janet didn’t have a face-to-face sax teacher. “I practised with a friend who is a flute teacher; she accompanied me on piano for the exam. She couldn’t help me with saxophone technique but she was really great on musical performance,” explains Janet. “The hardest part was the aural test, and the scales were tough too!”
As well as being a Sax School member, Janet is also a member of Blues Mastery. “I really want to get to grips with improvisation,” she says, “I feel as though I rely too much on the written music. I’ve started doing some solos in the big band but I would love to be able to improvise freely with confidence.”
With so much commitment to your sax playing, you’re sure to achieve your goals! Well done Janet!