Private lesson programs in Oboe, Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon

The Fox River Academy Woodwinds Department provides high level professional musical training to our community through a fun and nurturing learning environment. We tailor private instruction to meet the needs of each individual student, recognizing that each student has different strengths and challenges. Lessons will focus on techniques of reading, rhythm, theory, intonation, sound production, posture and breathing, giving the students the important fundamentals they need to play the musical style of their choice in their music education.

Recommended session duration:
Youth – 30/45 minutes; Teenage and Adult – 45/60 minutes.

Age to Start Lessons:
Private woodwind lessons start from ages 7-8 and up, when students have the lung capacity and strength to handle supporting the air flow necessary for producing a steady and consistent tone.

Although your teacher also will have a method he/she employs as part of their lesson program, many of our students bring in excerpts and band music to help prepare them for their orchestra and band auditions. Private lessons are a great way to give your child a head start and confidence for the new school year over the summer months.  We also welcome teens and adult students, providing many opportunities for pupils to participate in recitals, ensembles, and evaluated performances throughout the year.

Starting Supplies:
At a reasonable price, many student and intermediate instrument models can be purchased or rented. Generally, new students on the saxophone or clarinet should choose reeds that are softer rather than harder to make it easier to learn. Please consult your instructor before purchasing.

Brookdale Music’s Website for Instrument Rentals (Naperville)
PM Music’s Website for Instrument Rentals (Aurora)

Fall and Winter
Catalog for Art
& Music Programs

Our Woodwinds Faculty

The Fox River Academy Woodwind faculty has outstanding credentials and years of diverse performing and teaching experience, combining to offer the best in private and ensemble musical training for any genre, from classical, rock, jazz, etc. Our woodwind faculty is friendly, fun, and professional, believing that an environment of mutual respect creates an enriching and comfortable musical learning experience.

Joel Moore

Saxophone, Clarinet Instructor


Tenor saxophonist and Chicago native Joel Moore specializes in both jazz and rhythm & blues. He received an M.M. in Jazz Pedagogy from the Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory in 2000. While living in Boston, he studied with Jeff Harrington, Bill Pierce and Ed Tomassi and interacted with renowned saxophonists Rick Margitza and Bob Berg during their respective clinics and performances. Joel also performed at the House of Blues and Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA and toured throughout New England with a variety of ensembles.

Prior to Berklee, Joel lived in Louisiana and began graduate studies at the University of New Orleans. During this time he studied and performed with Ed Petersen, Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mark Whitfield and Victor Goines. He also performed regularly in the legendary French Quarter with a variety of jazz and R&B bands including a year-long stint as saxophonist during the weekly Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues.

From 1992-1996, Joel studied at Western Illinois University and earned a B.S. in Media Communications. During this time he juggled academics and music as a member of the Jazz Studio Orchestra directed by the late Dale Hopper. With JSO, Joel performed along side guest artists Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, Tim Hagans and Jim Snidero. He also toured throughout the United States and Europe and recorded The Third Degree (Sea breeze Records) in Nashville with acclaimed jazz trombonist John Fedchock. The compact disc The Third Degree received four stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Since moving back to the Chicago area in 2000, Joel has performed extensively at many of Chicago’s live-music venues including Andy’s Jazz Club, Pete Miller’s,Buddy Guy’s Legends, Green Dolphin Street, Green Mill, Underground Wonder Bar, The Note and Elbo Room. He has recorded and performed with Orbert Davis, Paul Wertico and recently opened for the Yellowjackets during the 2008 Naperville Jazz Festival. He currently resides in Plainfield with his wife, Amy, and is on the faculty of Benedictine University, Lewis University and Prairie State College. Joel recently toured with the Dr. Willie Wilson Gospel Orchestra which contributed humanitarian aid and performed for Hurricane Katrina victims in the Gulf region.

Sarah M. Smith

Flute Instructor


Sarah Smith is a dynamic flutist who has made appearances throughout the United States and Canada. She performed as principal flutist of the Salt Lake Symphony from 2007–2010, and is currently a flute teacher at Fox River Academy of Music and Art, as well at her private studio in Naperville.
Sarah started teaching flute when she was fourteen years old and has experience teaching all ages and levels in private and group settings. Several of her previous students have gone on to study flute in college and have received scholarships to pay for their tuition. Many of her students have played first chair in band, received superior ratings at solo and ensemble, won competitions, and been accepted into local youth symphonies. Sarah has taught beginners as young as six years old, college-level flute lessons at a major university, and everything in between. She has also conducted flute choirs and children’s choirs, and was an adjunct faculty member at Salt Lake Community College, where she taught general music appreciation and music theory.

Sarah received her master of music degree in flute performance and pedagogy in 2004 from Brigham Young University. She studied with April Clayton, a doctoral graduate of Juilliard. Sarah was the studio teaching assistant and a full scholarship recipient. She taught college-level flute lessons and conducted master classes for the BYU Flute Studio, BYU Summerfest, and private flute studios. She performed in the world premieres of pieces composed by accomplished faculty such as Murray Boren and David Sargent, and also made professional studio recordings. She can be heard on the Pixar film Lemmings, which won awards from the Cannes Student Film Festival. She participated in a baroque ensemble, played principal flute in the Wind Symphony, performed regularly with the Group for New Music, and was regularly asked to perform with faculty members at the college.

Sarah received her bachelor of music degree in flute performance in 2003 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studied with world-renowned flutist Alexa Still, who is currently on faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She received the Most Outstanding Graduating Senior award and graduated with high honors. Sarah performed in the orchestra, opera orchestra, wind symphony, and chamber orchestra. She received numerous scholarships, won the Wallace F. Fiske performance award, and received an honorable mention in the college-wide concerto competition (competing against doctoral students).

Sarah has placed in many competitions, including the UFA/Summerhays national flute competition, Utah State Fair flute competition, and two concerto competitions. She has performed the Poem by Griffes with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra (of Colorado), and the Lukas Foss Renaissance Concerto with the Pikes Peak Philharmonic. She has performed at the National Flute Association’s annual flute convention several times, including a performance with Robert Aitken, a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.

Sarah is an experienced adjudicator, having judged district solo and ensemble, Federation Flute Festival, and various concerto and scholarship competitions. Masterclass performances include those for such admirable musicians as Jeanne Baxtresser, Walfrid Kujala, Paul Edmund-Davies, Carol Wincenc, Amy Porter, and many others. An avid performer, teacher, and promoter of music, Sarah also enjoys hiking, waterskiing, reading, gorgeous sunsets, and spending time with her husband and two children.