Sean Nowell is an excellent saxophone teacher. When I first started taking lessons with him as a young'n, he taught me how to play scales, form a proper embouchure, and read sheet music fluently. About a year ago, he helped me record a Giant Steps solo for college applications. But there are many excellent saxophone teachers. What makes Sean such an important person in my life is the fact that he is one of the few people I know who is passionate and courageous enough to truly follow his dreams; many people lie to themselves and say they do, but this man is the real deal. Through his actions and his worldview, he has inspired me to live every single day creatively and is a role model for how to live the rest of my life.
-Justin Green, student
Sean Nowell is fantastic teacher and musician. He has the ability to work with students at any level. He has worked with my son, now age 18, for three years and has successfully prepared him for the next level of musicianship in the world of Jazz Music at the college level. Sean's creativity as a teacher, combined with his own talents as a tenor sax, flute and clarinet player make him a terrific find in the world of private music instruction. I recommend him completely and without any reservation if you are looking for a great teacher who can help to bring you note net level.
-Margaret Russel, parent
Passion, enthusiasm, inspiration, intelligence, and patience are just some of the qualities that Sean Nowell brings to life, music, and teaching.
I have been playing the sax, flute, and clarinet since I was a kid and had developed a lot of bad habits. Sean took the time to help me work through these bad habits, rebuild my approach, and regain my confidence. We explore improvisation through playing and transcriptions. Whether it is a standard or a contemporary tune, Sean has the ability to break down complex musical structures and offer straightforward soloing ideas that I have been able to use in practice and performance immediately.
An excellent sense of people, great communication skills, and a master of jazz and the saxophone allow Sean to not only find the right way to talk to a topic, but also the right way to play to a topic.
Taking lessons as an adult has been a wonderful experience. Taking lessons with Sean has been an even better experience. Whether you are looking to start learning or looking to improve your playing, Sean will help you get there.
-James Marcus, adult student
Sean Nowell is a music instructor with great integrity, enthusiasm and vision. His passion for both music and teaching are apparent in every lesson. As non-musicians, we were most impressed with the time and care he took with our son explaining how to get the best out of his instrument including care and maintenance. Most importantly, Sean provided the necessary inspiration to help our son move beyond seeing himself as just playing in a school band to a confident musician who looks forward to pursuing a career in music.
-Patty Macias, parent
I have been taking lessons from Sean Nowell for the last three years. I am an adult student and started playing tenor sax when I retired. I started with Sean as a complete novice – not only new to the tenor sax, but having never learned how to read sheet music other than rhythm for playing the drums.
From the start Sean was very encouraging – even through the painful first lessons when I couldn’t properly make sounds come out of the horn! Once I had the basics of learning to at least play all the notes on the range of the tenor sax, Sean moved me into learning all the scales through improvisational jazz. This was an excellent approach for me – since it got me started playing in a manner I desired, even before I could play any real jazz standards.
Sean challenged me to continue to progress as we began to learn from standards in the Real Book. All along, Sean taught not just techniques in making good music, but music theory and composition to understand the changes that occur in many forms of jazz.
When the iReal book app came available, Sean was quick to have me adopt it and use for even a better practice and playing experience. Sean has been careful not to over teach, but to experience learning through playing. Many of my most important learning lessons have been in back and forth improvisation sessions with Sean.
Sean has helped me record my progress of the last three years – a testimonial for how far I have come – but also a reminder of how much more I can improve. I would highly recommend Sean for his terrific teaching talent – and of course his wonderful playing as a master jazz musician. My only wish is I had started sooner and had more years studying with Sean’s guidance.
-David Cassano, adult student