// ALEXA'S PICKS //
But First, The Nitty-Gritty...
Alexa Abroad’s product selections have been curated by me, Alexa! I only recommend products that I genuinely love. If you buy something through my links, I may earn a small affiliate commission, at no cost to you. Thank you for helping to support Alexa Abroad!
// LINKS //
After much research in trying to up my work-from-home game, I decided on this affordable laptop stand from Amazon. Between Zoom masterclasses, private lessons, and wanting to have a seated and standing option, it checks all the boxes! Plus, it's portable and super easy to throw in my bag on the way out of the apartment.
A big thank you to Shawn at C.M. Technologies (Plymouth, MA) for gifting me this incredible little USB speaker/microphone! It's about the size of my hand and is perfect for virtual teaching engagements where I'm both speaking and playing an instrument. It picks up and balances for both situations, which means I don't have to deal with an instrument and a talk mic. While I stick with my Neumann TLM103 for recording and livestream performances, this is great for masterclasses, demonstrations, private teaching, and more.
*NOTE* I have the SP10 but have linked the SP20 (newer model) above as an Amazon Prime product.
3. Team Tarantino Beanies
I've been wearing these slippers since I was in high school! They somehow smell like vanilla on the bottom and mold to the shape of your feet perfectly. I buy them for everyone I know and have received rave reviews! Plus, L.L. Bean has an amazing return/assistance policy. Check out the Men's Wicked Good Moccasins here.
I first discovered DW Home Candles at Marshall's and it's the only candle brand I've used ever since! Since it can be difficult to get to a Marshall's and carry a bag full of candles home in New York City, you can also order them on Amazon (linked) or at DWHome.com. Calming Waves is by FAR my favorite scent of theirs!
I don't know why, but I am THE WORST with matches. I get so nervous about burning myself and then end up frantically throwing the match or setting a smoke alarm off. This USB Rechargeable Lighter makes me feel so much safer and also means I'm using less waste (no more matches and no more disposable lighters!).
I first started using BAM Cases when I entered the Eastman School of Music for college. It was imperative that I upgrade from my student case and get something form-fitting, shock-absorbent, and streamlined. Since then, BAM Cases have kept me sleek and stylish as I travel the world! I use the L'Etoile Cabine Alto Case in Black. Explore the full L'Etoile Collection on BAM's site here. The product title links to another dealer on Amazon.
I have been playing and using Vandoren reeds, mouthpieces, and accessories since I first picked up the saxophone. When I first met Phil Woods, he was playing ZZ Size 3 reeds, and that's why I switched to ZZ from the Vandoren traditional blue box. They give me the core and buzz in the sound that I love!
Protect your laptop by becoming #alexafied with this snug, lightweight laptop sleeve (multiple colors available)! To prevent any scratch marks, it contains an internal padded zipper and its interior is fully lined with faux fur. What’s more, it’s made from a material that’s resistant to water, oil, and heat, keeping your laptop always protected for running between rehearsals, class, travel, or gigs.
*NOTE* The link in the product title directs to the Alexa Tarantino Merchandise page where you can check out the variety of colors available.
For whenever we get back on the subway, bus, train, plane...this privacy screen keeps others from being able to read over your shoulder. I have the white screen to match my white iPhone which was unavailable at the time of this blog, here's a link to the black iPhone screen and my laptop screen. The product title links to my "Tech Essentials" page which contains both products in my amazon store.
MVMT was kind enough to let me pick out some accessories this Fall. I love the “Everscroll” blue-light blocking glasses in the Hyde style and Crystal color, because they are light and stylish. They have been so perfect for all of this screen-time as I teach, work, record, and perform from home.
These have been so incredible during quarantine. I've used them for yoga, pilates, walking/running, and seated exercises.
13. THE ALEXA APPROACH Music Education Membership (Coming Soon!)
Coming in 2021! My new educational platform, The Alexa Approach, is where you'll get insider access to ALL of my educational materials. That means having an extensive video library at your fingertips consisting of all of my saxophone and woodwind eercises, demonstrations, lessons, and PDFs covering warmups, technique, woodwind doubling, and more.
For students and educators of all instruments, you'll find videos teaching jazz theory, improvisational concepts, vocabulary, repertoire, and beyond.
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: January 1, 2021
REGISTRATION: February 1, 2021
I’ve always been a tea drinker, but whether it’s coffee, tea, or whatever you choose, do it in Tarantino Style. It’s sturdy and glossy with a print that’ll withstand the microwave and dishwasher. The product title above links to the merchandise section of this site, where you can explore the three options available.
15. Harney & Sons Tea, Amazon
When I lived on the Upper West Side, I used to call the Hotel Belleclaire "my office". I'd walk a few blocks down to the hotel, which had a Millefeuille Cafe on its ground level. I'd get Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea and an almond croissant, and sit in the quiet and open hotel lobby to do some work or have a meeting. I miss those days! Get yourself Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice, or my other favorite, Paris, for a luxurious tea experience.