About Donna


 Helping you bring your performance to the next level with Donna Schwartz Music…

Have you struggled with these problems?

  • I don't know what to practice and I don't have much time. I work full-time and have a family, so practice time is very limited.  Is there a quick routine I can follow to keep in shape and enjoy practicing?
  • I don't understand how to read music – it makes no sense. But I want to learn how to do it so I can pick up a music book and play it without someone always helping me.
  • I just want to play my favorite songs. Why do I have to read these boring exercises?
  • My tone quality is not very clear and my range is limited. I'm embarrassed to play in front of others.
  • I'm getting an “airy” sound on my saxophone and I don't know why. My horn is new and I am using a new reed.  How can I fix this problem?
  • I play trumpet and just got braces. My concert is next month. I lost my range and have to play some pretty high stuff. Help!?!?!
  • I get really nervous before a concert. How do I not get so nervous?
  • I want to play Jazz but don't know where to start…

Donna Schwartz Music can help!

Here's what Donna Schwartz Music is all about…

If you're looking to learn an instrument like the trumpet or saxophone for the first time, OR

wanting to improve your skills on your instrument, OR

needing to perform well for an upcoming concert/audition, OR

desiring to understand and read music,  then you are in the right place!


Over the years, I have helped many students of all ages with:

  • developing efficient practice routines that don't take hours of time
  • embouchure and articulation problems
  • difficulty performing with braces
  • stage fright and performance anxiety
  • reading and understanding music more efficiently
  • preparing for performances and auditions
  • learning how to play Jazz and improvising
  • enjoying music

With over 30 years of teaching experience, both in public schools and privately, I want to help you enjoy making music.


Enjoyable to Learn From

Ms. Schwartz gave me my foundation in music and for that I will always be grateful. She worked to improve my tone, technique, and articulation when I first learned to play the alto saxophone at age 10, and went above and beyond in helping me practice outside of class and realize my potential as a musician. I have never had a music teacher as dedicated or as enjoyable to learn from and highly recommend her for private lessons.                                                                                                         Laura S.


Donna has a genuine desire to assist and support her students

As a long time jazz sax player I am constantly checking out online resources. I discovered this website some months ago and have found a number of useful resources, as well as interesting and enjoyable blogs. Donna has a genuine desire to assist and support her students with their music education and instrumental techniques. In my Skype lessons with her she has given me strategies that helped me deal with some tense embouchure issues that have plagued me for many years. I can recommend Donna's site for topics of interest to music students and teachers. If you decide to take lessons with Donna you can be assured that she will take the time to determine what you are hoping to achieve and to assist you in meeting your goals.  

                                                                           Glen K

Donna can diagnose playing issues quickly

Donna has an extraordinary ability to not only diagnose saxophone playing issues quickly, but also to provide creative approaches to solving them with a great sense of humor. Her experience in teaching and playing multiple instruments leads to valuable insights that are accelerating my progress. Highly Recommended!                                                                                 

    Mitch Halpern

My Story…

On Trumpet

Photo Credit: Dan Neri

Donna’s musical career can be best described as the “comeback kid“.

At age 9 she was not able to produce a sound on the trumpet for three months, but by the age of 11 she became one of the best performers in her elementary school (and in Nassau County).

Her dentist forced her to quit trumpet due to getting braces, but she was later able to convince her dentist to change his mind.

She fought her way back into the junior high band and experienced much success throughout high school – becoming a top trumpeter in her District and County Bands and Jazz Bands, and participating in All State Wind Ensemble and NYS Summer School for the Arts.

She suffered another setback in college, when her embouchure “gave out” and she couldn’t play.

After studying with some of the best trumpet teachers in NYC, such as Vince Penzarella (NY Philharmonic), Mel Broiles, Ed Treutel, and Laurie Frink (Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra), she fixed the problems she was experiencing, gaining a greater understanding of brass embouchures and became an expert in fixing embouchure problems.

Over the years, she studied various ways of producing sound efficiently and is known for helping students fix embouchure problems and for playing effectively with braces.

Donna has performed on trumpet in numerous churches, community orchestras and New York and Los Angeles metro area marching bands, as well as studio sessions for local popular music cover bands.

On Saxophones: 

Trumpet and Sax Lessons

Photo Credit: Dan Neri

Having always wanted to play the saxophone, Donna received guidance from a fantastic all-around woodwind performer, Alan Mandel during her undergraduate years.

She picked up the saxes really quickly and went on to study with renowned Long Island teachers, Lou Doboe and Jeffrey Lange. 

She learned and still utilizes Joe Allard's method of playing the saxophone, and has helped countless students develop fuller tones and more efficient ways of performing saxophone.

She has since performed Blues and Rock in large theatres, concert halls and festivals across the NYC and Los Angeles metro areas with artists such as Vicci Martinez (Season 1 Finalist from The Voice), Richie Cannata (original saxophonist from Billy Joel's band), Bobby Rondinelli (drummer from Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath), and Barbara Morrison, legendary Jazz vocalist. 

Donna's Teaching Credentials:

  • public school Band, Jazz Band Director – over 15 years
  • private teacher, brass and saxophones – over 27 years
  • 2007 Jenkins Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • Brass and Jazz Adjudicator, NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association)
  • Instrumental Music Mastership Certification Level One from the Gordon Institute of Music Learning
  • Master's Certificate in Arranging and Orchestration – Berklee School of MusicMaster's in Science, Music Education – Queens College
  • Master's of Science in Music Education – C.U.N.Y. at Queens College
  • Master's in Social Work – S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook University (CSW)
  • Bachelor of Arts – Music and Psychology, Queens College


“Performing in all types of venues has not only been a lot of fun, but also a great experience for dealing with stage fright and performance preparation.”


Donna has performed at:

    • House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
    • Whiskey A Go-Go, Hollywood, CA
    • City National Grove of Anaheim, CA
    • The Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
    • Yost Theatre, Santa Ana, CA
    • Canyon Club, Agoura Hills, CA
    • Viper Room, Los Angeles, CA
    • Aquarius Resort and Casino, Laughlin, NV
    • World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
    • Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun, CT
    • The Paramount NY, Huntington, NY
    • Theatre Three, Pt. Jefferson, NY
    • Vail Leavitt Hall, Riverhead, NY 
    • Patchogue Theatre, Patchogue, NY
    • Landmark Theatre, Pt. Washington, NY
    • Dix Hills Performing Arts Center, Dix Hills, NY
    • Riverhead Blues Festival, Riverhead, NY
    • Westbury Music Fair (NYCB Theatre), Westbury, NY


  • Debut CD for Original Rock Band, SGS
  • Guest Artist on CD by Adam Exler
  • Guest Artist on 2 CD's by Dynamica Music: Domino Grey; Back in the Black, and more recently, Dream Field.
  • Guest Artist on Amber Ferrari’s CD, Electric Blue, March 2013.
  • Donna played all the horn parts on a track for a CD by NYC Rock band, Grimm Jack.
  • Donna recorded some tracks on trumpet and saxes for a soon-to-be-released soundtrack for an indie film in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Donna appeared on an EP release from Adam Exler, a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Donna also recorded a track for Criss Angel’s Believe show, currently playing at The Luxor in Las Vegas.



Check out these articles Donna was featured in:

SBO Performance Festival article





NafMe logo




Pasadena Independent




National Association of Music Parents-Braces Article






WAVE article-7 Tips to Get Today's Students to Practice More





Can My Home Schooled Child Play a Band Instrument?





Host of the Everything Saxophone Podcast

Donna and former co-host, Nick Mainella created this resource that features interviews with saxophone performers, educators and industry leaders for the saxophone community in 2018.

Guests have included Kirk Whalum, Bob Reynolds, Camille Thurman, Mindi Abair, Derek Brown, Michael Lington, Jamey Aebersold, Ted Nash, James Snidero, Grace Kelly and countless others.

The Everything Saxophone Podcast has been on site at NAMM in Anaheim, CA since 2019, partnering with Key Leaves founder, Rulon Brown, in bringing the world of NAMM to the saxophone world.