Saxophone Lessons Focused On Getting You To The Next Level


I offer saxophone lessons to children and adults. I have been teaching for over 24 years, including 18 years at Elgin Community College, where I was the saxophone instructor as well as the jazz combo coordinator. I personalize each lesson to the student’s needs and goals. I have both my bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Northern Illinois University, where I studied with Steve Duke and Ron Carter. Additionally, I have studied with Jerry Bergonzi, David Liebman, and Charlie Banacos.

In my teaching, I focus on the fundamentals of playing the saxophone, such as tone control and technique. My focus as a saxophone instructor is on rhythmic development and awareness of characteristics of different styles, particularly within Latin music. I teach the subtle nuances of jazz style and articulation using solo transcriptions. We also listen to recordings of the influential saxophonists during each lesson to illustrate specific concepts. As a result, the students learn to listen on a deeper level.

Student Testimonials

My first experience with Mark Nagy was with the Elgin Community College Jazz Combo. … Mark was one of the most encouraging and understanding music educators I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He was able to break down the walls between “beginner” and “advanced” musicians in the group by emphasizing the most important characteristics of the music itself.

Nagy’s music appreciation course differed from other courses of the same name… it was not possible to walk into Mark’s classroom without learning something new every day. I can say that Mark was vital in my understanding of a “real world” approach to making and teaching music. Without the vast amount of information I’ve received from Mark Nagy, I would not be where I am today.

Andy SoderstromH

Drum Set and Percussion Instructor,
Music Education Centers of America

“Mark Nagy is a phenomenal teacher …The time I spent with him as a private instructor accelerated my playing ability and music theory knowledge faster than I could have imagined. Mark puts equal emphasis on not only playing the music, but understanding where it came from and understanding the theory behind the notes themselves.

Eventually, I played in a small jazz combo led by Mark for a few years

… Solos were abundant and everyone got a chance to express themselves freely. … our playing as well as creativity was encouraged by Mark …Without Mark, my playing and knowledge of jazz and theory would not be at the level it is at today.”

Brandon Brandes

Mark taught me from my very first notes as a kid all the way up through the end of high school as I was preparing for college auditions as a music major. He introduced me to jazz and taught me to improvise, which became the focus of my study at DePaul University. He undoubtedly fostered more engagement and creativity than I could have hoped for through my public school education.

Matt Thompson