What are the qualities of an exceptional teacher? As a school psychologist and educator, I have observed numerous teachers in various contexts and have seen the best and the worst of teachers and possibly everything in between. A master teacher is a choreographer of excellence. Brandon is such a master both in his own musical performances and in his ability to teach music. He has a relaxed positive personality that creates a safe environment for learning. Brandon seems to have an intuitive sense of where the student’s “cutting edge” is and with flexible dexterity tailors his instruction to the needs of the student. Even though initially I squeaked so badly on the saxophone that my dog ran for cover, Brandon calmly sat through the ear-piercing notes and without criticism made recommendations for how I might make the notes more melodic. My self-criticism was met with understanding and encouragement. This patience and gentle correction was consistent over the years and so I traveled for three hours just to have a lesson with Brandon. It was a privilege to be a student of his. There are many teachers but it would be extremely difficult to find anyone as talented and competent as Brandon when it comes to teaching music. I would highly recommend him both as a performer and a teacher of music.
– Melody Cowper-Smith
Brandon is an incredibly gifted teacher and musician. I took weekly alto saxophone lessons from Brandon for two years and have the pleasure of saying, he was one of the best teachers I have ever had. At every lesson Brandon was always encouraging and supportive. When ever I was struggling with a drill or exercise he was always quick to tell me “Don’t worry, you’ll get it.” Brandon always seemed to believe in me no matter what. At every lesson Brandon would share his knowledge of music with me by getting out his horn and playing with me. Which was important in helping me develop a greater understanding of how jazz forms and phrasings worked. Often during are lessons, time would be devoted to soloing back and forth, which was incredibly essential for my musical growth because he was not only telling me how to be a better player but showing me. Taking lessons from Brandon not only prepared me for university music but also inspired me to develop to my full potential. Brandon is a truly inspirational teacher who has an advanced knowledge of music, and cares about his students.
– Katelyn Jardine
I most enthusiastically recommend Brandon as a saxophone teacher. I am a mature student. I first took sax lessons many years ago and have played in community bands off and on. Recently I retired and wanted to enhance my sax skills and also learn to play jazz. Brandon is excellent at helping me to be a better sax player and also is helping me learn music theory, which I need to know to play jazz.
– Hugh Jones
Over the course of four years of music lessons with Brandon Oberhamer, I learned how to play both the flute and the tenor sax. I had little to no exposure to music before I started my lessons, but over those four years I moved up from being a total beginner to filling important roles in every band that my high school offered.
Brandon has a lot of experience in both teaching and performing music, and I highly respect his passion and dedication. He emphasizes practice and hard work. It wasn’t always easy or fun (scales, I am talking about you) but in the end, the skills and good habits that I developed were well worth the effort. Brandon always knew just what I needed to work on to make me better, both technically (in my playing) and theoretically (in my general understanding of music). He also happens to be absolutely hilarious, which made for a fun learning atmosphere.
I would highly recommend Brandon to anyone looking for a quality music teacher. I learned so much from him and I know that, thanks to him, I will retain my appreciation for music for the rest of my life.
– Carolyn Reinholz
I’ve had the pleasure of taking lessons with Brandon for many years. He is an amazing teacher. He understands the needs and wants for a student and sits down with you to work towards that goal. His greatest asset is his willingness to share; to share his experience, his knowledge, and most importantly in a learning environment, his opinion. He will tell you that things are not sounding good, but he will also come up with lesson plans that will help you improve. If you put your time and effort into the lesson you can expect Brandon to put in more than his share. Brandon definitely has my recommendation and thumbs up if you are looking for sax lessons!
– Derrick Fong
Brandon truly strikes the perfect balance between teacher and friend. I felt remarkably comfortable during our lessons because Brandon creates an environment that is excellent for learning and discovering. I always knew that I had a passion for jazz music, and Brandon helped me to build my repertoire around a set of fundamental skills. Brandon went above and beyond to make my learning experience as fruitful as possible, teaching me the proper use of scales and patterns in jazz music, opening my ears to the various styles of saxophone legends, and giving me instrumental disks to help me hone my skills during my free time. By unlocking my passion for music and improvisation, Brandon has given my music career the kick-start that it needed.
– Derek Field
I took lessons from Brandon at a beginner to intermediate level, as I grew older and as my skill level changed so did my style and interests. Brandon adapted my lessons to meet my personal interests and to challenge my skills as a musician. We worked through everything from theory booklets, scales, Disney tunes, to studying the art of improvisation and jazz style techniques. I changed saxophones throughout my time with Brandon from alto, to soprano, to baritone, and Brandon helped me with my tone on each of them.
Overall through my lessons with Brandon I grew into a well rounded student, and felt confident in my understanding of the instrument. I also gained a strong relationship with Brandon as a teacher, friend and fellow musician. I benefited greatly from his lessons and I hope others will too.
– Natalie Lauchlan,
Maceo Parker enthusiast.
My two children took lessons from Brandon for four years. My son was learning to play the alto sax, and my daughter the flute and then clarinet.
Brandon was wonderful with both kids, challenging my son, who really loves all things musical, especially the sax, and coaxing my daughter into practicing as then she really would improve.
From my standpoint, the reason I wanted my children to take music lessons was so that they would enjoy music, and the making of music. Brandon helped them to realize this goal, as well as their own goals of becoming very proficient at their instruments.
I highly recommend him as a teacher!!
– Margaret Stack
“Brandon taught me to play both alto and tenor saxophone for several years, and raised my playing skills considerably. He was firm in his requests to play scales and exercises, and used his excellent computerized sound equipment to create play-along opportunities. He is musically well-educated and skilled with a number of different instruments. I would readily recommend him to any student within his area of expertise.
– Ben De Laet, Prof. Eng. (Ret)