ELLERY ESKELIN - teaching                                                    e-mail contact
For many years my teaching was simply the result of casual lessons given to those who asked. However, in the last couple couple of years I've been invited as a guest lecturer by a number of universities and music seminars both in the US and Europe. In particular the annual, week-long Jazz and Improvised Music summer studies event in Salzburg, Austria has allowed me to more seriously consider the art of teaching and translate my years of performing experience into an interactive presentation of my musical concepts.
Being based in New York City since 1983 I've frequently given lessons through various local music programs at institutions such as The New School, Mannes College and City University. These programs allow students to choose a private lesson instructor based in NYC that is not otherwise affiliated with the school. I invite students enrolled in any of these or similar programs to contact me as I find that this is a beneficial way for them to access a wider range of teachers and approaches. Of course, musicians who are not enrolled in any such programs are equally welcome to contact me for one-time or on-going private instruction in New York. Very often I give one rather long lesson (2 to 3 hours) to students who are coming in from out of town. For students in the New York area I am now for the first time, offering multiple, regularly scheduled lessons.
For improvisation lessons, musicians on any instrument are welcome. For saxophone students special emphasis will be given to sound production and other issues specific to the instrument. All levels of musicianship are welcome. Improvisation lessons are generally tailored to the needs of individual students however certain themes often arise, such as...
Playing What You Hear - Acquired knowledge (such as scales and patterns) is indispensable to an improvising musician, however it is one's ear that guides the music. Ear training is emphasized as is the ability to create spontaneous melodic lines that allow the player a greater degree of control and agility over the course of musical events. When incorporating patterns attention is given to melodic control with an ear towards the overall flow of an improvisation.
Discovering how change playing (improvising over chord changes) and freer playing (improvising with no predetermined harmonic form) have much more in common than you may think. I offer specific methods for improvising on tunes and harmonic structures as well as strategies for organizing your musical ideas in freer situations. This is beneficial no matter what style of jazz you play. I find that these methods open up one's ideas and inventiveness when playing tunes and provide much greater focus, depth and coherency to freer improvising.
Directors of college and university programs should also feel free to contact me regarding master-classes and workshops. I am available to work as a soloist with your band or student group.  I can also bring my own working ensemble to provide an even more dynamic presentation. I have given numerous, well received workshops in the US and abroad. I  offer specific strategies for individual and group improvising based on my unique experience as a musician. Students are encouraged to play as part of the workshop.
References are available. Please feel free to contact me directly for more information via e-mail.  A partial list of institutions that I have taught at include:  SIM (School for Improvisational Music) Summer Intensive at NYU, University of Michigan, Bard College, Youngstown State University, University of Northern Iowa, James Madison University,  University of Tennessee Knoxville, Jazz & Improvised Music Salzburg, Ecole de Musique Bordeaux , Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen - Koninklijk Conservatorium, Hochschule f Musik "K.M.v. Weber" Dresden and the MusikHochschule Luzern.
Read the Baltimore Magazine article about Towson University’s Arts programs, featuring my jazz residency in 2011.  
Read my blog post on issues regarding “What is Modern?”.  The idea of “Hearing Beyond Style” relates to my teaching style as well.
"Playing What You Hear" lecture given at Jazz and Improvised Music (JIMS) sessions in Salzburg, Austria, 2007
With Towson University’s Jazz Orchestra, April, 2014