My teaching strengths...
- Clarinet lessons, Saxophone lessons, Composition and Improvisation
- Teaching beginners, intermediate and advanced students
- Inspiring curiosity and love for all things music
- Developing your musical understanding, that ‘aha’ moment!
- Developing efficient practice techniques
- Creating your own great sound
- Giving students the ability to ‘problem solve’ by themselves
The heart of my teaching…
- To foster individual creativity … creativity is the core of my teaching practice.
- My philosophy as a teacher is to explore and facilitate the musical potential that exists in all people. I work as a mentor with my students, developing creative solutions to musical problems.
- During my clarinet and saxophone lessons, a variety of approaches are adopted. A large part of gaining skill in music is the ability to ‘problem solve’ the many challenges that arise. I have a vast repertoire of pedagogical approaches that I use to solve these challenges.
- Improvisation is a powerful tool to explore musical imagination and understanding, especially at beginner levels.
- The traditional pedagogy of sound production and technique are rigorously upheld but with a light touch. If appropriate we might explore musical concepts with some improvisation and discussion. This might be a mini-composition we do together or perhaps we might listen to a student’s favourite song and find a part we can both play together. Scales can even be fun taught this way!
FAQ for Clarinet and Saxophone Lessons Geelong
I provide clarinet & saxophone tuition for all ages from beginner to tertiary levels and into professional mentoring for teaching and performing for musicians wanting to embark on a career in the music profession.
What is the best age to start learning clarinet or saxophone?
Generally a prospective student should be round 8 years old, and be physically able to hold a clarinet or saxophone. His or her hands do need to be big enough to cover/reach the holes and keys on a clarinet or saxophone. Of course those older than 8 years can start at any time 🙂
Do you teach AMEB exams?
I prepare students to take saxophone and clarinet examinations at any AMEB level, tertiary level and beyond.
What music books do your students need to begin lessons?
Students will need approximately $60 up front for a beginner book, reeds and a neck strap if required.
What instrument do you recommend for beginners?
A good clarinet for beginners to start with would be a Yamaha or Jupiter student clarinet. These can be rented via a rent to buy program or purchased outright. A new clarinet would be around $800-$1000 in cost. Second hand instruments can be a good option, however ‘buyer beware’ – if extensive repairs are required, this can be expensive.
The best saxophone for beginners is also a Yamaha or Jupiter student saxophone.
What can a student expect in their first clarinet or saxophone lesson for beginners?
For our first lesson we will learn all the fundamentals of making a sound, putting together and taking the instrument apart, how to hold a clarinet and saxophone and forming your embouchure. We might also improvise together.
How much do you expect students to practice?
Practice? How long? Well, the answer is as much as possible! However, I do understand that students often have very busy schedules and would advise that the best way to practice is ‘a little, a lot’ It is those frequent sessions in touch with the instrument that form the quickest pathways to learning. So many skills go into being able to play a musical instrument, from physical and academic skills as well as self-esteem and problem solving.
With regular practice, a student’s music skills and confidence develop, and they begin to see some small wins. Along with each success, their passion for music and for their instrument grows!
Lesson cancellation policy
Please be mindful that I have a reserved a specific time for you to attend your lesson. Missed lessons due to illness or any other reason will not be made up. I will endeavour to find another time, but cannot guarantee that missed lessons will be made up.
Conducting and tutoring for band and orchestral programs
I have had extensive experience working within school music programs, conducting, teaching and tutoring large groups. My conducting experience includes:
- Sydney Mandolin Orchestra (2013-2017)
- Sydney Girls High School conducting the School Orchestra & Concert Band (2011-2013)
I have completed conducting courses with Symphony Australia and NSW Public Schools Arts Unit.
Margery Smith’s Performance Experience
My life with music is performing an eclectic mix of music on saxophone and clarinet, from classical to improvised genres. Past work has included Associate Principal Clarinet with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
I was also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, where I also completed my PhD titled: Improvisation as a catalyst for collaborative musical thinking and composition.
Hear Some of Margery Smith’s Performances on Spotify
Gabriel Faure, 3 Songs, Op.23 (Arr. Kin Cunio): 1. Les Berceaux
Paul Stanhope PhoSpherics
Romano Crevici, Mantra: 1.Allegro-Adagio (from his quintet for Bass Clarinet & Strings)
Andrew Ford, Learning to Howl for Soprano, Harp, Percussion, Clarinet/Soprano Saxophone/Bass Clarinet
Icon for Didgeridoo and Saxophones by Margery Smith & Mick Davison
Margery Smith’s Recordings
Australian music for Saxophone, features works by Paul Sarcich, Gerard Brophy, Margaret Sutherland, Dulcie Holland, Rae Marcellino and Roger Frampton
|Tall Poppies Records: TP 132
Our first CD, you can hear my work Tundra on this CD
|Continuum Sax CSAX01
This CD features ICON for Sax Quartet and Didgeridoo, as well as works by Andrew Ford, Paul Stanhope and Martin Kay
|Continuum Sax CSAX02
|House Songs – with The Seymour Group
Laquiem (by Andre Greenwell)
|Anthology of Australian Music on Disc