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Meet Michael Fandetti

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Fandetti.

Hi Michael, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Currently, I teach over 50 private music students. Most of them are guitar students, but many are learning the saxophone, ukulele or bass guitar. In addition to teaching, I have been playing bass in a Latin band called Full Clip for nearly 12 years and saxophone in a video game/anime/movie soundtrack saxophone quartet called S4X for seven years. @fullcliplive and @s4xofficial for anyone who wants to look us up on Instagram or YouTube, both groups are still very active!

So how did I get here?

I’ve always naturally gravitated towards music since I was little. People told me they were impressed even with my skills when doing the sing-along videos at four years old because I would sing all the in-between parts as well. I picked apart the orchestration and included those kinds of things in my singing along to the videos.

Near the end of 4th grade, I picked up clarinet, thus starting my career as a band kid that would take me all the way through to the end of graduate school in college. Of course, I had a few “main” instrument changes along the way, picking up bass guitar in middle school and then saxophone in high school, taking a really strong liking to jazz music.

I stuck with saxophone for school bands but played in many bands on bass outside of school. In addition to the instruments in my arsenal, I also picked up guitar and taught myself rock tunes I heard on the radio. I was deeply fascinated in the roles that each instrument generally had and thus found it nearly impossible to pick a favorite. It was a blessing that I got savvy with different instruments because bass got me playing with lots of bands out of necessity (very few bassists out there) and guitar had me teaching many students (one of the most in-demand instruments next to piano).

After earning my master’s degree in classical saxophone performance, I went on to build my clientele of private students whenever I wasn’t working my 9-5 desk job or performing live concerts. In 2019, I learned about a music school in Burbank who was looking for teachers and left the office job to teach at this school four days a week. I still work at this school, and the school is called Guitar Ninjas!

I tell people that I work seven days a week and have no real day off, but the reality of it is that I enjoy what I do to such a high degree, none of it feels like work. It’s pretty amazing to see kids go from no music experience to playing demanding material and be proud of it.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The musician’s journey is highly unpredictable. I’ve definitely had more than a few drawbacks and rejections, but only to eventually be pushed towards the right path.

Despite my love of saxophone and jazz, I had three unsuccessful auditions in the jazz program in college I wanted to be a part of, simply due to lack of discipline on my part. Although I went the classical route, gaining a very wonderful saxophone mentor who is sadly no longer with us, I still played in jazz ensembles outside of school and worked hard in that field.

There was a similar instance of this happening later in the college years. Due to lack of working on the material that was required of me, I was bumped down from the upper-level Wind Ensemble to the lower-level Wind Symphony for one semester. After I proved my skills again, I came back to Ensemble as the principal player of the saxophone section for my remaining years in college.

I did what many young and skilled music students do: rely on talent without putting in as much work as the others. I learned through these experiences that you can only ride off of your talent for a finite period of time, and then it takes very little for a disciplined student to surpass you. It’s important to work hard along your colleagues and put in the time to know your musician self if you want to get anywhere in this field.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
In different circles, I’m known for different things. Since my two main lines of work are teaching music and playing with bands, it’s safe to say people know me as a sharer and appreciator of music.

I play bass in a Latin band and I play saxophone in a sax quartet that covers anime and video game music. As mentioned before, I also teach tons of private lessons every day, without a day off! Luckily I enjoy what I do, but sometimes it gets tough having little to no free time.

Besides music, I’ve always loved skateboarding, and it’s a hobby I keep up with to this day (when I have the time). I also was really into long-distance running for a few years, completing four marathons. I’m also the token vegan of most groups I’m in, so there’s that too. Been eating plant-based for eight years now.

So it’s safe to say I’m a very multi-dimensional human being, and that may be what gives me a reputation. A real renaissance man who wears many hats.

What does success mean to you?
I believe it to be, as the old philosophical maxim goes, opportunity meeting preparedness.

We often overlook the preparedness part of it and write it off as something small, like getting ready for one concert.

To me, preparedness is enormous and encompasses everything I’ve experienced in music starting from when I played my first note on the clarinet at nine years old. I believe every lesson, concert, teaching experience and recording session I’ve done has only improved me for what is coming next.

I can tell you that I have a concert this coming Friday, but what no one realizes is that I’ve been preparing my entire life for it. Opportunity takes on different meanings as we progress on our own journeys, but our preparedness only becomes more of what we already have been doing!

So to any musicians out there reading this: work hard! Take the not so great opportunities, it’s just preparing you for the big opportunities that are to come.

Pricing:

  • Lessons and recording sessions: If you come to me: $50/hour
  • Lessons and recording sessions: if I drive to you: $60 or more

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Daniel Chavez Wesley Harris Nick Similie

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