It is Jonathan's goal and responsibility as an educator to create an environment that his students feel comfortable in—one that supports risk-taking, a sharing of ideas, and questioning. It is also his aim to instill the importance of playing and practicing using proper technique, and at the same time, promoting freedom, inventiveness, and the natural fluidity of body and mind. He wants his students to share ownership of their lessons, so that he serves as merely a guide, who will make sure they stay on the path of learning and growth. Jonathan desires each student to foster a relationship and connection with their medium of musical expression, stimulating a renewed sense of purpose and confidence within their being, both musical and non-musical. He is constantly attempting to refine his ability to transmute information to his students in ways that they can relate to, and also in ways that will expand their perception of their own abilities and potential. In addition to lessons supporting the fun of music, Jonathan wants to provide students with the opportunity to perceive blocks, and work toward removing them from their creative process. Above all, Jonathan sees each interaction with a student as another opportunity to help facilitate realization, regardless of the magnitude.
Jonathan specializes in the following musical instruments, crafts, and fields of study:
...and can teach the following topics to anyone on any instrument, craft, or field of study as it relates to them:
physical posture and approaches
placement & usage of equipment
science of musculature
thoughts & mental energy
breathing & physical energy
concept and voice
use of space
development of voice
patterns, fragments, & shapes
harmonic manipulation and movement
- offered to individuals only
- offered to musicians of any instrument/medium
- lessons can be held in person or via a video chat interface
- offered to parties of 2-10
- offered to players of any instrument
- lessons can be held in person
MASTER CLASS OR CLINIC
- offered to parties of 11 or more
- offered to players of any instrument
- lessons can be held in person
"Jonathan Saraga teaches as he performs, with patience, gentleness and thoughtfulness. These are rare qualities and can often be the deciding factor between a young person who opens themselves and one runs away intimidated by the inherent difficulties of learning a new language such as music. Jonathan has these qualities in abundance and has been that deciding factor in many a young persons decision to take the risk, discover their gifts and leap with confidence into the infinite."
GRAMMY-award winning pianist, composer, arranger and band-leader
"Jonathan, a trumpet student of mine in his formative years, has not only developed his musical gifts to extraordinary levels, but has himself learned how to give these gifts back to up and coming generations. He has participated on the staff of Gramercy Brass Band Camp @ MSU over many years, and has made solid contributions as an instructor, trumpet sectional leader, ensemble performer and featured soloist. In these many capacities, Jonathan has been a reliable, motivational and energetic colleague."
-John Henry Lambert
Ph.D., Band Director, Music Educator, United Nations International School, Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York
"Recently, Jonathan Saraga conducted a master class on improvisation, with 100 members of my 8th grade Senior Band. Although, most of the students had never improvised before, Jonathan made a game out of this art form, and showed the kids some fun ways they could create instant music with their present skills. His open and relaxed personality, along with his musical expertise created a non-threatening, environment. The kids loved it, and even the most self conscience students volunteered to participate. They were amazed and proud of how good they were able to sound. I was impressed by Jonathan’s creativity, and with his ability to excite these middle schoolers. It was an inspiring class for all."
Music Department Chairperson, Robert F. Wagner Middle School, NYC
"When he (Jonathan Saraga) visited my school, he was prepared, knowledgeable, and met my students at their level with ease. While communicating clearly and honestly, he easily led them in a discussion of advanced improvisational concepts, and coached them as they performed. They were deeply affected and impressed by his musicianship and his obvious passion for music and personal expression. I’m honored to have hosted him at my school, and my students won’t soon forget their encounter with this dynamic, excellent musician."
Band Director, Music Educator, PS 126 / Manhattan Academy of Technology
"Jonathan is an extraordinary person. Creativity is his way of being and any student or audience that encounters Jonathan will be blessed with his brilliant aesthetic sense and nature. Jonathan is a deep thinker, a soulful being who puts 100% into every endeavor he is involved in. He brings humor, beauty, soulful depth, and integrity to the world, as a musician, an artist, and a teacher. As a professional musician, professor, yoga instructor and healer, I highly recommend working with Jonathan!"
M.M., Professor of Piano, University of Mass., Lowell MA, RYT 300, Sound Facilitator
"Jonathan came over to our apartment to share his love of music with our kids. He shared stories about his favorite trumpeter (Clifford Brown), the inspiring teachers he had in high school and college, and how he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. He was extremely patient with our kids and played for them (and also with them, improvising a duet as they honked away). We had a wonderful time, and took away something very special from that evening."
"Jonathan is a really good instructor as well as an accomplished musician. This is my 8 year old son's first experience with music lessons and they're a good match. He looks forward to the piano lesson and is pretty happy to do the little bits of homework after. It's been a great experience for us."
"Jonathan Saraga has been teaching my four sons piano for over a year. They range in age from Kindergarten to ninth grade. Jonathan has been kind, patient, and caring with each child. He engages them easily and uses age appropriate learning techniques. My six year old has never had lessons before Jonathan and he has made leaps and bounds of progress. Jonathan has instilled a new found passion for piano with all the boys. They readily practice and actually compose their own original songs! Jonathan also tutors my 12 year old on the trumpet. I'm happy to say he received and "A" as his final grade due to Jonathan's help. I highly recommend Jonathan as a private music teacher tutor."
"Jonathan is the best that an independent music teacher can be. He is extremely patient, kind, and encouraging. In addition, he knows how to help children overcome difficulties He is an amazing teacher and mentor to my 11 year old grandson. If you are looking for a music teacher for your child, I highly recommend Jonathan."
"Jonathan has made a great impression with my son. He displays a great combination of patience and encouragement with Nick. I have seen an improvement in his trumpet skills as well as his confidence."
"Had a great lesson with Jonathan! He was able to break down complicated concepts into small and easy pieces and this way we were able to achieve a lot."
"Thanks to Jonathan's classes I managed to overcome certain problems that stem from the difficulties of the instrument (trumpet) and at present I continue with my studies of trumpet in Granada (Spain) bearing the educations in mind that were transmitted by Jonathan Saraga."
-José Alejandro Calero Díaz
Ph. D. Czech Language, Dpto de Filología Griega y Eslava
"As a beginner and amateur player, I am continually grateful for having Jonathan Saraga as a lesson teacher. Studying trumpet isn’t a rote march through technical exercises and graded études; rather, he guides each session embracing the totality of musical expression. From our first lesson, Jonathan emphasized breathing, tonality, mindfulness, theory, posture, improvisation, and, of course, technical execution. As I’ve progressed in my studies, Jonathan has kept musicianship and joy at the fore without sacrificing precision or technique. I am pushed to challenge myself but never to the point of frustration. Jonathan is generous of his time and can both run a clear lesson plan of warmup/drill/sight-read/homework as well as spin an exciting session off a particular question or problem brought to the table. Any student of trumpet seeking to express themselves musically while fostering genuine musicianship will benefit from his lessons. There are a lot of trumpet teachers who can walk you through Arban’s while keeping music theory or improvisation at bay until you’re “ready.” However, if you’re dedicating yourself to learning trumpet, you’ll be far better rewarded by Jonathan’s holistic approach, and allow yourself to engage in music – all of it – from the outset."
"The best trumpet and theory instructor I have, very detailed and does not leave anything to question in your pursuit of musical education and/or musicianship. You don't need to be hardcore but you need to be dedicated to learning if you have the right mindset I cannot recommend him highly enough. The first time you meet him bring some samples of a music or musician your striving toward he will give you the right guidance. Like I said he is really cool, not overbearing or too hardcore just right."
"I have been working with Jonathan for a few months now on improvisation, musicianship, ear training, theory and harmony and other things. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to become a better musician. Jonathan is very knowledgeable, intelligent and patient. He is demanding and nice at the same time which are qualities of a great teacher. If you are serious about improving your trumpet playing, learning to play jazz, learning music theory, expanding your improvisation skills or improving your musicianship, Jonathan is a great teacher for you."
"Jonathan teaches trumpet as simply an extension of breathing. First he emphasizes good breathing and posture, and then he aligns you naturally with the instrument. By the end of the first lesson I could relax and achieve a real trumpet tone. Amazing."
"Recently, while at a jam session at a club in New York City, Jonathan Saraga was in the house, and he "stepped up to the plate." As he started playing, my head started turning; I was totally awed by his technique, intonation, phrasing, the ease of his performance, and, oh, that gorgeous sound!
My training had been on the upright bass, but I have been playing trumpet for about 16 years, and was looking for an instructor with newer, fresher ideas. We set up an appointment and I must say that, from the very beginning, he turned out to be the person I was looking for in order for me to become more proficient: very knowledgeable, patient, and above all, focused. There's no doubt in my mind that Jonathan is one of the best young performers/instructors in today's New York music scene."
"I have been taking lessons from Jonathan for 6 months and it has been a tremendously enjoyable experience. Jonathan has an excellent methodology to teaching music which is a mixture of technical exercises and application of the theory to learning how to make music. The dual approach allows me to not only understand and appreciate the theoretical and technical aspects of learning the instrument, but also gives me the sense of fun and satisfaction that comes with applying what I learn and seeing the output in a piece of music. Jonathan is extremely knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the instrument and can break this knowledge down for easy elucidation. Overall it has been great learning experience."