Many musicians around the world are offering virtual music lessons for kids during COVID-19, but few, if any, are providing free instruction. Professional saxophonist Michael Brockman, who is the co-artistic director of Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) as well as a University of Washington School of Music professor, and a Seattle Jazz Hall of Famer, decided he wanted to do something special to help kids during the pandemic.
Starting Monday September 14, 2020 at 4:00pm Pacific Time, Dr. Brockman will begin teaching free 30-minute beginner saxophone classes on Zoom. Any child, anywhere in the world, can tune in to enjoy music lessons, given by a world-class musician. Participating kids will be taught as a group, all together during the lesson.
These weekly saxophone lessons will take place every Monday at 4:00pm through October 26, 2020. In the first few lessons, kids who do not have a saxophone can still participate using a recorder. This series of lessons is perfect for the absolute beginner. Dr. Brockman will teach the children one or two notes at a time until they can play a short piece of music that he writes each week for the group. At the end of each lesson, everyone will turn on their microphones and play the piece together. The next week, everyone will play through the previous week’s piece, and then move on to the next one. Questions from students during the lessons will be answered later by professional coaches from the SRJO Jazz Scholars program.
“The well-researched benefits of music lessons for children are vast, but perhaps the most important of all is joy,” says Dr. Brockman. “The pandemic has been hard on children who are experiencing increased depression, boredom, and anxiety. Engaging in music can be a great outlet for children to release negative feelings and thoughts, to stave off boredom, and to calm the mind and body.”
To sign up for the free lessons, parents should go to https://www.srjo.org/learn-