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Brendan Schnabel is a talented performer teaching private in-home saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano lessons in the Washington DC area.
University of Maryland
Master of Music
Music Performance/Jazz Studies
Degree Candidate
Virginia Commonwealth University
Bachelor of Music
Music Performance/Jazz Studies
Brendan Schnabel
Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Piano

Brendan has been playing music since 2002. He started playing the saxophone in middle school. He began to experiment with clarinet in high school and has studied it formally for 5 years. He also picked up flute, as part of his graduate program while continuing studies on saxophone and clarinet. Additionally, Brendan has a grasp of the fundamentals of piano, having taken a number of introductory classes and using it for composition as well as an instructional tool for harmony and music theory.

Brendan’s interest in pursuing music began in the fifth grade when he heard the middle school jazz band performing. He was particularly struck by the saxophone soloist and decided he wanted to do the same. His start with performing was accompanied by careful listening to music such as Frank Sinatra and the Blues Brothers band. He developed quickly, began taking private lessons, and was selected for All-district and State level bands.

A strong proclivity for jazz music led Brendan to decide to pursue a performance degree in Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. During his time there he received a number of scholarship awards, including the Friends of VCU Music Scholarship and the annual VCU Jazz Students Fund. He also received a grant from the VCU Jazz Students Fund in his final year to cover travel and lodging costs to participate as lead saxophonist in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Festival, a selective ensemble that performed in New York City and Cumberland, MD.

While in college, Brendan was fortunate to receive instruction from several teachers, established veterans as both artists and educators. Most influential was Professor Doug Richards, founder of VCU’s long-established Jazz Studies program. Besides helping develop a talent for composing and arranging music, Professor Richard’s tireless pursuit of musical growth and perfection were a huge inspiration for Brendan to bring that seriousness and attention to detail to his work as a performer/composer.

Besides receiving formal instruction, Brendan’s time in college brought a wealth of practical experience. He soon began performing professionally in local venues, country clubs, and for events, both as a member of bands, a sideman, and leader of his own group playing original music. One of the most notable was a school-sponsored exchange with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban. South Africa. He was selected as a part of a six-member jazz group that traveled and performed in South Africa and hosted its counterparts in joint concerts in Richmond. Additionally, college saw the beginning of Brendan’s teaching career as a private lessons instructor in saxophone, jazz improvisation and beginning piano, as well as a tutor in music theory. Since graduating, his professional activities have included performing on a cruise ship where he performed numerous styles of music on saxophone, flute and clarinet, continuing freelance performances, and most recently, pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Maryland, where he continues to hone his teaching skills as a graduate assistant, coaching a number of undergraduate ensembles.

Brendan’s helpful and caring disposition has always lent itself to an inclination for teaching and because of this he finds helping students of all levels, improve their abilities, very gratifying. In every student, Brendan earnestly hopes for them to find the joy in self-expression and continuous self-improvement that study of music has to offer, believing these to be of boundless value in life. His approach to teaching is shaped by an awareness of the differences in individual students’ learning styles and flexibility in adapting to these to ensure their success and growth. He stresses the importance of fundamentals as much as he does working on what each individual may find most interesting. Most of all, Brendan brings into putting together each student’s curriculum the same level of excitement and attention to detail as he does for his own development as a musician.

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