I teach jazz piano

I focus on the fundamentals of jazz piano playing.
Starting with a comprehensive study of chords and voicings and then moving to the
essential elements of improvisation I aim to build a solid base of skills from which my students can build upon.

Bio

Background

I have been playing piano for over 40 years now and have been teaching for nearly that long! I'm a straight ahead jazz player and my favorite players are Bill Evans, David Hazeltine, Alan Broadbent, Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes and Chick Corea. I lived in and around Boston all my life until 2005 when I moved with my wife and two sons to Chapel Hill North Carolina.

My playing life has ranged from gigs in ice cream parlors to exotic resorts and everything in between. I was based in Boston since 2005 and have played in a variety of venues from the revered Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston. (You may know of the Hampshire House as "Murphy's," the restaurant upstairs from the Cheers bar in the long running TV show).

In addition to teaching private students in my home studio, I have taught music theory classes and coached jazz ensembles at Brookline Music School, Indian Hill Music Center and the Durham Jazz Workshop. During my Masters study I was a teaching assistant at Harvard University for survey courses in Big Band Swing and jazz history.

In 2007 I founded JazzPianoOnline.com, an online school of jazz piano where I create and produce all of the online content.

Here is a sample of my playing.

Education

I graduated with a M. Mus. in Jazz studies with an emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy from Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory. I studied with Ray Santisti and Charlie Banacos. I also have a B.S. in Biology from Merrimack College in Andover Massachusetts.

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

I approach teaching jazz piano by providing the student with both intuitive and analytical learning experiences. I start with intuitive experiences of listening and imitation to develop an internal sense of jazz time and feel. Concurrently with this work I break the music down into its component parts by presenting scales, chords and techniques of melodic construction. Both approaches complement each other. The intuitive work gets the student playing right away and provides immediate gratification. The analytical study provides a deeper understanding of how harmony "works in action" in jazz.

Prerequisites

I accept only students who specifically want to study jazz. Incoming students must posses intermediate to advanced skills in reading both clefs and the ability to play all 12 major scales.

Computers and Technology

I embrace technology in my teaching. In addition to my Yamaha DC7 7'6" Disklavier piano, I make extensive use of iReal Pro, Transcribe and Logic.

Goals and Expectations

As long as you put effort into your studies you will see improvement in your playing and our lessons will be productive. Once you stop practicing things will come to a halt. If you need a break from lessons just say so and we can take a break. For younger students I will suspend lessons once practice diminishes below a constructive level. This is OK! Learning takes time and doesn't happen linearly.

Availability

I am full for Summer and Fall 2019. Please contact me to be placed on my waitlist.

Contact

For teaching or gig inquiries write me at Bill -at- jazzpianoonline.com