Hi there, and welcome to my teaching studio, located in Portland, Maine. I teach piano and saxophone, among other things, and I bring my experience and expertise as a professional film and television composer, jazz performer and arranger, and improvising piano player to every lesson.
Lessons here are an absolute hoot!
My singular passion – my goal as a teacher – is to inspire people to find and master their own music. This may mean learning to compose, but it also often means learning to listen and apply what you hear to your instrument. Here, at my studio, most people are learning to play the piano, and we begin with a foundation of curiosity, fun, and the spirit of play.
Every note, every sound we make, is an opportunity to spread joy.
I always seek to find music and ways of learning that are the right fit for students. Some of my students love to learn from books, so we use one or more of the method books I keep stocked here in the studio. Others prefer to make stuff up as they go along, and I support that by composing pieces that are on their learning level and by helping them create their own music. Still others are driven by their own repertoire of music they hear on the radio. For them, we learn to transcribe by ear and develop techniques for extending their musical imaginations beyond what they find in the media.
The first lesson:
The first lesson is always framed as a “one-off” experience. This keeps the pressure down, and allows me and the student to focus on exploring the instrument (we often take apart the piano – which is an exciting thing to do, since this 250 year old piece of technology has a lot going on in there!) and to engage the student’s curiosity. I always send the student off hoping that they will take one thing that they will always remember, whether or not they decide to come back. They usually do.