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Private Lessons

I am currently accepting saxophone and clarinet students of all ages and ability levels for virtual lessons. I am happy to work with your schedule and individual needs. For rates and scheduling, feel free to contact me


My teaching philosophy

I have over a decade of both private lessons and public school classroom teaching experience. From beginners to serious musicians, I believe in tailoring private lessons to meet the needs and goals of my students as unique individuals. My performing career has brought me around the globe, playing a vast array of musical styles including classical, jazz, pop, and musical theater styles, which I share with my students to help them grow into well-rounded musicians.


My students have consistently won auditions into regional and all-state ensembles, and many have continued on to study saxophone at the collegiate level. My positive, fun, and student-centered teaching is focused on development of technique, music literacy, musicality, and progress towards individual goals, including audition preparation, solo & ensemble performances, and more. I love seeing my students get excited about making music, and look forward to the chance to do the same for you!


“Derek is a phenomenal teacher and player. From the first time I put the horn to my mouth all the way through my college degree, Derek’s teaching was always tailored to my abilities in a suitable fashion. His knowledge of saxophone pedagogy is impeccable, and his implementation of it within lessons has constructed my fundamental approach to the instrument. His lessons set in place the building blocks of my musicianship. I’ve always felt that he maintains the serious integrity of music study while keeping it light-hearted, a balance that has helped me continue to find the joy in music. In addition to his teaching, Derek is an extremely reputable artist, constantly inspiring his students through his own musical accolades and opportunities. As such, he is a strong advocate for his students—I have no doubt I will continue to learn from him in the years to come.”

"Mr. Granger always motivated me to practice. He always greets me with enthusiasm and I can tell he is very passionate about what he does. I always have pleasant lessons with him and I never felt discouraged. He encourages to continue to play the saxophone for years to come."

"Derek was completely understanding with my beginner status and was very aware of what was appropriate for me as a music student. He was incredibly constructive in feedback which made me feel validated through my difficulties in learning the instrument. He also had many helpful playing techniques that he would share with me when I was struggling. He was never frustrated with my slow progress through learning the instrument but also held me to high standards. He always encouraged practice and made it clear what I should be practicing."

"Derek is very enthusiastic and seems to care a great deal about his students. Something I have appreciated more than anything about Derek's teaching is his use of metaphors and unique imagery to help me better understand or visualize a technique or a potential interpretation of a passage. Another thing I appreciate is his philosophy that although a certain strategy might work for him, it might not work for me and vice versa; he is very cognizant of the fact that everybody is different and there's not always a 100% correct way to play or interpret music."

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