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About Sami Blosser

Sami Blosser is a groundbreaking composer, passionate educator, and fierce multi-instrumentalist based in Detroit, MI. Her original duo piece "Castles" was recently featured at the 2022 International Alliance for Women in Music conference. As a faculty member of Music Hall's education department, she maintains a prominent mentorship role through individualized lessons and interactive clinics. She has shared the stage with a number of well-known forces of nature, including Ingred Jensen, Ellen Rowe, Marion Hayden, Scott Gwinnell, and legendary AACM drummer Vincent Davis

Hooked on music from a young age, Sami began serious study of the saxophone at age 12. Subsequently, she was accepted into Western Michigan University's music program in 2013. While in Kalamazoo, she collaborated on a number of projects from a wide variety of genres, including big band, avant-garde, orchestral pop, funk, hard bop, contemporary classical, singer-songwriter, and cutting-edge modern jazz.

After graduating in 2018 with a degree in Jazz Studies, Sami moved to Detroit to further pursue her music career. Much of Sami's work- including her compositions, clinics, and pedagogy- are rooted in her passion for mental health advocacy. As years of her own mental struggle were pushed under the rug and treated as an unsolvable anomaly, she began seeing similar patterns in many of her students. Tireless research has led her to a codified system of overcoming mental blockages, which she uses both privately and clinically to aid students in overcoming that which is rarely addressed in academic settings. This specific clinic is scheduled to be filmed in September. Sign up for emails to be notified when this clinic is published.

Education

Mission Statement

Every musician starts their journey with a phase of exuberant, child-like exploration. Over time, this phase gives way to focused, technical study. While this phase is vital to advancing musically, eventually the intensity can escalate to levels that induce stress rather than joy. Combined with outside expectations from mentors and peers, many musicians begin to lose themselves, forgetting the reason why they started in the first place. What was once a vehicle of expression now becomes merely a struggle to keep one's head above water. The thought becomes- "I would have more fun if I could play better." And yet, the "better" we get, the stronger this cognitive distortion becomes. At this point, many begin to wonder- what happened?

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The truth is, that childlike excitement never goes away. If anything, it only becomes stronger. All that separates anyone from their true musical voice is a brick wall of mental blockages. However, simply being aware of this usually isn't enough to break down this wall. Having spent the last decade trying everything possible to alleviate my own blockage, I know that with the right guidance, anyone can overcome this common plague. It is my goal as an educator to not just teach the technical intricacies of the instrument, but to pass down this knowledge to my students. This ensures that music remains fun and exciting for all of my students, no matter where they are in their development.

Four-Year Curriculum

This curriculum is designed primarily for the saxophone family.

Download the Full Curriculum (PDF)

  • Ability to play all notes in normal register of horn
    • Low Bb to palm key F on saxophone
  • Can fluently read music
    • Proficient in treble clef
    • Working knowledge of bass clef
    • Proficient in rhythmic identification
  • Can confidently play all 12 major scales
  • Can easily recite cycle of fourths (circle of fifths)
  • Goals
    • Ignite a passion for jazz and ancestral music
    • Begin developing deep, analytical listening skills through guided listening of quintessential jazz records
    • Build connection between ear and horn by learning melodies and basslines from said jazz records
    • Overcome playing anxiety and insecurity while strengthening intuition through free improvisation
    • Gain a precise, scientific knowledge of how to develop a clear, supported sound
    • Become immersed in aural history of masters of student's instrument
    • Become a part of the community by attending local gigs and jam sessions as an active listener
  • Goals
    • Continue sound development with more flexibility-focused exercises
    • Have full control* over all basic scales in all 12 keys, including
      • Major**
      • Dorian, natural (aeolian), harmonic, and melodic minors
      • Major and minor pentatonics
      • Blues
      • *full control = can play up and down full natural range of horn as 16th notes at quarter note = 120 BPM
      • **will also be able to play major scales ascending and descending in all intervals up through 7ths
    • Be able to easily access arpeggios over basic chord qualities in all 12 keys, including
      • Major 7
      • Dominant 7
      • (Dorian) minor 7
      • Augmented 7
      • Diminished 7
    • Be able to quickly and accurately transpose basic melodies through all 12 keys
    • Expand aural/historical knowledge through guided listening that begins to lean into student's tastes
    • Begin learning and improvising over simple forms/standards by
      • Implementing appropriate melodies and chord scales
      • Applying basic language from mini-transcriptions
    • Continue attending live gigs and jams and sit in at least once by end of year
  • Goals
    • Gain control over more advanced scales and when to use them, including:
      • Fully altered
      • Half-whole/Whole-half diminished
      • Whole tone
    • Be able to arpeggiate both previous and new chords up to 13th. New chords include:
      • Any altered dominant
      • Half-diminished
    • Find one Key Artist for the year and:
      • Deep dive into their discography using active listening techniques
      • Transcribe one or more of their solos
      • Develop change-playing vocabulary through selected licks taken from transcriptions and worked through a multitude of scenarios
      • Decipher their sound using specific vocal techniques
    • Learn fundamental blues heads and jazz standards, especially those recorded by Key Artist and/or those frequently called at regularly attended jams
    • Begin regularly playing with other musicians at jam sessions
    • Learn proper jam session etiquette
  • Goals
    • Develop individual tone using precise technique based on favorite artists and student's anatomical capabilities
    • Dig into heavier jam session tunes with more complex chord changes and/or non-traditional forms and/or more technically demanding heads
    • Learn less commonly called tunes based on preference
      • Host private session with select peers to play said tunes
    • Expand aural vocabulary with guided listening through more experimental/modern albums
      • May also include relevant listening outside jazz cannon
    • Learn "dream transcription" AKA technically demanding solo that student is drawn to but feels out of reach
      • Work transcription as before: internalize, then integrate into tunes currently working on
    • Learn 3-step system to overcome any mental blockages that may arise at this stage
    • Discuss potential for continuation of study with career intentions

Clinics

Sami is a passionate and versatile clinician who brings her fiery energy and extensive knowledge to a myriad of topics. With an extensive background in theater and public speaking, she actively engages her audiences in a way that is both captivating and genuine. Topics include:

  • Using mindfulness, meditation, and clinical therapeutic techniques to overcome mental blockages and unleash musical potential at any stage of a musician's technical development
  • Discovering the ins, outs, and finer points of the single reed (perfect for educators who teach but do not specialize in woodwinds or saxophone/clarinet students)
  • Navigating the professional music landscape as a woman: resources, reaching out, and dealing with sexual harrassment
  • Recovering academically/professionally after a mental health crisis
  • Implementing vocal technique to unlock the saxophone sound

Sami's clinic on overcoming mental blockages will be filmed this September at Music Hall. Sign up below to receive updates on its release. Sign up to be notified when this clinic is published.

Booking

  • Contact Sami Blosser via email at:
  • sami@samiblosser.com

Shows

Catch Sami at one of these upcoming shows...

Check back soon! More gigs coming...

Videos


No Greater Love - Sami Blosser Quartet
Creepy Crawlies - Sami Blosser original

Audio

Listen on Soundcloud

Discography

Ben Schmidt-Swartz / Vincent Davis: Live at Grace

Renown Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Ben Schmidt-Swartz and legendary AACM-endorsed drummer Vincent Davis play an exciting set of improvised music at the acoustically spectacular Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL. Featuring Sami on alto sax tracks 7 and 8

Listen Here

Fake Baseball: In with the Id Crowd

Eclectic art-pop band Fake Baseball bends pop music on its ear whilst keeping the groove alive. Come be bathed in the sweet and uneasy melancholy of a glitchy, introspective dream-zone, or wiggle your hips to an intricate groove with dazzling keys and horns that are best described as "stanky." Featuring Sami on alto sax tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11

Listen / Buy Here

Olivia Van Goor: When the Shadows Fall

On her debut album, Olivia Van Goor puts her own playfully sophisticated spin on lesser-known jazz favorites. An old soul with a new voice, she expertly leads her band through fresh, swingin arrangements. Featuring Sami on alto sax tracks 2 and 4

Buy on Bandcamp Listen on Spotify


WMU Jazz Orchestra: Turkish Delight

Under the direction of Scott Cowan, this Downbeat award-winning album journeys through hard-swinging classics, Cowan's twisting bebop arrangements, and impressionistic originals. Featuring Sami on bari sax.

More Info

Spirits Rejoice! Live at First Congregational UCC

Wild, unbridled, and emotionally driving freely improvised music. Anything can (and will) happen on these challenging and evocative albums. Featuring Sami on alto sax.

Listen on Bandcamp

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