It’s not often you go viral with your sax practice! But that’s what happened to Rick Herrmann, Sax School member from Oregon, USA, when he decided to play saxophone to a herd of cows!
We thought it was such an inspiring story, we made Rick our Student of the Week. Here’s his story.
“I’ve seen videos of people playing their instruments to animals, so I thought I would try playing saxophone to the cows,” says Rick. “I’ve always liked cows – I used to work on a dairy farm in the summer.” Rick tried out some of the tunes he’s been learning with Sax School. “I played ‘Careless Whisper‘, and ‘Tequila!‘ and the cows all came over!”
Rick’s wife took a video just for fun, and his daughter asked him if she could post it on Twitter.
“It went crazy!” says Rick. “Suddenly millions of people had seen it. Fox News and many other news agencies contacted me for interviews, as well as a local radio and TV station. Even Kenny G shared it on Twitter!”
Learning Saxophone as an Adult
It seems that a lot of people across the world were inspired and interested in Rick’s story. “Everyone wanted to know how long I had been playing the saxophone, so I told them all about Sax School!” he says. “They wanted to know what made me want to learn saxophone as an adult.”
Rick has only been playing saxophone for a few months. “I started playing sax in November 2018,” Rick explains, “and looking around on YouTube, I found Nigel’s Sax School lessons – I found I kept going back to them.”
Sax School is a complete programme.
Joining Sax School
Rick decided to take the plunge and join Sax School in January 2019. “I like the way Nigel includes lessons on how to practice, and what to expect when you’re learning saxophone,” says Rick. “It’s a complete programme.”
Rick first started learning an instrument back in High School. “I played the trombone for about three years,” says Rick. “I had a good musical sense and I could read music, but I wasn’t all that committed to it.”
Why choose saxophone?
“I’ve always loved the sax,” he explains. “I like the way it can take a lead role, or it can provide background harmonies – it’s so versatile and you can play it in lots of different styles.” A big inspiration for Rick was “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph. “ I listened to that tune loads when I was a kid, and now I’m learning to play it on saxophone!” says Rick.
Rick likes playing funky pop tunes and he’s inspired by the music of “Average White Band.” I really liked the Sax School guest session with Freddy V,” he says. “The guest sessions are great, it’s really good to hear from other players.”
If my video inspires one person to learn saxophone as an adult, I’ll be happy!
Rick is hoping to get confident enough to play with a community band, and even to perform in local venues. “I would like to be able to improvise, and to play with other musicians,” he says. “It would be great to be able to sit down with a guitarist and play along.”
Rick is working hard to achieve his goals. “I work on a lot of the basic stuff like long tones, chromatic scales, and finger exercises,” he says. “Also, I’m learning about music theory so I can understand things like pentatonics – I want to be a musician!”
Rick has certainly attracted a lot of attention with his sax playing already. “It’s been a lot of fun, for the whole family,” he says, “but if my video inspires one person to try something new, or even learn saxophone as an adult, then I am happy!”
You have certainly inspired us Rick – Congratulations on being our Student of the Week!
Want to learn saxophone like Rick?
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