Individual training on flute, saxophone, clarinet, chamber ensembles, audition coaching, sight reading, improvisation, theory
Music lessons are student-centered, meaning that I respect each person’s uniqueness and strive to be a sensitive and effective guide. I devise tailor-made methodologies of instruction that both appropriately challenge and support every learning style, level of musicianship, and type of temperament.
I have mentored aspiring musicians for several decades from the novice to college-bound majors and beyond. My goal as a teacher is to empower my students- to see them flourish, to make our time together inspiring, worthwhile, and joyful.
~ through the grapevine ~
"I have known Deb Saidel for over thirty years both as a professional woodwind player AND as a private music instructor. Her playing is top drawer in all styles of music and her teaching abilities are of the highest order. She has instructed many of my students over the years and they rank as the best of the best in my programs! I highly recommend her!"
Band Director Henrico County, KOS Bandleader
"We enjoy having Deborah perform at Unity Bon Air. Her musicianship and professionalism shine through!"
Music Director, Unity of Bon Air
"I studied flute and saxophone with Dr. Saidel for nearly eight years. Dr. Saidel’s knowledge of both technique and musicality allowed me to excel as a player and musician overall (and have a blast while doing so!). Dr. Saidel’s is a holistic approach informed by many years of performance experience and academic exploration. Repertoire and advice to which Dr. Saidel exposed me as a student stay with me to this day."
"I have had the privilege of working with Deb for nearly four years. I played clarinet for years but gave it up when I went to college. Years after I graduated, I missed a musical outlet and wanted to take the clarinet back up. Deb's compassionate approach to teaching has allowed me to reconnect to music and significantly improve my skills. Her enthusiasm for the power of music and dedication to music theory is infectious - Deb pushes me to continue to grow as a musician and can help turn practice into fun instead of a chore. I always leave my lessons inspired to play more and be better. Deb is a perfect teacher for young beginner students or even the most advanced players."
"Deb Saidel is professional, skilled and incredibly talented. She can make the flute sing. Deb’s the real deal.”
Founding Artistic Director, The Illuminated Stage.
"I am writing to express my strong endorsement of Deborah Saidel. I have had the pleasure of hiring her to perform for our patients and hospital staff for more than eighteen years, and I can confidently say that she is an exceptional musician. Deb has also participated in our Musicians on Call Program, where she played music in patients’ rooms and clinical waiting areas. She was keenly aware of the most appropriate music to play for patients experiencing health challenges. She is adept at playing a variety of music styles, including chamber, Jazz , and contemporary. I believe that Deborah would be an excellent choice as a performer, educator or lecturer."
P. Muzi Branch
Director - Arts In Healthcare, VCU
"In the many years that I have studied flute with Deb, she has been the most excellent instructor and mentor I have ever worked with and I continue to grow and learn so much from her with every lesson. She is highly skilled at identifying strengths as well as weaknesses while recommending the most effective best practices to overcome key obstacles. She has been very helpful in identifying opportunities for me to connect with other flutists. I enjoy learning from her, playing duets and discussing music and technique. I highly value her mentorship and advice. Thank you, Deb, for all you do to advise me in my flute practice."
"I am very thankful to Deb for getting me back into playing the piano. I took piano lessons for a few years in my youth until mid-teenage years got quite hectic. In my adult years I've always said I wanted to play the piano again but did not seriously pursue it enough. Then I met Deb and I started taking lessons from her. She was very patient with me as I struggled to remember some of the piano basics…. 😊 but she got me there. Before I knew it, I was playing the pieces I played when I was young. While flute is Deb's specialty, she was just as good with piano. The music maven that she is. Now I can play the piano again on my own and that......I owe to Deb."
"I've known Deborah for many years and have heard her play music (and played music with her) too many times to count. She is a gifted musician and comfortable navigating a wide range of styles. While thoroughly professional, Deborah is also a warm, generous, and wonderful person. I whole heartedly recommend her."
Director of Music Ministry - Church of the Holy Comforter
"Deb has been a teacher and a friend for the last decade and more. She taught me how to read past the notes on the page, understand a composer’s intention, and play with emotion. She also provided opportunities for me to play in public, encouraging me to go outside my comfort zone and building my confidence in my abilities. Deb is a wonderful teacher and mentor, but also a caring and delightful person."
"Dr. Saidel has been my teacher for a little over a year now and she has been one of the most patient, understanding and helpful teachers I’ve ever had in my band career. Not only has she helped me improve my playing ability on my alto saxophone, but she has made it a lot of fun, so much so that I’m excited every week to play with her and improve. My motivation to play and practice has skyrocketed thanks to her and I don’t know if I would of still be enjoying band without her help. Thank you Dr. Saidel!"
Lectures & Course Development
Women in Music, Sacred Sound: Music in Religion, History of Jazz, Basic Musicianship, Intro to Gender Studies
I have always welcomed the creative challenge of designing college courses. For me, successful outcomes in the classroom can be directly traced to a variety of carefully constructed activities that reinforce key concepts. One of my goals as a classroom teacher is to maintain a balance between my overt leading through lecturing and facilitating opportunities for students to lead and engage with one another. An additional goal is to provide opportunities for community engagement outside of the classroom. Conference presentations and guest lecturing provide some of the very best opportunities for me to put my expertise to good use!
"Dr. Saidel is a very knowledgeable professor. I learned much from her Women in Music class at Virginia Commonwealth University, a lot of which I still reflect upon today. I highly endorse her as a teacher, lecturer and musician." Vanessa Naghdi Farsani
"Dr. Saidel was a wonderful and thoughtful instructor. I took her Women in Music class in 2019. This course that she had created covered women in music, from the early origins of music to the present-day. We learned that women were at the core of the creation of music. Today, women's musicianship reaches the heights of excellence. At first, my classmates and I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but throughout the class we became engaged with an expanded story of music. As Covid came upon us, we learned about how much she cared for her students and our success. I now know that Dr. Saidel is more than just an instructor; she is also an accomplished performer. As I look back on my experiences in her class, I see that Dr. Saidel is one of the teachers who truly cares about education and about her students themselves." Mary Fender O'Brien