WSU Saxophone Studio


MUA (06): Applied Saxophone Syllabus MUE 246/446: Saxophone Quartet Syllabus

Faculty Instructor: Shelley M. Jagow
Office Hours: As posted; others by appointment
Office Location: Studio M264 CAC
Office Phone: (937) 775-2178
Office Mailbox: Music Office M153 CAC
E-Mail Address:



Syllabus Contents:


Course Overview

Through combined effort and ethics, it is my desire for each of you to graduate from WSU as competent and creative musicians with a thorough understanding and knowledge of the repertoire and pedagogy of the saxophone, and a matured passion for music making. Regardless of your chosen degree program (Music Performance or Music Education), the same high performing standards are expected from all studio players.

Applied lessons will consist of general concepts of musicianship such as musical analysis, tonal development, phrasing, intonation, and technical development including all forms of scales, overtone control and altissimo development, as well as basic jazz, transcribed, original, and contemporary literature of the saxophone. Attention will also be given to an historical view of the instrument’s development and it’s place in musical society as well as some general theoretical principles as they apply to the saxophone and it’s performance.

In addition to applied performance, your studies will include saxophone pedagogy. This incorporates a survey of techniques, materials, methods, and literature in teaching saxophone lessons to various ages and skill levels. If opportunity arises, a student may have opportunity to engage in service learning through the provision of applied instruction to students and/or sections in the local community.

Student Goals

To develop and refine:

  1. musicianship and musical growth through saxophone performance in solo and chamber ensemble situations.
  2. applied knowledge to the compositional styles of significant saxophone repertoire through applied study and listening.
  3. musical knowledge with regard to the historical background of composers and the analysis of saxophone repertoire.
  4. knowledge of musical vocabulary pertinent to saxophone repertoire.
  5. tone and technique through a wide variety of exercises, scales, studies/etudes and solo/ensemble repertoire.
  6. pedagogical skills for various ages and stages of musical development

Scheduling Appointments

Please observe posted office hours for advising. If you need to arrange for an additional office appointment outside of these posted hours, then please send an e-mail so that an alternate appointment may be confirmed for you.

Instructor Professional Engagements

On occasion, Dr. Jagow will be off-campus for such professional activities as honor band conducting, school clinics, instrumental solo performances, and academic research. Alternate course experiences will be offered on these dates.

Musician’s Health: Practice Smart!

Included in this course will be material regarding the prevention of performance injuries appropriate to the study and performance of the saxophone. One of the most overlooked issues of a musician is performance health. While running from classes to rehearsals to observations to homework sessions to practicing, there is very little time in the day to think about healthy habits. As a saxophonist, the majority of our injuries are muscle related. Repetitive actions for a long period of time can create such problems as carpal tunnel and muscle strain. The weight of the saxophone can also contribute to neck, shoulder, and back problems. Saxophone students are encouraged to apply the following healthy habits:

  1. Try to get 15 – 20 minutes of exercise each day. (Your time is of the essence so try something simple like walking or biking.)
  2. DON’T skip meals. Even if you do not have time to go for lunch between classes, pack yourself a bag lunch to eat during your next class.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water … but do enjoy a cup of coffee here and there if it helps give you a boost of needed energy.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. I know this is sometimes very difficult to do with the intense schedules that musician’s maintain. However, try getting at minimum 6 hours of sleep each night, and try to treat yourself to a 15-minute power nap during the day.
  5. Please refrain from smoking. Your lungs fuel your instrument. Take care of your lungs; if your breathing suffers, your craft suffers. If you do smoke, and want to quit then check out this site:
  6. Listen to your body. If it hurts, then take a break. Even a 15-20 minute break can help relieve muscle fatigue and tension.
  7. The entire weight of your saxophone should be on your neck via the neck-strap. Your hands may help hold the instrument out from your body, but they should never support the weight of the instrument.
  8. Maintain good posture when practicing, whether sitting or standing.
  9. Cushion the pressure of teeth on your bottom lip by inserting an aid such as rolled paper, rolled floral tape, or a type of molded denture device.
  10. LAUGH!
  11. Check out this site:

Course Description

All applied students must be registered for the appropriate MUA course number during the first week of the quarter. Any student who is not registered for applied lessons during the second week of the quarter will be denied further lessons with the instructor until such time that the student can submit official documentation of university applied registration.

Section 06 = Saxophone
Each MUA course number has 3 digits which designate the following:

Music Education
1st Year Study
2nd Year Study
3rd Year Study
4th Year Study
Graduate Study
MUA 121
MUA 221
MUA 321
MUA 421
MUA 721
MUA 122
MUA 222
MUA 322
MUA 422
MUA 722
MUA 123
MUA 223
MUA 323
MUA 423
MUA 723

Music Performance
1st Year Study
2nd Year Study
3rd Year Study
4th Year Study
Graduate Study
MUA 121
MUA 221
MUA 341
MUA 441
MUA 741
MUA 122
MUA 222
MUA 342
MUA 442
MUA 742
MUA 123
MUA 223
MUA 343
MUA 443
MUA 743


Missed Lessons

If it is necessary to be absent for an applied lesson, please notify your instructor as much in advance as possible (preferably 24 hours). Leave a message on voice mail (775-2178), send an e-mail, or put a note in the professor’s office mailbox in M153.

The applied handbook states that a student must have a minimum of 7 lessons in order to receive a passing grade for applied music. The instructor understands the unpredictable demands of a student’s schedule and is aware that a student may apply up to 3 excused absences without any evaluation penalty. However, excused absences may never be applied in successive order.

Studio Class

Studio class is a unique forum for performance and discussion of saxophone-related topics. Its primary purpose is to give you the opportunity to perform for each other and receive constructive feedback from fellow students as well as from myself. There may also be presentations of lectures, and topics for discussion on subjects ranging from new literature and recordings to teaching techniques. Master classes by visiting artists may also be scheduled during this time.

News & Announcements

Check the bulletin board outside of Dr. Jagow’s office (M264) for daily saxophone studio and quartet news. Announcements may also be sent to studio members via their WSU e-mail account on WINGS

Applied Lesson Materials

At your first lesson we will discuss your performance goals for the year. Any books, repertoire, and other materials that you need to purchase will be assigned at this time. (Additional materials may be assigned throughout the year.)

All literature assigned must be purchased before your next lesson. Photocopies are illegal and are not acceptable. Please be aware that tardiness in ordering materials will affect your lesson grade as lack of materials directly affects your progress on the instrument.

The student is responsible for furnishing and maintaining a professional quality saxophone in excellent playing condition. Your studio instructor will assist you in selecting your "best fit" with regard to an instrument, mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds.

Other materials you must own:

The following list is not inclusive, but merely provides a few selections for purchasing materials:

Absolute Music (Fairborn, OH) 937-878-0123
Dorn Publications (Medfield, MA) 508-359-1015
Eble Music (Iowa City, IA) 319-338-0313
Jeanne Music (Blaine, MN) 1-800-831-7691
Luyben Music (Kansas City, MO) 1-800 258-9236
Hauer Music (Dayton, OH) 937-222-2815

Applied Juries

The chart below outlines the Applied Board schedule for your jury performance exams.
Please consult the document titled Saxophone Jury Requirements to ensure that you know what you are responsible for preparing for each Jury exam.

Applied Jury Schedule

MUA 121
Unclassified > IA

MUA 122
(no jury)

MUA 123

MUA 221

MUA 222
Check Board

MUA 223

MUA 321 (341)
MUA 322 (342)
Check Board
MUA 343
MUA 421 (441)
MUA 422 (442)
MUA 423 (443)

* Pre-Hearing Recital to be approved and passed 3 weeks in advance of Recital date.
** Student Honor Recital Auditions occur during the Winter Jury


Your final grade will be determined through evaluation in the following areas:

Areas of Evaluation
Pedagogy Project
Intonation & Sight-Reading Skills
Scale & Exercise Preparedness
Repertoire Preparedness
(Solos & Etudes)

By registering for this course, you agree to work towards the described standards. The final grade will be a calculated average of weekly grades with some consideration given to Jury Examinations, Student Recitals, and lesson attendance. (Upon the fourth unexcused absence, a student will receive a failing grade.)

Since musical progress can only be made with consistent and efficient practice, it is recommended that you practice at least 2 hours daily, keeping in mind the compounding effect of quality vs. quantity.

Each student is held responsible for preparing the following for each lesson:

It is important that you begin to build your own personal library. Some places to search:

BMG Music
DORN publications

Academic Advising

Dr. Jagow will be your academic advisor for your first 2 years of study in Music Education. Once you enter the Education program, your primary advisor for education courses will be Dr. Jim Tipps (Music Education Coordinator). Dr. Jagow will be your primary advisor for all 4 years of study for the Performance Degree.

Study the Schedule of Classes and University Handbook carefully before arriving for your advising appointment. It is your responsibility to have a tentative schedule including all the correct course numbers, section numbers, and course times. Complete and bring to your appointment the following (all of the forms are available from the music office):

  1. green-colored registration form completed with course number, section and hours
  2. make a copy of your student course schedule to leave with Dr. Jagow

How to Register for Classes

You can follow one of two procedures to register for classes:

  1. Have your green-colored registration form stamped by your faculty advisor, and then take the form to the Registrar.
  2. Take your green-colored registration form to the music office and then pick it up from the basket the next day. You will then be able to register On-Line or by Raider Express.

North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA)

It is recommended and encouraged that you join NASA as an active student member.

The North American Saxophone Alliance is a professional music organization made up of individuals who share a common enthusiasm for the saxophone. Members include professional performers, university professors, public school teachers, students of all levels, and others who have an interest in the saxophone. In addition to the Alliance’s emphasis on disseminating information concerning the saxophone, the organization also works to provide opportunities for its members to make music, fostering fellowship among saxophone enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

The North American Saxophone Alliance is aligned with similar national organizations throughout the world. Alliance members have the opportunity to participate in the World Saxophone. In addition, the Alliance sponsors conferences each year, including national and regional conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Through these meetings, the organization promotes the composition of new music, the sharing of ideas and the performance of saxophone music.

The North American Saxophone Alliance publishes a quarterly magazine -- The Saxophone Symposium -- which provides members with scholarly articles, pedagogic materials, news reports of Alliance activities, and reviews. This magazine is circulated throughout the world as well as North America. In addition, the office of the Director of Scholarly Publications handles the publication and distribution of other materials, available to members at special rates.

The Alliance also maintains a list-serv for the use of active members. The list-serv has proven to be a very valuable resource for subscribers. List topics have included: altissimo fingerings, repertoire reviews and recommendations, World Saxophone Congress updates, historical discussions relating to the saxophone, and topics of particular interest to the general NASA membership.

To become a member, please visit their web-site to complete a NASA membership application.

Performance/Recital Policies

  1. Applied music students must perform at minimum 2 student recitals by completion of IIA, and at minimum 4 student recitals by completion of IIIA.
  2. Performance Majors are required to perform a half recital (30 minutes) during their Junior year (III), and
    a full recital (1 hour) during their Senior year (IV).
  3. Music Education Majors are required to perform 2 - 3 student recitals (total 30 minutes) or a Half Recital* (30 minutes) during their Senior year (IVA). *Students electing to perform an evening recital must receive approval from the jury faculty. Evening recitals will be reserved for those students demonstrating advanced performance standards at Level IVA.
  4. All Half/Full recitals must pass a pre-hearing at least 3 weeks prior to performance date.
  5. Mandatory attendance at WSU saxophone recitals is required for all applied saxophone majors.
  6. Membership with one of the WSU Saxophone Quartets/Ensembles is encouraged.
  7. Undergraduate Music Majors are required to register for MUS 100 (0 credits) and attend a minimum of 9 recitals/concerts each quarter they are declared a full-time music major. These recitals/concerts will be in the following areas:

    2 Instrumental Ensemble; 2 Choral/Operan Ensmeble; 1 Faculty recital; 2 Student recitals; and 2 miscellaneous recitals/concerts. (These misc. concerts may be "extra" performances from one of the above areas. They may also be of a different genre.)

Junior and Senior Recitals

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the following procedure for recitals:

  1. Pick up a Junior/Senior Recital Handbook from the online music office and complete a Recital Verification Form.
  2. Select a potential date by looking in the music office schedule book.
  3. Verify selected date with studio instructor, accompanist and recital board members.
  4. Obtain appropriate signatures from the following while also verifying a pre-hearing date with all listed below: Recital dates will not become official until the Recital Verification form is returned to the music office with all signatures
    * Committee Members
    * Applied Instructor
    * Accompanist
    * Recital Coordinator
  5. Type your recital program* onto 8.5 x 11 white paper and submit a copy to your committee at the pre-hearing recital. Following a successful pre-hearing recital, you must then submit the typed program to the music office at least 2 weeks prior to your recital date. Programs will be available for you to retrieve on the day of your recital; programs are usually placed on top of the bookshelf in the main office.
  6. A recital fee of $50 (cash or check made payable to Wright State University) must be paid to the music office no later than one week before the recital.
  7. Please see the Concert Hall manager for any staging and recording needs.

* Submitting the Recital Program; Include the following:

Download MUA Self-Evaluation Form.




Syllabus Contents:


Course Overview

MUE 246/446: Saxophone Quartet is reserved for those students selected by the director to be a participating member of the principal performing saxophone quartets. The course is designed to include an intensive rehearsal and performance curriculum. The director requires high quality performance readiness at high school, college and community concerts, professional conferences, and chamber music competitions.

Member Selection

All member and part assignments are selected at the professional discretion of the musical director. It is typical that quartet auditions are held concurrently with band auditions at the beginning of fall quarter. However, the instructor reserves the right to select membership with or without audition, and an extra audition may be called at any time during the year. The faculty instructor also reserves the right to change membership at any time, as may be necessary, in order to maintain the professional and musical integrity of the ensemble.   Members will be selected primarily on performing abilities and musical preparedness, responsibility, management skill, and professional maturity.  



Member Responsibilities


Musical Preparation

  1. Punctuality at every scheduled rehearsal and performance.
  2. Participating in the rehearsal process with regard to attention to detail of ALL four parts, and perceptions for increasing the musical potential of each piece.
  3. Preparing your assigned part to the highest standard of rehearsal-readiness.
  4. Contributing to a professional rehearsal atmosphere by demonstrating player respect and regard for high performing standards.
  5. Studying the "scale" of your assigned instrument to demonstrate efficient chamber ensemble tuning skills.


  1. Scheduling and organizing rehearsals and performances
  2. Selecting repertoire with guidance by the faculty instructor
  3. Preparing programs (Program templates may be downloaded from WINGS)
  4. Scheduling and organizing tours
  5. Organizing and administering public relations and development

Performance and Tour Policies

The quartet will perform at student recitals, community, school, and campus events. Each student is expected to assume the active role as a music educator not only by their rehearsal and performance demeanor, but also by their educational contribution at clinics and performing events. All performances must receive prior approval from the faculty instructor.   All scheduled rehearsals, performances, and tours are mandatory. Any member who is absent from a performance or tour will receive a failing grade.

Quartet Music Folders

You are responsible for the assigned folder at all times and will be required to return the folder at the conclusion of each quarter. A replacement cost fee will be charged for any lost folder or folder not returned in a timely manner.


Your final grade will be determined through evaluation in the following areas:

Areas of Evaluation
Rehearsal/Performance Preparedness
Rehearsal/Performance Deportment-Attendance

Player expectations and responsibilities are described in detail below. By registering for this course, you agree to work towards these described standards.




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