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Testimonials

“Studying with Steve Duke is a lesson in music-making as a way of life. How to approach your instrument, how to make a sound- a beautiful sound, how to move and hold your body while making music, and- most importantly- how to listen to music: these are the crucial parts of what Steve teaches and shows by example. I didn’t know it then, but my time as a student of Steve’s was a wonderful preparation for my career as a record producer. Attention to tone and pitch, improvising arrangement ideas, maintaining a relaxed but focused atmosphere: all are concepts that Steve honed in me. I simply would not be the musician I am today without him.”

Brad Wood, Recording Producer, Musician

Seagrass Studio

 

“Steve Duke has been a real blessing in my life.  When I came to him, I was having chronic pain associated with playing my saxophone.  Working with him helped me find and eliminate the underlying cause of the pain.  His integration of bodywork and saxophone technique was exactly what I needed.  And his command of the saxophone is simply amazing. Steve has set the bar for sax teachers. ”

Nick Bisesi

International Recording Artist, Member Ramsey Lewis’ Urban Knights

 

“I’ve observed lots of teachers in action, some of whom teach via formulas they’ve been taught, and they apply them without any thought to the reasons behind the methodology. Then there are the rare few such as Stephen Duke. Professor Stephen Duke is one of the most insightful teachers I’ve ever observed, one who looks much more deeply in to how and why a student plays in the manner that he or she does, and is able to address technical, aesthetic, and physical issues in those students thereby helping them discover better more efficient ways of playing. The result is often dramatic. I have studied with Professor Duke and continue to interact with him as a professional and he always brings fresh ideas to those sessions. I have also sent students to him to learn about performance ease and to experience new ways of approaching music making that help them bridge multiple styles of music while developing an expanded sense of their own musical center.”

Lawrence Panella

Associate Professor of Music

Director of Jazz Studies

The University of Southern Mississippi

 

“The ability to play any instrument with ease is the most important tool a musician may possess in one’s arsenal. Steve’s innovative teaching methods allowed me to make great strides in playing the saxophone effortlessly. Connecting the bottom to the top of the horn with an incredible new found fluidity allowed me to improvise without restriction and complication.

Jarod C. Bufe

Professional Saxophonist, Woodwind Repair Technician / Partner

BandSource Company

 

“Steve is a master teacher and studying with him has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. He has an amazing ability to meet the student head on wherever the student is in his development and know exactly how to take him to the next level. I am still amazed at the level of growth I’ve been able to accomplish in a rather short period of time. My playing has gone through a complete transformation but I’ve also gone through a physical transformation with the Feldenkrais Method.  The method has not only eliminated my back pain and taught me to use my body effortlessly, but I’ve also learned how to apply it to my musical development, which I never would have learned in a traditional setting.  His knowledge is vast and I’ve always regretted the days I didn’t record my lessons.”

Preetham Marati

Private Student

 

“Steve Duke has furthered my knowledge of not just jazz saxophone but the classical style as well.  Steve has such a knowledge of the saxophone and he has such a logical and methodical approach to studying the saxophone.  In the last year I have been taking lessons with him I have learned so much and grown as a musician.  It is been an honor learning from him.”

 

Michael Ruth

Senior, South High School in Downers Grove, Illinois

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