Teaching and Instruction

I teach saxophones (tenor, alto, soprano), flute, clarinet, music theory, music reading, piano, songwriting

I love teaching and in my 30-years-teaching experience I have had many students of various cultural backgrounds, European, Jewish, American. I am primarily an active performing musician and composer, bandleader and arranger, therefore I can help students of all levels, from very beginner to very advanced. My goal is to give a student enough foundation to have fun playing music and enjoy the sounds. I also teach reading music and music theory. I am a member of Chamber Music America, New Music USA, International Association of Jazz Educators. My teaching materials have been published in Down Beat and my albums are being released on Fresh Sound Records (Spain). Reviews of my albums and interviews with me were published in Down Beat, Jazz Journal (UK), Morning Star (UK), France Musique (France), Jazz Podium (Germany), Canadian Audiophile, All About Jazz, New York City Jazz Record.
In my lessons I use my own materials that I have composed and compiled in the course of 32 years, as well as books that I found in Europe and later in the United States. There are some American educational series that I also like to use. Sometimes my students as me to work on their school band music, in this case we are using the band method books. I am always happy to work with very beginners to very advanced and professional. As a teacher, I am learning from my students as well – each person is a unique journey in the world of music and each person teaches me something about communication, understanding, motivation, time-managing during lessons and in individual practice. My main objective is to make the lessons a joy, a positive, motivating experience, to boost self-confidence and provide enjoyment, fun. I teach different people differently, using my background in psychology of learning, understanding individual needs. Every person learns differently, and I try to establish good communication first, so the student has a general feeling of comfort, positive mood, an uplifting lesson experience.
I am a positive, friendly, smiling person and I want my students to first of all feel good about coming to lessons and being with me. I am always flexible about the necessity of practicing and preparing homework, because many students do not have enough time to dedicate to practicing and I totally understand that. There is a balance to be achieved between a student’s feeling of having progress and his/her lack of time to work on playing the instrument of his/her choice. Together with the student, we have to create a non-pressure, stress-free, enjoyable atmosphere that motivates the student to view music and instrument-playing as a means to happiness and relaxation. That is why I like to play together with my students during the lessons, even if we play the same thing together, like tunes or exercises. Playing together is a great teaching tool and it brings the students an invaluable experience of playing with others, which many people today don’t have otherwise. It also relieves people from the pressure of “being on top” with their performance. I teach that “mistakes” are OK – and I also teach them how to relax themselves to become stress-free when playing.


Ginevra (Italy)

Lena is a great teacher and I have been improving my skills a lot thanks to her teaching and wise advise. I started playing the saxophone as a beginner with Lena and she thought me invaluable skills to shape my sound as well as how to improvise. I have always felt stimulated and encouraged in my learning and I can tell what she taught me is a baggage that I will carry with me for ever. I feel very grateful to have had Lena as one of my first teachers and saxophone mentor and I would recommend her as a teacher to anyone that wants to learn how to enjoy music as an art in itself as opposed to a discipline !
Jussi (Finland)

My son started playing the alto saxophone under Lena’s instruction when he was nine. Lena taught him for a year and a half before we moved out of town. Lena proved to be a wonderful teacher: skillful, committed, encouraging and kind. We were amazed at how quickly he progressed with Lena from literally zero ability to playing Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington and learning to improvise. Lena never lost sight of the individual student and his needs, and the extra steps she repeatedly took to find new ways of helping him develop as a musician made a lasting impression on us. In our experience, Lena is a truly devoted teacher with talent, depth and a sense of humor, her musicianship and humanity always shining through –- as in her own music! We’re grateful to Lena for her time, commitment and expertise, and we’d warmly recommend her to any aspiring saxophonist in need of a teacher.

Samia (Morocco)

My son still talks about Lena because he was able to learn Clarinet very quickly with her and was able to use his new skills for all the high school auditions. She is a very knowledgeable music teacher and a beautiful resourceful artist that i recommend greatly to anyone who wants to learn music. She is patient, very gifted and experienced enough to teach the right way. She was able to adapt very quickly to my son’s level and was able to encourage him enough to get to practice very often.

Rozalinda Uhl (Hungary)

I’ve been learning on clarinet the past few months. Lena has been a huge help. Im very grateful for her. She is patient and goes through everything with me what i struggle with, answering all my questions. I love that she does the practice with me so i can see and hear how it supposed to be, for a beginner its really important. She also helped me a lot with books and suggestions for the instrument. I feel like i cant put up a question what she does not have an answer for. She thinks out of the box and many times brings examples from everyday life to explain to me what i do wrong or have to improve (embouchure etc.). She is very easy to set up a time with and she was always accommodative about my schedule changes. When i go to the lessons i feel like im visiting a friend, we laugh a lot and im not nervous at all. She is born to be a teacher for sure. I hope she can always fit me into her schedule. Im very excited and motivated to learn as much as i can from her. I highly recommend Lena ! Thank you !

Alexis Arkus-Duntov (United States)

Lena helped me on several occasions with transcriptions and compositions. She also helped me to improve my notation reading and feeling rhythms. And some piano as well. She’s very friendly and fun to be around. And an incredible musician.

Steve Hartman (United States)

I studied with Lena for six years and found her to be an excellent teacher. She was dedicated to teaching the art of pure improvisation through discussion and exercises. She has a wealth of teaching materials she developed herself that I found very useful in developing my ear and technique, She was patient and supportive when I didn’t understand something or felt "stuck." I highly recommend her to the student interested in pure improvisation. I had already studied the saxophone for many years when I started with Lena, but I would recommend her to students of all levels.

Artan Buleshkaj (Belgium)

A couple of years ago I was really into studying the concepts of Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz. I took a couple of private lessons through Skype with Lena (I’m a guitar player from Belgium) concerning this, but also other topics, and I must say she was a fantastic mentor. Not only did she deepen my knowledge of aforementioned giants of jazz, but she also helped me further shape my own sound and melodic concept. Studying with her also made me realise that there was no real connection between what my hands were doing and what I heard in my inner ear. Her lessons really helped me improve on this, which in turn led to me improvising much more melodically. Long story short; Lena made me a much better musician for which I’m eternally grateful to her.

Natalya Brook (United States)

I met Lena because I wanted to play the flute. I was a total beginner with musical background. Lena is very versatile in her knowledge of different genres of music. I love classical music and she was able to make our lessons tailored to my interests and my level of experience. She always challenged me and encouraged me with positive feedback. Lena is a performer and she would play duets with me which was absolutely incredible. I can’t say enough about her fascinating background and her teaching style. Thank you, Lena for all your hard work and dedication to music and education!

Yoni Slotwiner (Israel)

I spend several years learning alto saxophone with Lena. I truly enjoyed this time with her. Lena is warm, friendly, and extremely knowledgable. Her approach to music made me excited to play and to practice. She is very creative and always found new ways to push me and inspire me a bit further. I can say with confidence that Lena will be a great teacher to anyone.

Schaefer (France)

Lena taught my daughter when she was 7 years old and a flute beginner. Thanks to her patience, enthusiasm and kindness, my daughter really started loving the flute ! She has now been playing for 8 years and still remembers Lena with gratitude.
Laura (United States)

I started studying with Lena after a long absence from playing clarinet as a younger person. Lena always encouraged me while understanding I had a full time job and little time to practice. She had a great variety of music to draw from including classical, jazz and jewish folk tunes which I was especially interested in. After several years studying clarinet and improving, I started studying soprano saxophone with Lena. Lena is very good at understanding and explaining how to control and direct your breath into the saxophone mouthpiece. She has a great ability to hear where I am having difficulties with a passage and provide suggestions to remedy this. I greatly enjoy my weekly sessions with Lena and would recommend her as a music instructor. Lena has been a great resource in my musical education.

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