I always enjoy teaching my students. We work on melodic lines, chord voicing vocabulary, and functional harmony in all keys, play on tunes together with me playing basslines on the electric piano, and generally learn, laugh and have a good time. Even if you haven’t practiced much or feel tired and uninspired, we will practice together, and I guarantee that you’ll go home feeling better and wanting to spend time at your piano. I consider inspiring my students to be part of my job.
I help keep my students organized so they know how to use their practice time at home. I am very organized as well and prepare for every lesson in addition to keeping notes at the lesson so that I know what subjects we’ve covered each time. Students who have been studying with me for many years are always amazed that I can go back to a lesson date in my notebook from years ago and see exactly what we did that day! One of my priorities is to provide a thorough musical education by filling in any holes in your knowledge.
I also help the students learn how to do their own transcribing of their favorite jazz musicians in order to develop their abilities to listen and understand what they are hearing. Learning to play jazz is, above all else, an incredible ear training. Certainly, we constantly study to improve our theoretical knowledge and become more and more aware of what we are doing within the language of music. But always, it’s about listening and finding out what these sounds are and connecting more and more deeply to our inner ear. By listening more closely to these fabulous musicians (such as Bill Evans and Miles Davis), they become your teachers too, and their playing becomes more accessible to you.
I am happy to teach people of all levels. My practice includes complete beginners as well as professional musicians and teachers. I also teach children, in which case I give a solid classical education, learning to read music along with introducing them to improvising.
I also teach jazz vocabulary to other jazz instrumentalists, for example guitarists, horn players and singers. I taught for much of the 1980s in the jazz departments of two conservatories in The Netherlands, where I taught ensembles and also had small classes of the non-piano players to learn what was titled “Harmony on the Piano.” I taught jazz piano and trio classes at the Berkeley Jazzschool for the last 20 years, before moving in 2018 to Philadelphia.
I am also available for one-time workshops to groups of classical teachers who would like to develop more jazz skills for their own teaching practices. My presentation, “Introduction to Jazz Piano,” is a one- or two-hour lecture/demonstration on the basics of learning a jazz tune from a jazz chart.
I teach private jazz piano lessons in my home in Philadelphia and internet lessons through Skype and Facetime to students around the globe. I’ve taught students in Brazil, Belgium, Japan, England and in all parts of the US. Currently I have students in Italy, LA and upstate NY as well as many students in the SF Bay Area. You’d be amazed at what we can accomplish online! I’ll guide you to which metronomes and play-along programs are available, and I’ll make sure that you learn to keep the form and stay in time.
I am also happy to teach two or more musicians who play together – for example, a pianist and bass player, piano and guitar, piano and sax, or piano, bass and drums.
I incorporate the Taubman approach to piano technique in my teaching. This is an approach that emphasizes a coordinated use of the fingers, hand, and arm in order to make piano playing feel natural and comfortable and to avoid injury.