My education, accolades, and experience
Lexi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, where she studied with Jazz saxophonist Geof Bradfield and Classical/Contemporary music saxophonists Jessica Maxfield and Ryan Muncy. While earning her bachelor’s, she played around the Chicago area and taught privately. Since 2016, Lexi has taught at NIU’s Summer Jazz Camp. In the spring of 2019, she earned her Master’s in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado Boulder where she was the saxophone teaching assistant for the duration of her time there. While at CU Boulder, Lexi had the opportunity to play Maria Schneider’s music under her direction, teach combos, big bands, and assist with classes such as CU’s BLork (Boulder Laptop Orchestra) and Jazz History. The Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, a Jazz program for teens, has asked her to be a Mentor at the annual "She-bop" workshop for the past two years. In Colorado, Lexi plays with renowned musicians such as Greg Gisbert, Annie Booth and with the Boy/Girl Band lead by Art Lande.
My approach to teaching
My teaching philosophy is focused on showing my students how to practice effectively, learn and value fundamentals/technique, and to find what inspires them and pushes them to be better every day.
One of my practice techniques
One of my most valued practicing techniques is to record yourself - it's a way to keep yourself honest and find the points of your playing that needs the most attention. What you play will almost always sound different behind the horn than what you are actually projecting, and recording is a great way to close that gap.
My favorites in these five styles
- Jazz - there are too many favorites for me to pick one, but some "desert island" records would be Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter, The Bridge by Sonny Rollins, and Savoy and Dial Sessions by Charlie Parker
- Funk - Louis Cole/Knower
- Classical - Mahler
- Rock - The Raconteurs
- Pop/R&B - Destiny's Child, Beyonce
My favorite quote
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough" - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
How I started playing music
I started piano lessons when I was 6 years old, and picked up the saxophone at age.
I had an incredible middle school band teacher that encouraged me to pursue music as more than a hobby and I've worked hard at it ever since.