When your lifestyle makes it a challenge to take regular lessons and connect with other musicians, the flexibility of Sax School’s saxophone lessons online can help.
Isobel (iZi) from the Netherlands shares her journey of learning “ropes & notes”- with saxophone lessons online.
Learning with Sax School at Sea
Earlier this year, Sax School member Isobel (who goes by iZi) and her husband decided to follow his long time dream and bought a sailboat. Living on the boat, which is currently in the Netherlands, she discovered Sax School. iZi thought it would be a great way to have fun, improve her saxophone playing and connect with other sax players whilst she is sailing the seas.
Before joining Sax School, iZi had been mainly working from an etude book and trying to learn some songs by ear. “ I had been working from this book for a really long time and it had become a bit boring. My husband is very happy to hear me play something else!”
Saxophone Lessons Online
The wide variety of musical styles covered in Sax School appeals to iZi, who has been learning saxophone since she was 10 years old. “It is nice that there are all different kinds of music to learn, with lots of songs and super nice solos as well as different exercises to work on.”
“ When we come to shore and I can connect,” explains iZi. “ I download the sheets and backing tracks for the next songs and exercises I am going to work on.”
Limited space means iZi has to choose what to work on carefully. “It is really nice to play with the backing tracks, but for now I have to choose which ones to take on each trip…We just have one iPad for everything, but that helps me focus on the things I will work on”, she says. “When we are ashore, somewhere that I can play and has good internet, it is great fun for me to play along with more of the backing tracks.”
Dealing with an irregular schedule, intermittent internet connection, limited storage space and a sometimes “wibbly wobbly” outdoors rehearsal space has its challenges. But iZi is determined to make the most of her time on this trip and the resources in Sax School to improve her playing. She laughs, “I think later, after our trip is done, playing will be really easy for me!”
Every so often, everything comes together in a perfect magical moment. “What I am really dreaming of is to be able to play a slow, beautiful, blues on my sax. I want to play it when we are just floating out on the ocean in those calm moments when the sea and the sky and the light are all blue.”
On a sailboat, the weather conditions dictate how you spend your day. “On the boat sometimes there are big waves and lots of ropes to pull, but sometimes it is just quiet and you have a lot of down time.”
In that downtime, iZi is focusing on improving her tone and practising lots of exercises in her outdoor rehearsal space to achieve this, using saxophone lessons online with Sax School. “I am not really happy with my tone,” she says, “so I am playing a lot with my tuner and working on the warm up workouts, long tone and overtone exercises”. “Sometimes though, when we are just waiting to get somewhere, it is nice to sit on the deck and just play for the fish & the seabirds.”
”When I am more satisfied with my tone, I want to start working on improvising.”says iZi. “I have not really done that before, but I see there are lots of lessons to help get started with this in Sax School. I am looking forward to starting on that.”
In terms of connecting with other players and sharing the learning process, iZi is enjoying the Sax School Community. “I really like that I can look in the Community and see how everyone else is doing and get some feedback. There are so many amazing ideas and videos in there from the other sax players.” “It is nice to know that other people all round the world are working on the same things as me.” says iZi, who is about to start working on this month’s challenge song.
When you spend a lot of time travelling, it can be difficult to find a way to play with other musicians. iZi hopes she will soon be able to connect in person with some of the other Sax School students. “My idea is to let people in the Community know for example, in five days I will be coming to the harbour in this place and ask “Does anyone want to come and play with me?” That is my dream, to be able to play with other sax players and musicians all around the world.”
If you want to follow iZi on her journey you can check in with her in the Sax School Community (members only) or follow her progress on Instagram :@24_music_at_sea.
What could Sax School do for you? Find out with a 14 day free trial here.