I have been playing tenor for 3 years now. I am very experienced, and have given lessons to new tenors for a while. However, a new alto asked if I could teach them. I told them I could, because even though the instruments are different, the fingerings are the same. I would just have to teach on their scale..

So am I right? I can teach this person and give them the same experience, because fingerings are the same?



Yes, though be sure to understand that there are some subtle differences in the embouchure that you might not be able to address. Make this clear to your student/s. Ideally, beginning students should study with the same instrument family (tenor with tenor, alto with alto etc), but in areas with limited teachers available this is totally fine. More people learning and playing music is always a good thing, have fun!

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    Sax players routinely double on all the sizes of sax, plus clarinet and even flute. The idea of different teachers for each size is bizarre! Do you have actual experience of this? – Laurence Payne May 27 '16 at 15:00
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    Hi Laurence. Yes, I've taught professionally for several decades. I'm from a large city however, so maybe the fact that there are more options available makes a difference in what can be done. For an absolute beginner I would go with the same family-type whenever possible. Once the initial learning is done (say a year, depending on the student), it makes no appreciable difference. – hailthemelody May 27 '16 at 19:09
  • Agreed with Laurence - different teachers for different saxes is a totally bizarre concept to me! Even more so at beginner level. Can I ask which large city hail - is this perhaps a US/UK difference? – Chris May 27 '16 at 21:35
  • Just to be clear, are we talking about individual study or group study? I'm assuming individual. – hailthemelody May 27 '16 at 22:59

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