Neil has been teaching instrumental music for more than twenty years alongside being a gigging musician. Neil teaches clarinet and all saxes, and can teach in all styles including classical and jazz. he teaches people to read music, play by ear and improvise. Neil tailors his teaching to the needs of the individual whilst keeping an eye on good educational practices, appropriate development on an instrument and music in general and having enjoyment and fun at the same time. Neil is currently based in Ashburton, Devon.

Instruments Neil teaches

Neil teaches saxophone and clarinet. Neil also teaches improvisation on any instrument, music theory and musicianship and has occasionally taught jazz piano in the past.

Online teaching

Due to COVID-19 Neil is now able to teach all styles including improvisation online via ZOOM.

Standards, styles and ages of students

Neil teaches all standards from beginners to advanced in all styles and all ages from eight to eighty (or thereabouts).

Exams

Neil can prepare students for instrumental music exams should that be something a student wishes. He has lots of experience of putting students through exams including ABRSM gr 1 to 8 on both clarinet and saxophone and also ABRSM gr 1 to 5 jazz saxophone and clarinet (that’s as high as it goes!) Also Gr 5 Theory and Grade 5 musicianship (to allow students to progress to Gr 6 practical ABRSM exams. He also works with students on Trinity Guildhall Jazz Gr 5 to 8.

Jazz and Improvisational Coaching (All Instruments)

Neil is very experienced at working with conventional requests for teaching such as improving reading, working for grades etc, classical pieces etc but over the years has also established a specialism in jazz education. Neil has lots of experience in working with students from beginners to advanced to develop their jazz and improvisational skills. Neil can develop your improvisational skills regardless of what.

Neil’s Qualifications and experience

Neil has an LRSM teaching and CTABRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music and Certificate of Teaching at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). He is CRB checked and also has a Civil Engineering Degree. Neil has been teaching clarinet and sax for over 25 years. As well as sax and clarinet Neil also plays piano and regularly accompanies in his lessons.

Trial Lessons, Lesson Prices and Frequency of Lessons

If you are interested in having lessons with Neil you can book up a one off trial lesson to see how you get on. (full payment is required). If you are considering taking up the sax or clarinet but don’t currently own an instrument you are welcome to use Neil’s clarinet or sax for a lesson or two to see whether it is for you.

Neil’s current fees are £16.50 for a half hour lesson, £25 for a 45 min lesson and £33 for an hour. Regular lessons are usually beneficial for those starting up or starting again or wishing to progress at a solid rate. For U18s generally weekly lesson is ideal for adults either weekly or a longer lesson fortnightly tends to work well. Neil can give lessons on a more irregular basis too.

For more information please email Neil at neil@neilmaya.co.uk or phone 01364 653782 and 07951 335078.

Not only has Neil taught Zachary how to play the Saxophone but he also built his confidence and encouraged him very positively. Thank you Neil.

Pupil's mum14yr old sax pupil

As someone who had not been in any formal education or picked up a musical instrument for decades, I had some reservations about starting sax lessons. I found Neil took great care in understanding my objectives and needs as an individual, and in developing a personalised learning and practice programme for me. I find the lessons challenging and stimulating but most of all enjoyable and taught in way that really suits the way I like to learn. Neil is able to vary things as I need and he has been really helpful in my starting to understand and develop my own personal style, sound, and sax set up as well as all of the other essential areas of music tuition.

NeilAdult jazz sax student

Neil has been teaching me the clarinet for nearly a year. I really enjoy his lessons and he inspires me to want to play. I have learnt a great deal in this short time and am looking forward to carrying on!

11 yr old clarinettist

I learnt clarinet with Neil for seven years and I can't begin to describe the impact he has had on me. My technical ability improved drastically but I also learnt to appreciate finer aspects of the music (such as the motivation of the composer or the underlying tonal structure) in order to increase my overall musicality. Neil always sought to challenge me but he also created a supportive environment in which I could make mistakes and learn from them without feeling foolish or embarrassed. He really adapts his teaching to the individual, figuring out what’s best for them – for instance I don’t have much affinity with jazz (sorry, Neil) so we mostly worked in classical spheres. Still, he broadened my interests and I’ve worked on pieces I would never have thought I’d learn to love (I even warmed up to jazz in the end!). Ultimately, Neil helped me to fulfil my potential and be confident in my music, and I cannot thank him enough for that.

MaddiePost gr 8 classical clarinettist whom I taught from age 11 to 18 until about 2011

The problem with learning an instrument is it's almost like being back at school, everything is very regimented and you're not often given the freedom of learning how you want to learn. For all the previous teachers I've had everything is always about ticking boxes, leading onto the grade 8's and diplomas etc etc etc. This really takes the heart out of music, and Neil isn't like that at all. His huge breadth of knowledge allows you to take any direction in where you want to progress, and he's turned me into a far better player than I would have dreamt of with any other sax teachers that I know of. He makes you a far more rounded player. Rather than just playing the notes on a page he can teach you how the music works, so you can play the sax how it's meant to be played, with just a bunch of chords and a melody, with minutes of solo to fill. He's obviously kind and a brilliant teacher, if you've met him you'll see very quickly why that goes without saying, but the main thing about Neil that's different to other sax teachers is as well as the technique of playing the sax, he teaches you how to play the sax how it's made to be played, which is something completely different entirely. Oh and he's not too shabby at playing his instruments either!

DanPost grade 8, 18 yr old jazz sax student

Neil is a brilliant teacher. He is always encouraging and has a little ‘gem’ of advice to help you overcome every difficulty.

JonAdult jazz and classical clarinettist

Neil teaches in a relaxed atmosphere, inspiring confidence in the students he teaches. He motivates his students with the enthusiasm for playing and he taught me to believe in myself and what I could achieve. I have thoroughly enjoyed being taught by Neil; from my student years in a jazz and big band, up until the current day, where I have been able to attend jazz workshops. This in itself is proof of what an excellent teacher and mentor Neil is.

VictoriaAdult saxophone student

I took to the clarinet on retirement & thereby experienced a multitude of technical problems quite apart from the issues in learning to sight read. Under Neil's expert guidance and strong support (psychologically) most of these have been conquered sufficiently convincingly to persuade the examiners to pass me in my Grade 8 exam last year . I am hugely grateful to Neil and can recommend him to any learner young or old.

MichaelGr 8 adult classical clarinettist