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Hello! I’m Jonathan

After working as a public after-school teacher, as well as in the field of child-care and mentorship since 2004, through my experience, I have found that serving as a role model has become an incredibly effective teaching method. Any child or any human being for that matter is receptive and responsive to a teacher who is sure of themselves, and their preaching; a teacher who is articulate and direct with their words and actions; and a teacher who can be trusted and who makes their student feel comfortable in their presence. These three basic characteristics I've found, win over a students faith in a teacher, and greatly increase the rate of comprehension, application, and acquisition of knowledge.

I develop my curriculum around student interests, which fosters motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. One way to steer learning in a direction relevant to student interest, is to invite student dialogue about the lessons and units of study. Given the opportunity for input, students generate their own ideas and add to the pre-existing ones that have fostered my own imagination, and impact how I develop my lessons. When students share ownership in the curriculum, they feel a strong sense of purpose, are motivated to work hard, to set and accomplish their own goals, and to perform well.

Having studied and worked with musicians of world class ability for the past 8 years, I have adapted effective teaching techniques, and fused them with my own skills and knowledge to create a flexible approach that can mold itself to the abilities, individual needs and goals of a student or a program as a whole. Through my continued studies in music, and many other fields, my ability to relate to all people, including students continues to grow. I am able to quickly assess what kind of approach is appropriate for a group or an individual, and I have experience implementing practices that directly improve learning ability, interest in and comprehension of material. I understand the importance of time management, creative thinking, attention to detail and the ability to make something difficult seem fun and worthwhile.

As someone who recognizes that content can have profound effects on a human being, I feel it is my duty to promote my work in ways that will reach people everywhere, regardless of age, financial means, or social/cultural prerogatives. I believe and live by the idea that creativity is an energy that flows through us, and one's creative abilities can be improved and expanded, through the emotional body, which is influenced by one's perceptions. Throughout my training in music, the arts, as well as my physical, mental and spiritual pursuits, I have realized that discipline, creative flow, and love for what one is and what one does can come together and yield great fulfillment and sense of purpose.

One of the healing effects music can have, is that it can re-unite people with childhood or young adult memories, stimulating emotions that may go otherwise untouched, amidst the trials and tribulations of adult life. While I enjoy creating art that amazes and dazzles people, I live for the opportunity to touch and help people connect and re-center with their true self. Music has the potential to reach deep into the depths of a person's psyche and remind them of the sacred nature of their existence, and it is my hope that through that process, they will be inspired to further their own pursuit of whatever it is that touches them, and that they believe in.

My favorite music to play and my favorite collaborative situations to participate in, are ones where the heart is exposed, and there is a letting go of fear; or at least an opportunity to do so. This can occur in performance situations, but also through interaction with people in non-performance situations. Bringing a state of awareness which acknowledges the human connection and condition, is something I'm constantly attempting to maintain as well as refine.

I look forward to being a part of your journey!

While I specialize in the following broad areas of musical study, my specialties are not limited to: General Music, Composition, Arranging, Ear Training, Music History (includes classical, jazz, and world musics), Music Theory, Sight Singing, and Songwriting. I also specialize in the following instruments: Trumpet, flugelhorn, and Piano/Keyboards. My home studio is complete with weighted 88-key digital piano, Bose high quality speakers, audio and video recording equipment (Beyerdynamic M-160 microphone, Audient iD4 interface, Logic Pro X, Final Cut Pro X), as well as a vast music library, musical media, and tablature spanning many musical genres, cultures and time periods. We can also work on physical posture and approaches, technical approaches, placement & usage of equipment, science of musculature, thoughts & mental energy, breathing & physical energy, presence, creative flow, music theory, music history, memorization, repertoire, etiquette, tone/sound development, concept and voice, sight reading, sight singing, use of space, style, development of voice, breath work, air control, pitch, ear training, emotional control, solo structure, patterns, fragments, & shapes, harmonic manipulation and movement, melodic construction, harmony, chord study, music notation, phrasing, rhythm, transcription, composition, arranging, fingerings/scales, vocabulary, improvisation, articulation, range, dynamic control, and advanced/extended techniques.


Professional Musician at Jonathan Saraga Music

I'm a professional musician and educator from New York City, which is where I've spent roughly 2/3 of my life, and where I currently reside. My 30,000+ hours of experience within music is expressed through my 9 years of conservatory training, which includes Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Music degrees, and my work as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, producer, and studio musician over the course of 20 years. I've recorded on 30 albums, including 2 under my own name for multiple record labels, and have written over 300 pages of scholarly work encompassing a wide variety of theoretical, musicological and pedagogical topics. I've also taught nearly 400 students over the past 7 years, including 3 years at the collegiate level. I have been internationally recognized for excellence in music performance, composition, arranging and/or education through 20 awards, commissions and/or grants presented by the International Trumpet Guild (2X), The International Songwriting Competition (3X), The Herb Alpert Foundation, the Banff Center (2x), Chamber Music America, the School for Improvisational Music, the International Society for Improvised Music, the Association for Popular Music Education, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Juilliard School, the Actors Fund/Local 802 Musicians Union, the Jazz Foundation of America, the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, the Recording Academy/MusiCares, and the University of Colorado Boulder Music Advisory Board. As an educator, I have taught multi-level in-person and virtual music playing/appreciation courses for greater-New York-area based organizations such as the Afro-Latin Jazz Academy, the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York Ensemble Classes, the Lyceum Kennedy International School, Jubilee Enrichment Programs, Jazz Empowers and the New York Jazz Academy. I have also completed 6 semesters of service as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I taught multiple playing ensembles as well as 3 semesters of a 100+ student History of Jazz lecture class for non-majors. Since 2006, I've performed throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and across the U.S. in ensembles led by highly acclaimed artists such as Steve Coleman, Henry Cole, Maria Schneider, Remy LeBoeuf, Darcy James Argue, Orrin Evans, Josh Evans, Jimmy Greene, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Bergen and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra to name a few. I have taught for NYC-based organizations such as The Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, The Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York Ensemble Classes, Jazz Empowers and The New York Jazz Academy, and have served as a Graduate-Part Time Instructor for the University of Colorado, Boulder.


University of Colorado, Boulder

Doctor of Musical Arts

State University of New York at Purchase

Master of Music

State University of New York at Purchase

Bachelor of Music