Keith Ridenhour’s Music Education and Performance Page

TAKING MUSIC LESSONS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I DID IN GRADE SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE, AND RETIREMENT. 

Hello,I am Keith Ridenhour (Kride) and I welcome you to my site. I have been a teacher and performer for many years. Please let me help you if you feel like you’ve been stuck at the same playing level for a long time or just want to go try having more fun with music by playing better.

Common Reasons People don’t take Private lessons. 

1. I DON’T NEED THEM, WHY BOTHER, I PLAY OKAY???

A GOOD TEACHER/TRAINER  BRINGS THREE THINGS TO YOUR PLAYING ABILITY. 

A, Perspective. They have heard beginning players, intermediate players, good players and professional players. So they know all the levels possible from a student. 

B. System. they have a system so if you want to do whatever with your playing they know the intermediate steps between what you want to do and where your level is now.

C. Patience , they keep your focus on your goals and watch and monitor as you do the work to get to the next level. 

 I have new students all the time who come to me with various issues in their playing. And most of the time they don’t even realize that they are not aware of these areas.

Time (can’t keep a steady beat), tone (pinched tight sound, harsh) , intonation (can’t play in tune), rhythm (reading music wrong or with inaccurate rhythms) , and dynamic unawareness. (always play loud)

 It’s not like they aren’t smart .I have students very smart and very motivated.   YOU can be a smart and hard working student but heres the thing .Without a teacher you may or may not be aware of these areas. 

So YOU end up Practicing mistakes over and over rather than taking  a step forward. You end up not knowing what to practice to correct mistakes. And how to monitor to see if they have been resolved. 

If you are going to play just by yourself and really don’t care if you play better, great, more power to you, heck enjoy yourself. But,  if you want to play with others in a group setting ,not having  awareness of all those areas it will be much harder and not as fun. 

2 . NOBODY I KNOW TAKES LESSONS

Frankly, I’ve been a pro for many years and even some of my friends don’t take lessons. But what I notice is that people who have heard me over time tell me that I sound better than the last time they heard me. Better tone, more interesting solos, really great groove. I see that all improvement in my playing and my students also get better in all those areas over time. Thats all from my system to get better. 

When I was in high school half the kids in band took lessons because we went to competitions and won. We loved playing well. Now in most schools unless they have a good band director only the first chairs in sections take lessons. but heres the deal. 

You can spend your time looking and searching for a gym(driving in circles) or at the gym actually getting better. 

 My students  tend to get better very fast. Its because 1. We create measurable goals that are important to you , the student and  I have a system which has worked for myself and my students. This system  addresses each individual aspect of playing. We do it  separately so we can work on fixing them effectively .

 Rather than spending your time watching a You tube exercise , kind of doing it and then giving up because you don’t know if you are doing it right, why not get a PMT Personal Music Trainer  who can give you the help you to show MEASURABLE PROGRESS in every area of your playing over time.

3. I HAD A TEACHER YEARS AGO THAT I DIDN’T LIKE SO I’M RELUCTANT TO TRY AGAIN

I did too. My college teacher never brought his horn to lessons. Never explained how to form my mouth, how to get good tone, how to play fast. How to sound cool. I was stuck with him but I was determined to learn so I studied on the side with a great teacher in the symphony and learned the skills I needed to be a pro. 

There are teachers out there with no degree (so no formal education training, they might play well and not understand the teaching skills which are as important as playing skills), teachers out there with no system (so they make it up every week with no end goal), teachers who can’t play at a pro level (can’t demonstrate how it should sound) , you name it. I’ve had great teachers and ones who I wish had more skills.  

I’m so sorry you had to go through that. With my students we start with a mission statement that has MEASURABLE GOALS.  We build it together so you, as the student decide that you want to improve. The ability to groove, proper note choice for a chord change  , rhythms to use to solo, your  tone, sounding like one of your idols .These are things YOU decide you want to work toward.

4.THEY COST TOO MUCH MONEY. 

I’ve taken all kinds of lessons. Racquetball, Pool (8 ball), personal physical trainer, sax , clarinet, flute, trpt. They all seem to fall in the same  range for cost. 

 My teaching fee (50 an hour) half hour negotiable hasn’t changed in 15 years. Heres what I tell students when it comes to the cost of a lesson.  

What if I can save you hours and hours of your time? What if I can help you save 100s of dollars by getting you  the right equipment? Many of my students open a door to what becomes a lifelong passion and source of fun/excitement/interacting with others in bands, etc. Whats that worth?

SO, I HOPE YOU GIVE IT A TRY.  EVEN IF ITS  NOT ME  , I’D STILL ITELL ANYONE SERIOUS ABOUT HAVING MORE FUN AND GETTING BETTER TO GRAB A PERSONAL MUSIC TRAINER. 

HERE ARE THE HATS I WEAR CURRENTLY. 

EDUCATOR   My biggest joy is teaching and instructing ensembles. I have taught Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Jazz Improvisation for many years privately and in the Napa, Sonoma County , and Marin County schools Please contact me if you’d be interested in doing private lessons. I have taught students from 7 to 70 years old and the joy of learning new information and playing good music is something you should not miss. More on my Lessons page I have a Bachelors of Music Education from University of Missouri, ST Louis and I attended Berklee College of music for 2 years when I was a trumpet major, before I switched to Saxophone. 

PERFORMER  Ive been in the Jami Jamison band for 18 years playing all over sonoma and marin counties. I also do two and sometimes 4 convalescent hospital performances a week with trios, duos and a solo act with backing tracks. I’ve played many kinds of music . My current shows are on my Current Gig page. 

ARTIST  Ive been oil painting for 4 years now and have sold many paintings. There are lots of examples on my Art page . 

Sonoma Soul is a duo I formed in 2015 and this is the title cut from my Debut CD Sonoma Soul plays  Auto Matrix. The CD is for sale locally for 20 dollars and I’ll ship it for 25 dollars within the US. Just email me and I’ll get you paypal info, thanks, Heres Auto Matrix my first original.

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Heres This Masquerade  I recorded this in San Francisco with a very talented guitarist /engineer. 

If you’d like to contact me for gigs or taking private saxophone/clarinet/flute lessons my email is Keith@Ksaxman.com or Kride18576@yahoo.com

I have lots of music for sale on CD Baby , I tunes, and Amazon under my name. Or my band Sonoma Soul. 

In 2017/2018/2019  I’ll also be teaching Flute and Jazz Improvisation at the Petaluma Adult school.