Find a Teacher

1. Study with Bradley Sowash
Find out how you can study with me online with Facetime or Skype.  I have my end setup with one camera on my face and the other on my hands to demonstrate concepts on the keys.  All you really need on your end is a camera-enabled smart phone, tablet or laptop and optional headphones. Learn about one student’s experience with online lessons.

2. Find a creative teacher in your area
Here’s an evolving informal list of piano teachers who offer improvisation to their students alongside a traditional reading curriculum.

Want to be on this list?
Simply leave as brief or long comment as you like below that tells me:

  • How you teach improvisation
  • Your website link
  • The location where you teach
  • The improvisation level you are most comfortable teaching:

Level Definitions
1 – 2 = Beginners – Student improvises patterns or stories while teacher accompanies
2 – 3 = Intermediate – Understanding and playing chords with quick recall are included in lessons
3 – 5 = Advanced – Styles and voicings are taught to prepare student to play in high school jazz ensemble or church bands.

While you are at it, consider following this blog (see upper left sidebar).

5 thoughts on “Find a Teacher

  1. I use one of my book/CD music theory methods as a basis, (The Complete Church Pianist, Amazing Phrasing – Keyboard, or The Aspiring Jazz Pianist) and add to the lesson what the student needs or desires (High school jazz band? Favorite tunes for the older music enthusiast? Composition? Vocal accompanying for self? Church keyboardist?)

    http://debbiedenkemusic.com

    My home studio is in Santa Barbara, CA

    I teach people with prior piano skills (read a bit, at least 2 years of basic piano) up through professional performers and teachers wanting to learn improvisation. No prior improvisation experience needed. I might throw in a bit of classical piano, but prefer to specialize in improvisation!

    Intermediate through advanced levels, from ages 11-91

  2. Hi Bradley
    For my jazz students, I teach improv based on chords as well as the modes, and I teach 2-hand and left hand jazz voicings. We generally start with the blues, working up to improvising on standards and ballads. For students who play popular and classical music, we improvise and compose based on scales and chords. I’m comfortable teaching advanced improvisation and composition. I am also a film composer, and teach “writing to picture” skills to advanced students who are interested. I teach in Culver City, CA

  3. We teach using Simply Music with a lot of improvisational games added on top. For example, week one they are taught your basic Heart and Soul progression with 9ths and then allowed to play with what is possible with 4 fingers and 4 chords. Broken 8ths, block 9th chords syncopated to what feels right to them, and then hopefully free improvisation in that structure within weeks. We use blues to expose them to block shapes that are then broken up and then combine this will scales work later on to improvise. We have kindergarten kids who can voice an Ab13, to Db, to Dbmaj7, to Db7 or anything similar. I gladly start 4 year olds on simple improv such as the black note pentatonics or breaking up a single chord. At the 2-3 year mark they are working on dropping in with Jazz chords, creating 6 or more baselines for given songs, and transposing songs to all 12 keys, in addition to reading and a classical repetoire offered by other teachers and this is all with fun lessons and reasonable practice requirements of 20 min a day. We are currently in the process of moving to online lessons in addition to studio lessons.

    I would love to get involved with your mission and write some blog posts as well as it is my goal to help educate the public to exactly how powerful a balanced approach can be so we can break that cycle of readers teaching readers (and hopefully some of the bad technicians teaching bad technicians cycle as well) – Jeremy

  4. Hi Bradley
    Since 1993 I’ve been attending Windswept Music Conference where we study Creative Motion principles. (www.creativemotion.org) Students of all ages in my studio are encouraged to study music theory to form building blocks on the way to their own compositions. What they start with often depends on which method they’re using; sometimes it’s 12 bar blues to start; sometimes it’s the pieces they pick out by ear and want help with harmony or accompaniment. I like your music and your approach!
    Susan

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