“Can you tell me why applied lessons matter to you, help you with your educational plans, and prepares you for your life goals?”

Throughout my time at KSU applied lessons with Professor Skelton have proven to be one of the most important aspects of my education. Professor Skelton has been an endless font of knowledge on not only the intricacies of the saxophone and the jazz idiom, but also the music industry and life. In my studies with Professor Skelton, I have explored the music and approaches of different saxophonists, learned techniques on the saxophone and other woodwind instruments, learned about instrument repair, and learned how to be a better musician and person. Lessons with Professor Skelton have truly set me up for a successful career in the music industry.”

Jimmy S. (Skelton)

Taking applied lessons at KSU has become a valuable part of my time here. An hour out of my week to learn with an incredible and inspiring teacher has become the greatest motivation to learn more about the music I enjoy playing. I am confident that grasping all of the information I gained from speaking and playing with my applied lessons teacher will lead me to a more promising and prosperous future.”

Joey G. (Skelton)


Applied lessons matter to me because my professor doesn't just strive to make me a better musician, he strives to make me a better human being. he intentionally is brutally honest to make sure you understand what you are going to be doing for your career. He also always provides what he believes to be the best idea or option for me which is why I enjoy my lessons.”

Alan S. (Skelton)

I think applied lessons are the one most important part of becoming a better musician. Private teachers teach you what you need to know about music so you can apply it to playing, but more importantly, they set you up to eventually be able to teach yourself, which is a critical part of being a professional musician.”

Patrick D. (Skelton/Tischone)

Applied lessons matter to me since it can be a one-on-one time where the educator can help provide feedback to the student on something. The lessons help with my educational plans since if I were to one day teach lessons at a college level, I could provide me a proper setting on how to guide a student. While being in applied lessons, it prepares me for my life goals since I not only want to be a great educator, but a great saxophone player as well. Since I have been taking from Mr. Skelton, it has been a great experience, I have gained a lot of knowledge on the saxophone, and I am excited to learn more sax literature as my time taking lessons from Mr. Skelton proceeds.”

Giana K. (Skelton)

To me, applied lessons is a way for me to grow as a musician in ways that are solely for me. In general, my music education is benefitting me in so many ways; but many of them are generic and made for all musicians. With applied lessons, I can focus on my strengths and weaknesses with guidance from someone in the same field as me, making for a much more individualized learning process to better help guide me towards my career. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate and develop what I've learned, without being distracted by other aspects of music making that come with class assignments and large ensembles.”

Malcolm L. (Skelton)

Applied lessons have helped me by exposing me to new music, expanding my musical palette, improving my playing, and encouraging me to practice. During these lessons, I am constantly exposed to new music and new forms of playing to help me grow as a musician. By listening to myself and adhering to the words of my instructor, I can evaluate myself on what I need to improve on, what are my strengths, and what are my weaknesses.”

Steven L. (Skelton)

Applied lessons are an opportunity to be taught what I do not know yet by a professor in the field and helps me become an overall better musician and prepares me for classes like ensemble and music theory and will help me with my future career in music.”

Ryan P. (Chesarek)

Applied lessons help me fully understand concepts as they’re taught. Being one-on-one as opposed to a large class lets me not only move at my own pace, but let’s me ask instrument specific questions as well. These questions help to prepare me teach other less experienced students. One of my goals in life is to become a professional musician who can support himself solely with music. Applied lessons help me learn musical concepts that I can then apply to own real world applications, in turn helping me to achieve one of my life's many goals.”

Andrew H. (Chesarek)

Applied lessons has been the most helpful, most fun, and most important part of my development on and off the horn. Lessons has led me to start developing a practice plan, led me to gigs, and shown me how many opportunities there are to play in the scene. Lessons with Rob has helped me in the journey towards finding myself and improving myself. In short, lessons have been absolutely crucial to my successful development.”

Jason D. (Opitz)

Applied lessons are important to me because I really want to improve on my instrument. Also, I think it would greatly help me in the future with finding jobs.”

Jacob L. (Wright)

Applied Lessons are the only time I receive individualized, one-on-instruction with a KSU professor specializing in my chosen instrument. The didactic curriculum covered in my core music classes covers the fundamental concepts of music and music theory, but these ideas are often presented within the context of a piano/keyboard. As such, the time I spend with Professor Wright during my Applied Lessons allows me to discuss how to incorporate these ideas on my chosen instrument. Professor Wright is also able to assess my development on the guitar and create lesson material that helps me make better use of my practice time and prepares me for KSU jazz ensemble and combo performances. Most importantly, since he is also a gigging musician, Professor Wright has a great professional network and regularly advises me on any career/professional concerns I may have.”

Scott L. (Wright)

Applied lessons matters to me a lot. It has helped me learn things on guitar I could never teach myself such as improv, inverted chords, triads, 5 scale positions, and the list goes on. It helps me with my educational plans by giving me topics to teach to students in the future. It prepares me for my life goals the same way as it does my educational plans.”

Louis R. (Wright)

Applied lessons helps me in so many ways. To begin with, it gives me access to a professional guitarist that has experience, not only with teaching but in the music industry as well. I would love to teach guitar and music at the college level one day and knowing that Trey Wright is doing that very thing, I know he'll be able to help me get there one day. Applied lessons has also pointed out my many flaws as a musician and actively helps me get rid of them.”

Damian P. (Wright)

The study of jazz piano is something that has greatly interested me for a little under a decade, however I have not had the time, resources, or preliminary knowledge to study the subject until recently. When I was younger, I started listening to more jazz and was especially interested in transcription projects I saw peppered throughout the internet. I sometimes find the practice of creating transcriptions to be more interesting than the performative component of music, so ultimately my goal with this course in not explicitly to become an excellent performer (which is still a goal) but to be able to pick up on the harmonic vocabulary and practices a jazz pianist with a high degree of accuracy. In terms of education plans, I am not a jazz performance major, but the practice really helps develop my ears which is critical for playing the Euphonium or any other instrument. All the emphasis on the theoretical components of music found in jazz also helps me think analytically which is a skill that I believe indirectly transfers to what I study formally- Computer Sciences. At the broadest level, I believe my life goals are that I would like to have the ability in my lifetime to think critically and solve problems, to be able to support others, and to possess a strong sense of work ethic. Competent musicians should be able to solve music-based problems, (i.e., how to harmonize a given passage, how to formulate compelling interpretations given a context, how to disseminate musical ideas at different levels of analysis) and should be able to support other musicians in an ensemble. and the pursuit of strong ethic is applicable everywhere and reinforced greatly by musical practice. Outside of the purview of music, the musical education is still beneficial in the same ways but less directly.”

Noah M. (Jackson)

Taking Jazz Piano is a gateway to avenues of music knowledge that I long to truly understand and apply to my compositional process. I'm striving to absorb as much as possible here at KSU, much like a sponge. Jazz piano studies will greatly assist me with my foundational musical knowledge and will help fuel my creative process and hone my creative process even more. Furthermore, I also aim to use these studies to supplement my performance career in the future with aspirations of gigs at clubs, cruise ships, and other places where pianists are needed. There is a plethora of uses for jazz piano and these are just the few that I can come up with that will help me most.”

Chris N. (Jackson)

Applied lessons matters to me because it gives us as students an opportunity to receive one on one interactions with not only a professor, but a professor that has professional experience in the instrument we are studying. This is also giving us the chance to learn and grow as a professional musician. Taking applied lessons help with my educational plans because if I decide to get my doctorate, I already have the proper training in the field I will be studying. Applied lessons also prepares me for my life goals because they are helping me to become a unique artist, helping me to embrace that uniqueness, and apply it to my performances”

Auriyan T. (Jackson)

My weekly applied lesson has been a great resource to me by giving me access to professor who knows a lot about both the artistic and professionals’ sides of music.”

Zack O. (Funderburk)

Applied Lessons have been extremely helpful to me by providing me with weekly meetings with a working professional in my desired field, which I think is probably the most valuable experience as I go through college and make my way into the world as a musician. It’s also been super motivating getting together every week with Wes as he always is listening and exposing me to different trombone players from all walks of life!”

Grady H. (Funderburk)


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