Saxophone 'Extraordinaire' and Multi Instrumentalist Emily Neagle MMus | FRSM | BA (hons) has been teaching with Your Space Music Lessons for several years, we caught up with her recently to find out more about her love of music, her memorable gigs and her advice about learning to play.
Emily graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music and performs with the Momentum Quartet, a group of incredible like-minded professional saxophonists, and she is also part of the band 'Jazzmo'. As conductor of 2 wind bands at her local music centre in Christchurch, Emily really enjoys the thrill of working with young musicians who show enthusiasm and clear enjoyment of music. ‘I love seeing smiley faces both at the wind bands and in lessons and I think that learning a musical instrument really helps to grow social skills in everyone.’
‘When I was at university I was around at the time when composer Jenni Watson was there, and I really love her music. As part of Momentum we performed and recorded the piece ‘Tinged’. This is a fresh, modern and meandering stylistic piece which defies stereotypical saxophone pigeon-holing.'
Listen to Emily performing with Momentum Quartet Jenni Watson's piece Tinged: Watch and listen
'Got to be at the Royal Albert Hall with Momentum, a real stand out experience to play in such iconic surroundings. Although playing in Porto, Portugal for the World Saxophone Congress was also a wonderful experience’ Next Gig 'Jazzmo - 14th April at the historic Ringwood Meeting House, Hampshire.'
What do you like in a student?
'I love pupils who come into a lesson smiling and really engage in the session. It’s also wonderful when students practise regularly because it means we can keep moving forward and explore new things’ Why is playing good for you? 'Playing an instrument is good for everybody’s mental health, it stimulates the brain and helps with social skills if you get the opportunity to play with others. It’s also great to learn about the history of music and how genres of music evolved. Setting goals in learning an instrument is really important, so I would encourage taking music exams to help track your progress, when you progress through the grades it gives you a great sense of achievement.'
How to learn the saxophone as a beginner?'
It is tempting to think you can learn an instrument on your own, there's so many videos and apps around that give advice. Not everything out there is necessarily good quality and you won't get technique support personal to you or feedback when you are doing things wrong. As a beginner it can be tricky to make a good sound in the initial stages so it's important to learn things in the right way and have positive feedback when you are on the right track. With Your Space Music Lessons I teach in real time live online, it's interactive and I can see and hear everything to provide personal tuition tailored to you. It's great not having to travel to lessons and being at home, it makes for a relaxed yet focused learning experience.
Emily's Tips for Practicing
'Small chunks of practising everyday is a good idea, even just 10 minutes. Listening to the piece you are playing is just as important, so find it online and make time to listen to it, it really helps to understand and interpret the music.'