Alex Hahn Masterclass

Alex gave a really good class. He asked us to take notes. Here they are.

Steps to a music career. (most of these apply to any pursuit)

  1. Time Management
  2. Listen to a diverse selection of music.
  3. Stay positive – breathing exercises and meditation help
  4. Stay focused – stay driven always playing, playing, playing – work on one thing when you practice
  5. Make yourself marketable – Again diversity, play multiple instruments, learn to compose, arrange, teach – how can I make money? – as a student audition for workshops, music programs, Disney
  6. Play with as many different people as possible.
  7. Follow up – get back – stay in touch – persistence works
  8. Be prepared – you have to do good to be hired back
  9. Save 5% or 10% of every gig.
  10. Set goals – break goals into steps – is this goal possible – how can I track progress?

Alex asked us all to write down some goals.

My goals Composition recital Play more gigs

Alex's goals Be patient Practice ½ hour every day Get nominated for a Grammy

Alex's listening

Brian Blade and The Fellowship Kamasi Washington Brad Mehldau esp. Highway Rider

saxophones Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderly, Kenny Garrett, Sonny Rollins

trumpet Ambrose Akinmusire

I don't remember all of his recommendations. Maybe he'll get back with me and fill in the blanks. (he did)

I asked if Ambrose Akinmusire inspired him to write for strings. He said not really and named a couple of jazz string arrangers that inspired him. I'll try to get those names too.

He got back with me.

Kamasi Washington – The Epic / Truth / Heaven & Earth Snarky Puppy with the Metropole Orchestra

Alex also played a couple of pieces solo. He was engaging and entertaining and obviously has a thing for teaching.