faculty photo: Valerie Walton

Valerie Walton

Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet

Teaching Statement

The most important goal of my teaching is to help students find the joy in music in hopes that they will be able to access that throughout their lives. I work with many students, be they adults or busy students, who have full lives and music is often just one of their many activities. While I sometimes wish that music was their primary focus, I understand that often it is not. My philosophy is to maintain a fun relationship and to create interesting activities so that the student will be enticed to play more. When my students perform, I consider this a reflection of their dedication to music and not a reflection of my skills as an instructor. I try to cover many genres of music and introduce my students to performing opportunities such as ensembles, recitals, and local jam sessions. I believe strongly that playing in ensembles is one of the most important aspects of being a musician. It is such a pleasure to hear your instrument in combination with others and to make friends who also love music. I have also had students who just love to practice alone and that is fine as well. I work hard to find what makes each student love music.


Bachelor’s degree Berklee College of Music in Boston, flute and saxophone, Masters degree in saxophone performance, New England Conservatory, two levels of Orff Training

Teaching/Performance Bio

Ms. Walton’s first gigs were with a soul band, a Haitian dance band, and a Brazilian dance band. She enjoyed the traveling playing music allowed her to do through France, Martinique, Guadalupe, Venezuela and Columbia to play gigs.At present she plays jazz and classical music mostly for functions, musicals and occasional club dates or concerts. “I love all types of music. The comradery of music has always been important. It is a pleasure being around others who love what they do for a living.” Ms. Walton started teaching private lessons in the after school program of the Needham public schools. She is also on faculty at the Winchester Community Music School, the Merrimack Valley Community Music School and Arlington Center for the Arts as an instructor of saxophone, flute, clarinet, recorder and elementary general music classes.