Cory Chandler has been playing saxophone on and off since school, but never felt that he really got to grips with playing as he wanted to. Since joining Sax School last summer he’s been making great progress, especially with improvising. We loved his video of Mercy Mercy Mercy so much, we awarded him Student of the Week!
Corey started the sax in 5th grade, around the age of ten. “I have always loved the sound of blues sax,” says Corey. “And I’ve always liked Zoot, the sax-playing muppet – he never got enough airtime!”
However, whilst at college, he got disheartened and stopped playing. “There was a problem with my sax, but I thought it was me!” Corey says. “Luckily a musician friend of mine saw a picture of me with a sax, and convinced me to play in a faculty band. I was back to reading music and happy to play occasionally.”
However, Corey felt there was something missing. “I couldn’t unlock the mystery of improvising,” Corey explains. “So I would step away from the sax until I found an excuse to pick it up again. That has been an ongoing cycle for the past ten years.”
Corey finally started playing his sax again last summer, after a three year break.
“I was still struggling with improvising,” explains Corey. “I learned to play scales but I couldn’t apply them when it came to creating a solo. I started to question if I could be a musician like I really want to be.”
“I’ve always liked Zoot, the sax-playing muppet – he never got enough airtime!”
Discovering Sax School
This is when Corey discovered Sax School. “I watched Nigel’s YouTube videos and I loved how he limited the notes that we could use. I’m a language teacher, and it reminded me of learning a new language – you need to stick with your limited vocabulary.”
Joining Sax School has made a big difference to Corey’s playing. “The Improviser Pathway gave me confidence that I could hear the notes and respond in a way that was pleasing,” he says.
Corey’s winning video shows him out performing and improvising with a trio of other musicians. “It was a treat,” says Corey, “I was nervous before I started, but I just got lost in the music. I felt like I belonged. That was 100% thanks to Nigel’s approach.”
“I was nervous before I started, but I just got lost in the music. I felt like I belonged. That was 100% thanks to Nigel’s approach.”
There’s still plenty to work on – “I still get lost when I’m improvising in a song, but it’s getting better,” says Corey. “And finding enough time to practice is always a challenge.”
But one thing’s for sure – Corey’s really got the bug for performing now. “In 2019 I’m hoping I will continue to grow in confidence. I want to take opportunities to play – even if I have no idea what we will be playing! I just want to jam!”