The Saxophone is one of the most iconic instruments in the world. It is a vital part of jazz, big bands, marching bands, pop standards and even classical music. Developed by Adolphe Sax in the 1840’s, the Saxophone is one of the most popular woodwind instruments because of its cool look. It is a single reeded instrument made of brass which has a conical bore which can be overblown at the octave. It is a very versatile instrument. You would find the four different kinds of Saxophone instruments in big bands. The Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone. The Soprano Saxophone and Tenor Saxophone are in the key of Bb whereas the Alto Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone are in the key of Eb. The most popular Saxophone to start learning to play is Alto Saxophone, it is not as heavy as a Tenor Saxophone or Baritone Saxophone. It has a mellow tone and is suitable for anybody to learn at any age and standard. So if you are interested in learning the saxophone as a beginner or if you are a competent player looking to improve your skills then read the following article which explains the reasons why learning the Saxophone can have so many benefits to improve your health and well-being.
There are many reasons to learn to play other than just these. Here is a list of a few
Learning how to blow the saxophone can help improve lung power and improve breath control. Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange. It can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilise blood pressure which has a significant effect on quality of life. During a saxophone lesson a student learns how to breathe deeply and control the release of breath through the instrument. Once the student is able to produce a sound out of the saxophone then they are shown how to blow the instrument using the correct embouchure.
Improves Coordination and Finger Dexterity
Playing the saxophone helps to improve muscle strength in the hands. The development of small muscle skills will aid penmanship skills and other related activities. According to the School Yard website the small muscles found in the hands and fingers are the most important for developing pencil grip and handwriting skills. Saxophone lessons provide a fun and exciting way to develop these skills. When learning the saxophone you are taught how to move fingers independently of each other. According to recent research quoted in an NHS document there is a suggestion that hand exercises can significantly improve activity performance, grip strength, pain and fatigue.
Improves Discipline & Concentration
Learning the Saxophone can help the student develop concentration and self discipline skills. During a lesson the student would learn about how to count note values in theory or written work as well as learning how to play notes. The main focus for the student would be to develop a practise regime and to set achievable goals which would help to improve concentration. Learning these skills takes practice, by nurturing these skills a student needs to stay focused and develop self discipline and improve concentration. Learning the basic skills of the saxophone at first can be challenging but it can also be fun. Our memories can be improved by learning the saxophone. Our hearing and tactile stimulation as well as visual stimulation reading music can give our brain a thorough workout. While we learn how to play the Saxophone we help to develop our hippocampus which activates neurogenesis to develop new neurons to help create better memory.
Learning pieces of music and songs on saxophone can be fun and very rewarding. According to an article in BrainFacts.org learning an instrument can have great benefit for our brain due to the fact that every single area in the brain gets stimulated when we play an instrument.This is because it’s using information from the senses of vision, hearing, and touch, along with fine movements. This can result in long-lasting positive changes in the brain.
Builds Confidence and Social Skills
Playing the saxophone in ensemble situations develops social skills which can be fun. Learning different styles of music is very rewarding and educational. A saxophone student has the option to become involved in all kinds of music making activities. Saxophones are a significant part of big bands, jazz bands, pop bands and in some orchestras.
Provides A Creative Outlet
Learning to play saxophone can give a student the skills needed to be able to write their own music or to perform their favourite pieces. Playing any musical instrument allows you express your creative side, but the saxophone is particularly good for this due to its wide range of dynamics and flexible sound, allowing you to convey many emotions and styles
Enhances The Understanding Of Music
Playing the saxophone can enhance your understanding of music in many ways. It can help you develop your aural skills and the ability to distinguish different sounds, which aids in the development of language. It also improves a person’s abstract reasoning skills (the ability to identify logical patterns), which is an essential skill for maths and science.
Introduces A New Language
Learning music is like learning a language. Both the spoken and written word, and music is a form of communication and expression. Like learning a language, a student of music needs to learn to understand what they hear, to be able to speak it, and lastly to be able to read and write it.
Skills For Other Woodwind Instruments
Learning saxophone can help you learn other woodwind instruments. One major advantage of learning the saxophone is that once you understand the basics of one type of saxophone (such as alto or tenor), you can easily play on all the other types as well. You can even learn other instruments like the flute or trombone with relative ease.
Playing the saxophone has therapeutic benefits. It serves as a stress reliever and helps you stay fit and healthy. Learning an instrument like the saxophone also improves memory function, teaches patience, perseverance and other important leadership skills.