September this year saw the loss of one of the most inspirational characters from my past. We all have people that we look up to and admire and musically Alan Melly was that chap for me. At junior school I had witnessed Alan in his element, entertaining me and my fellow schoolmates with a woodwind demonstration accompanied by Eddie Moors Senior the local music shop owner and well known entrepreneur. Alan wowed us all with a rendition of “pop-corn”, which included slap-tongue and other amazing effects. He showed us what a musical note looked like by firing a ping-pong ball out of the clarinet and he put the clarinet to bed by playing it piece by piece, slowly disassembling it whilst playing the Brahms Lullaby. It was this sense of humour and love of music that went on to inspire thousands of Clarinet, Saxophone and Flute players to achieve great things. This aside he was a great musician who performed with so many well known bands and musicians including the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Palm Court Theatre Orchestra, The Dudley More Trio (on TV) and so many more that I would be here all day listing them. I was fortunate enough before the first lock-down to catch up with Alan in his favourite coffee shop; The Fleur De Lis in Christchurch. What was going to be a quick half-hour turned into 2 hours of reminiscing of the old days. He had also given me the thumbs up with my creation – The Red Fez Orchestra and came to see the band twice. This was high praise indeed and meant a lot to me and other members of the band. Alan’s passing marks the end of an era and I only hope that I myself can leave such a lasting impression as a musician and teacher for the next generation.
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- KJ W19:35 20 Jul 22James has been my sax tutor since June 2021 - I lived north of London prior to that.He has been excellent for my playing ability and my grasp of music theory is also improving.We have concentrated on alto sax so far but at some point we will include tenor as well.Whilst James has a clear plan for what I need to do, he's very happy to take into account what I'm aiming to achieve and also my music preferences.I really enjoy my lessons and always look forward to the next one. An added bonus is his good sense of humour.If you are looking for a tutor, I'd have no hesitation at all in recommending James.Kevan WardBrian Q12:57 18 Jul 22I have been taking jazz saxophone lessons with James for about fifteen years, since I took up playing saxophone in my 40s.He is an excellent teacher and an outstanding musician. One to one lessons are always fun, engaging and stimulating. He gently but consistently pushes the standard upwards, which means I can never get bored or complacent.He has taught me to sight read music, which I never thought I would manage. He uses a wide variety of teaching techniques, advises me on books, sheet music, backing tracks and recordings. As well as individual lessons he has encouraged me to take part in small ensemble and big band lessons, including participation in weekend workshops, music festivals and some live gigs.James is very well organised, punctual and great at keeping in touch. He answers all my questions promptly and has also offered very good advice on purchasing instruments, basic saxophone maintenance and specialists to contact for more complicated repair work.As well as teaching, he runs some very entertaining jazz/swing/dance bands who do regular gigs. His improvisation style is strong, melodic and accessible, more Cannonball Adderley than John Coltrane.Certainly deserves five star rating.Sarah Jane Allcorn14:56 15 Jul 22James is very relaxed and friendly, and on my first lesson I was at ease talking with him. He was very accomodating when I explained my musical goals and has a plethora of materials/suggestions that was happy to share with me to help. I play both clarinet and saxophone - James is very talented and experienced on both so I was able to get a lot out of the lessons I had with him. Thank-you, James :)Amanda Jensen18:27 14 Jul 22James is an excellent teacher, whom I would have no hesitation recommending to others - in fact, I have! James took me through my Trinity Jazz sax exams to grade 8 and now he is very patiently teaching me the clarinet. He is a brilliant teacher for both children and the more "mature student", like myself, and has an in depth musical knowledge across all genres. Lessons are always fun, encouraging and informative.Lucy Wadsley19:40 11 Jul 22I’ve been having lessons with James for roughly 8 years on and off. James has always been very encouraging and makes me feel like I’m an excellent saxophonist. As an adult learner I have always felt really comfortable with James and he always gives me confidence and constructive criticism. He is always happy for me to ask questions and has a lot of patience. He understands being an adult learner I sometimes have other commitments and priorities and is always happy for me to stop and start. I’ve recently moved to York and not found a teacher as good, each time I visit Dorset I continue to book in a lesson. Highly recommend James as a saxophone teacher whether your beginner or what to pick up again as adult learner.