Mike Keepe Band Director's Corner


Mission Statement:

To offer secondary school Band Director’s a source of reference for materials and equipment to better assist today’s student of saxophone. I would like to encourage you to contact me at info@mikekeepe.com with any questions or concerns you may have and I will do my best to offer any assistance. I welcome any suggestions you may have to better serve your needs and will continuously update this site. Soon I will also post archived past correspondence from Band Director’s that I feel address common concerns felt by music educators.


Recommended Equipment:

The equipment listed below is a general list. There are many brands available to today’s student. What I have listed is what I have found most consistent as far as quality of sound and intonation.

Instruments:

  • Student model saxophones: Selmer USA, Yamaha, Vito (Japan)
  • Professional Saxophones: Selmer (Paris), Yamaha (Custom Series)

Mouthpieces:

  • Student: Yamaha 4C, 5C, for alto, tenor, and baritone
  • Professional Classical:
    Selmer S-90 190(alto)
    Selmer S-90 170(tenor, and baritone)
  • Professional Jazz:
    Meyer 5,6 small or medium (alto)
    Otto Link 6*- 8* (tenor, and baritone)

Reeds:

  • Student: Rico Royal 2 (beginner), 2 ½ (second year and up)
  • Professional Classical: Vandoren Classic 3
  • Jazz: Vandoren Java 2 1/2 or 3, Rico Jazz Select (soft through medium)

Recommended Materials:

Below I have reviewed two major resources that I feel should be in the library of every Band Director and serious student of saxophone. I also have a repertoire list available specifically for grades 5 through 12. These include technical studies, etudes, and solo repertoire that will enable students to progress through secondary school participating in solo and ensemble festivals, solo competitions, and college audition preparation.

(Download Grades 5-12 Repertoire List)

Pedagogy:

The Art of Saxophone Playing, by Larry Teal, published by Summy - Birchard Inc. By far the standard for saxophone pedagogy. Detailed explanations and photos are given covering a multitude of topics such as fundamentals, instrument and mouthpiece choice, vibrato, doubling, repertoire, to name only a few.

History:

The Cambridge Companion to the Saxophone, edited by Richard Ingham, published by Cambridge Press. This is a great resource for understanding the history of the inventor, and the development of the saxophone. It also covers the major repertoire and performers in both classical and jazz idioms. Each chapter is written by notable historians and performers.


Performances/Master Classes:

(Please also refer to the Master Classes Page)

I am available throughout the school year for performances, master classes, and clinics covering a number of subjects including:

  • Fundamentals
  • Intonation
  • Ensemble playing
  • Developing better technique
  • Jazz interpretation
  • Improvisation
  • Audition preparation
  • And more......

It is my pleasure to offer a free initial master class to local band programs on Fundamentals. For more formal master classes, and clinics given on any of the other topics stated above or for initial master classes given where travel time is more than an hour, my fee may be offset with Conn-Selmer Inc. if a minimum of 60 days notice is given. Please contact me for further information at mike.keepe (at) gmail (dot) com.

(Download a Selmer Clinic Request Form)


Private Instruction:

(Please also refer to the Studio Page)

I am accepting motivated students who want to excel as saxophonists and musicians. If you would be kind enough to post my contact information (email, phone, website) to your private teacher list I would be very grateful. I would be happy to come to your school, play for your students, and give a free Master Class on Fundamentals, if you have the time and feel it would help recruitment.