The Marshall Mac LEARN TO HEAR METHOD!  

For ALL instruments and vocalists. Beginners and Advanced, all ages.

Music is an aural art form.  We learned to speak before we learned to read.  We use a different part of our brain when we HEAR music, than when we READ music.  Singing is the key to playing music, whether it's jazz, classical or pop.  My method will make you play better and have more fun.  See how easy it is to learn!  

1. Simple methods for understanding Scales, Chords, Harmony and Progressions.

2. How to practice effectively and improve.

3. Learn how easy it is to pick off licks from a recording.

4. Use my own Jazz Etudes to build your jazz vocabulary.

5. Learn a new scale, chord, jazz lick or pattern each week. 

6. Improve your sound with Marshall's harmonic and breath exercises.

7. Learn how to master Lead Alto playing.  High School and College students will sound better from the very first lesson.

8. You will learn how to blend in a sax section, with my simple rules.  Learn what secrets Dr. Nathan Davis showed me.

Have fun and sound better!

The KEY is to have fun while learning!

Zoom/Skype/Facetime Lesson Packages:

Package of one 40 minute Lesson  
$45 USD

Package of one 75 minute Lesson
$85 USD 

Package of four 75 minute Lessons
$320 USD 

Package of ten 75 Minute Lessons

*Lessons must are maintained on a regular schedule.  Once a week or once every two weeks.  

Includes personalized instruction, my practice etudes composed to improve improvisation, daily practice scale exercises, Big Band and Small Group concepts, I guarantee you will improve and have fun from young players to adults!  Learn how to use play-along tracks to get better!  


"Have fun and play better!" 
Marshall McDonald


"Just want to say thank you for the time and the information of music, the history of music, and what you experienced on your journey to greatness.  In the first 3 lessons I had with you, I have accomplished more than from all of my teachers from the past 40 years. With you I'm not in the wilderness wondering if I'm going to ever understand the language of music. Three lessons! On my 1st lesson, I played a song by ear, that never happened before with any of my teachers!  So that's why I want to say THANK YOU FOR TEACHING ME THE RIGHT WAY. Thank you and thanks a MILLION ." 

Houston, TX

"Marshall is not only a seasoned professional musician with decades of real-world performing experience but also an outstanding educator.  His passion for music is undeniable and his teaching pedagogy profoundly effective. He has an empathetic and caring personality—He truly cares for his students and their progress. His approach to jazz education is one that is based on the original way that Jazz was passed down through the ages. This produces jazz musicians that are rooted in the old traditions of harmony and melody and also have amazing ears! I highly recommend the beginning, intermediate or advanced students of jazz to spend some time learning from Marshall."

Military Musician
Syracuse, NY

“Marshall expertly combines tradition and technique. Bring both a deep understanding of the culture, harmony, and melody to the benefit of those fortunate enough to be mentored by him.” 

Peekskill, NY
"Most teachers tell you what to play. The best thing about Marshall is that he shows you how to apply what he has taught you. I am 65 years old and play lead alto in several big bands. Yet with all of this experience, Marshall has helped me to completely transform my sound and become a more complete lead player. I’ve taken lessons from two other teachers for one and a half years each and sounded no better improvising at the end. Marshall has changed my entire concept of soloing and within a few months, helped me to become significantly better. I couldn’t recommend him more highly."

Carmen P.
Pittsburgh, PA

"A great player is not necessarily a great teacher nor is a great teacher necessarily a great player but when one fines a person who is both you have your self a great educator. This is how I would describe Marshall McDonald. He is, in my opinion, both a great player and a great teacher. My saying is, if you have not experience it you cannot teach it.  Marshall knows his music and has an easy and pleasant manner before a class of students. 
He demonstrates his competency and ability far above the average clinician and/or teacher in his field.  Students need to hear a clinician like Marshall who can not only talk about jazz and musicianship but can also demonstrate what he is talking about."

Joe Riposo
Former Director of Jazz Studies
Syracuse University

"I have known Marshall McDonald for over two decades.  He is perhaps best known as lead alto saxophonist for the Count Basie Orchestra, but he is equally skilled on tenor, baritone, and soprano saxophones, flute, and clarinet.    Marshall is not only a gifted musician.  He is smart, level-headed, and at the same time serious but also good-humored.  He brings these qualities to any musical situation.  For years, I used him in bands of top NYC professionals I assembled to sight-read the pieces of my jazz composition students at the New School University.   He brought all of these qualities to this challenging educational situation."

Bill Kirchner
Professor of Jazz Arranging
The New School

"I have rarely seen a student more talented, dedicated and focused as Marshall was.  He is intelligent, meticulous and focused in his pursuit to become one of the best Lead Alto saxophonists of Jazz.  The fact that Marshall was chosen as Lead Alto of the Count Basie Orchestra is evidence of his commitment to excellence.  His ability to communicate with students coupled with his keen sense of judgement, and willingness to spend time with students who need extra help make him an excellent teacher."

Dr. Nathan Davis
Professor Emeritus 
Founder of Jazz Studies University of Pittsburgh




-University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Award 1980 (taught Jazz Improvisation)
-Crestwood Music School, Scarsdale, NY Classical & Jazz Saxophone & Clarinet
-Greenwich Music Private clarinet & sax instructor
-Yonkers Music Center Private Instructor
-Count Basie Orchestra Jazz Clinician Hampton University, VA
-NAMM Artist - Conn-Selmer Booth Yanagisawa 2011
-Musik Messe Germany Aizen Booth 2009
-NAMM Artist Conn-Selmer Booth Yanagisawa 2009
-Syracuse University Big Band Clinic & Saxophone Clinic
-University of North Texas Count Basie Orchestra Clinic
-The New School New York, NY Clinician for Jazz Arranging Class 
-Master Class at Tokyo Fuchu Daini Elementary School, Tokyo, Japan
-Jazz Clinic Senzoku University 
-Master Class Elementary School Anchorage, Alaska
-Jazz Master Class High School Anchorage, Alaska
-Jazz Master Class Johannesburg South Africa 
-Master Class Jazz Clinic Taipei, Taiwan 
-Master Class Clarinet Vancouver, Canada 
-Master Jazz Class, University of Virginia 
-Master Saxophone & Big Band Clinic, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan 
-Master Big Band Clinic Big Wing Orchestra, Tokyo, Japan 
-Master Big Band Class Waseda High Society Orchestra, Tokyo, Japan
-Master Class Osaka University Big Band, Osaka, Japan
-Featured Performer and Educator "Kobe Jazz Cruise Jazz Festival" 2014, 2016, 2019
-2010 NAMM clinician and artist Aizen Mouthpieces 
-2011 NAMM clinician and performer Yanagisawa Saxophones (with Bill Watrous and Mel Martin)
-2012 NAMM clinician and performer Yanagisawa Saxophones
-Muzik Messe Frankfurt, Germany clinician and artist Aizen Mouthpieces