A Piano Teaching Podcast for beginning and experienced teachers exploring the art and business of Piano Education. Discover how to teach piano to kids in ways that motivate and inspire, how to start and maintain a thriving piano studio, and how to quickly turn your piano studio into the career you always hoped it would be. Join hosts Andrea and Trevor Dow from the TeachPianoToday.com blog as they share their upbeat and positive take on piano lessons today.
The Better Piano Podcast | Learn how to play piano | Improvise in jazz, blues, rock, pop, and classical styles | Play by ear |
The Better Piano Podcast is all about helping you to become a better piano player, especially in the areas of improvising, composing, and playing by ear. Learn about chords, scales, licks, and more, in a show designed for beginners, intermediate pianists, and advanced players. Discover your creative potential in playing in blues, pop, rock, funk, bebop, swing, latin jazz, gospel, or even classical styles. Hosted by James Dering, of www.BetterPiano.com.
British pianist Alan Clare (1921 – 1993) was McPartland's guest at the BBC's Delaware Road studios in London. Clare began his professional career at age eleven and went on to work with George Shearing, Stephen Grappelli, and Spike Milligan. He also fulfilled regular engagements at the London residence of the American Ambassador for parties honoring such guests as Queen Elizabeth and former President Reagan. On this Piano Jazz from 1990, Clare plays his composition "John O Groats" and joins McPartland for a go-around on "In a Mellow Tone."
Singer and pianist Dena DeRose has performed at some of the most renowned venues in the world, from The Blue Note in New York to Swing Hall in Japan. She has shared the stage with artists including Clark Terry, Ray Brown, and Ingrid Jensen. She teaches at the Jazz Institute of the University for Music and Performing Arts in Austria, and continues to perform worldwide. She was McPartland's guest in this 2001 session. DeRose opens the show with "If I Should Lose You" and McPartland joins for "I'm Old Fashioned."
Cornetist and jazz historian Richard Sudhalter (1938 – 2008) joined Marian McPartland on several occasions to provide historical perspective on great performers and songs from the golden era of jazz. In 2002, He sat down with McPartland to talk about Artie Shaw (1910 – 2004). Shaw was known for his unparalleled virtuosity and as a successful bandleader with a limitless imagination. Piano Jazz honors Shaw with selections including "Love of My Life" and "Any Old Time."
Born in Brazil to a musical family, pianist and vocalist Tania Maria was leading her own group of professional musicians by the time she was thirteen. In the 1970s she moved to Paris, and she first came into the international spotlight through her work in jazz festivals. In the 1980s Tania Maria moved to New York, where she recorded a number of hit albums and worked with some of the most renowned jazz artists in the world. On this 1994 Piano Jazz, Maria performs her own composition "Carona" then solos on "Ta' Tudo Certo."
Bassist and vocalist Jim Ferguson got his start in South Carolina, where his father was a church music director. He picked up the bass late in high school and learned to play on the job before taking formal lessons. He went on to play with greats such as Teddy Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Mose Allison, and Stephen Grappelli. On this Piano Jazz from 2001, Ferguson joins host McPartland to perform "While We're Young" and McPartland's "There'll Be Other Times."
Rose Murphy (1913 - 1989) was a legendary singer and pianist who starred at Café Society in the heyday of New York's jazz scene. She made history with her version of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Critics and audiences alike were delighted by her breathless, giggly voice, her spirited playing, and her signature "chee-chee." In this Piano Jazz session from 1988, Murphy showcases her trademark vocal style on "Cecilia." Then she teams up with McPartland for "St. Louis Blues."
Mike Longo performed his first gig at fifteen with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, who was at that time an unknown. Since then, Longo has played with, taught, and composed for many other jazz greats, including Jimmy McPartland. He was Dizzy Gillespie's pianist and musical director, and his repertoire includes everything from traditional jazz to bebop. For this 1999 Piano Jazz, he solos on Gillespie's "Con Alma" and McPartland continues the tribute with her own "Dizzy."
Originally from Japan, pianist Ayako Shirasaki showed an early talent for jazz and classical styles. As an adult, she moved to New York and entered the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Kenny Barron and Ted Rosenthal. She has gone on to establish herself as one of New York's finest jazz pianists. On this 2006 Piano Jazz, Shirasaki performs her compositions "Far Away" and "Falling Leaves."
It’s tough to explain to piano students why they should care about fixing their flat-fingered playing position. But I know why I care about fixing it… Playing with flat fingers is unnecessarily hard and results in music that, quite simply put, doesn’t sound very good… which could very well result in piano students quitting lessons. But kids who play with flat fingers don’t necessarily care about a piano teacher’s retention rate. So, we are then presented with two challenges: How to fix flat fingers How to make kids care about fixing flat fingers In today’s post (and also the SUPER helpful posts we've included at the bottom) we’re going to attack both of these challenges. In doing so, we’ll help you eliminate one big, but often overlooked, reason kids quit piano lessons: It is too physically challenging to warrant the effort required to learn piano. How To Fix Your Piano Students' Flat Fingers To solve the flat-finger piano problem I've invited Dr. Chris Foley to join us on the Teac ...
Vocalist Barbara Lea (1929 – 2011) was a widely respected and admired interpreter of classic American popular song. She started her career in the 1950s, and the Downbeat Critic's Poll of 1956 recognized her as "Best New Singer." On this 1999 Piano Jazz, she joins McPartland for a tribute to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael. The conservator of Carmichael's repertoire, Lea brings her skill to selections including "Lazybones" and "Star Dust."
We've all had one... a piano student who stares at his hands while mostly ignoring his music. And we've all probably engaged in a struggle to get him to view his score as a tool (not as an enemy)... And chances are, during the struggle, you've covered the keys... you covered his hands... you've make him wear dribble specks... and still the problem remained... or it got worse. So, when a teacher asked us to help her with this very same struggle, we knew for the sake of blood pressure readings in studios all over the world that we had to solve the “Won’t look at his music!” conundrum. In today's post we're exploring a world where "looking at hands" may be indicative of a learning style instead of a problem, and how you can use your understanding of this learning style to get students to actually read the notes on a page of music. How To Help Students Who Refuse To Look At Their Music Grab a pen and paper and prepare to take notes as you listen to today's podcast below. Our guest, Bra ...
Legendary leader of the jazz avant-garde, pianist Paul Bley (1932 – 2015) cultivated his own musical vision and influenced a generation of performers. Throughout his life, he remained on the cutting edge of creative music, performing with everyone from Ornette Coleman and Charlie Parker to Jaco Pastorious and Pat Metheny. This week, we remember Paul Bley with his appearance on Piano Jazz in 2000. Bley performs his original motifs and collaborates on a duet with McPartland.
Of all McPartland's attributes, possibly the most underrated is her ability as a composer. Her piano pieces have entered the jazz repertoire and some of her songs—with lyrics by such stars as Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, and Peggy Lee—are part of the Great American Songbook. In honor of Marian's birthday this week, guest host Murray Horwitz leads this exposition through some of her most beautiful works, with performances by Cleo Laine, Sarah Vaughan, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Marian herself.
Harold Mabern, born March 20, 1936, is one of New York's most requested pianists and a staple of Japan's jazz scene. A mainly self-taught musician, his style is influenced by Art Tatum, Chris Anderson, Billy Wallace, and Bud Powell. In 2015, he released Afro Blue. In this 1991 Piano Jazz Mabern solos on "You Don't Know What Love Is," then joins McPartland for Ellington's "Squeeze Me."
Most piano teachers (myself included) teach in tidy little blocks of time. And this means that if we want to increase our teaching income... we generally have to increase our teaching time. But is this a hard and fast rule? Could there a better way? Today we have a wonderful guest on the Teach Piano Today Podcast who will be telling us all about her creative approach to structuring lessons that allows her to teach three students in a single hour... without teaching group lessons. Interested?… Read on! Smart Business Strategy Meets Smart Lesson Structure Today's podcast guest, Marie Harris, is a lesson-scheduling genius. Not only does her creative studio structure allow her to deliver a well-rounded student experience where theory, technique, and musicianship all receive equal attention, but it also allows her to earn a bigger income without a bigger time commitment. Listen below as Marie shares her wildly successful lesson set up and discusses how you too could make this work. This ...
Regarded as one of the world's hippest jazz vocalists, Mark Murphy (1932 – 2015) epitomized the jazz singer. He was discovered by Sammy Davis Jr. in 1953, and remained true to his art throughout his life. This week, we remember Mark Murphy with this 1998 Piano Jazz session. Accompanied by bassist Sean Smith and host McPartland, Murphy puts his mark on "Detour Ahead." He and Smith perform their own "Song for the Geese."
The turning point which propelled musician Jay Leonhart to take up the bass was hearing Ray Brown with the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1955. He has since become a superior bassist, a witty lyricist, and a charming singer. He has played with musicians from all genres and has been on the New York jazz scene for almost five decades. On this 2001 Piano Jazz, he performs his composition "Blues for Marilyn."
This Piano Jazz program originally aired in 1992 with Marian McPartland and her guest composer and pianist Sumi Tonooka. Marian described her as a musician with great originality and imagination. Jazz Times said she is a "fierce and fascinating composer and pianist". New York Times has called her work "provocative and compelling. Ms. Tonooka's carreer has spanned more than 30 years working from bases established from Boston and Philadelphia to New York and Seattle. During that time she has performed solo and with small ensembles and symphonies. She has received awards and grants to include the Music Alive: New Partnerships residency with The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra through New Music USA which took place in November 2015 culminating with a premiere of her work "Full Circle" and a new work for woodwind quintet.
At some point in our teaching careers we will all be faced with it.... a "two-handed" piano student suddenly becomes a "one-handed" piano student. Whether it's a broken arm, a sprained wrist, or burned fingers... a myriad of different injuries can throw a bunch of wrenches into a typical piano lesson. So the question is... how can teachers navigate these "one-handed" weeks while still maintaining piano lesson progress? Is this even possible? This podcast is less than 10 minutes, but it's packed with info! Listen below ... How To Teach "One-Handed" Piano Lessons (Show Notes) Today on the Teach Piano Today HelpLine Podcast we're discussing this topic with Dr. Chris Foley. In the midst of a busy schedule that involves adjudicating, blogging and training Royal Conservatory examiners, Dr. Foley joins us to discuss: How it is possible to teach one-handed piano lessons Why time spent as a "one-handed" pianist can actually be a benefit Repertoire suggestions for right hand only and left ha ...
Pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste hails from the cradle of jazz, Louisiana. Now the leader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert house band Stay Human, he has collaborated with Harry Connick Jr., Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson, and the Marsalis family. On this Piano Jazz session from 2011, guest hosted by Jon Weber, Batiste sings "What a Wonderful World" and joins Weber for a duet of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Today we're kicking off our Teach Piano Today Helpline podcast with a fabulous episode featuring everything you've always wanted to know about teaching group piano classes. And if you just thought "Oh... this is not for me, I only have one piano so I can't teach groups..." you'll want to hang around and have a listen, as you may be surprised to find out that group piano teaching can still be an option! Send us a Voicemail... This Could Be You! We received today's Helpline Voicemail from a teacher wanting to start group piano classes at her busy studio. To help us answer her question we called Dr. Christopher Fisher at his office in Ohio... in the midst of last weekend's blizzard. He shares his expertise on this subject including: How should you begin teaching group piano classes? What are alternatives to the large group classes we think of as a "piano group class"? What are the problems that arise - and how can they be prevented? How you can you meet individual needs within a group ...
One of the rare jazz discoveries of her generation, Eden Atwood has a voice that has been described as beautiful and refreshing. The daughter of arranger-composer Hub Atwood, she studied piano as a child and went on to have a performing career in New York and beyond. She has released several studio albums and tours regularly. On this Piano Jazz from 1996, Atwood and McPartland duet on "Old Devil Moon."
Sergio Salvatore was only 14-years-old when he was McPartland's guest 20 ago, but he was already making the jazz world sit up and take notice. This young composer, pianist, and improviser is a natural. He has gone on to partner with virtuoso vibraphonist Christos Rafalides, with whom he released the critically acclaimed Dark Sand. On this 1996 edition of Piano Jazz, he solos on his own "Revolving Door." He and McPartland get together for "Autumn Leaves."
A florid, flamboyant pianist, Bobby Enriquez (1943–1996) was called "the Wild Man of jazz," a reference to his karate-like attack with fists, elbows, and palms hitting the keyboard. Although he never received formal lessons, he clearly made his mark among jazz heavyweights. On this 1990 Piano Jazz, Enriquez plays a fiery rendition of "Just One of Those Things," then gangs up with McPartland for his own "Bumble Rumble Blues."
A supreme soprano sax player, Jane Ira Bloom is known for her innovative use of movement and her high-energy compositions. Her debut album, Modern Drama, caught the attention of NASA, who commissioned her to write three pieces in 1989. She went on to release several studio albums, including her highly praised Sixteen Sunsets. On this 1993 Piano Jazz, Bloom and McPartland combine forces to freely improvise and to play "My Romance."
Being a legendary drummer was only part of Max Roach's musical personality; he was also an accomplished composer and storyteller. On this 1998 Piano Jazz, Roach (1924 – 2007) relates a few of his many musical memories from performing with greats like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie. He treats listeners to a selection of his own compositions. Roach, McPartand, and bassist Ray Drummond collaborate on "I'll Remember Clifford" and "Joy of Spring."