Teaching and Presenting Highlights Michael Stegner

Teaching Bio

Michael Stegner grew up in a home with two music educators as parents. After years of classical piano lessons, he attended the University of Miami in Florida where he received a B.M. in Studio Music and Jazz (piano). After travelling and performing original music around the US for a few years, Stegner moved to Seattle. He began combining his classical training, jazz training and experiences of performing nightly on the road into a comprehensive teaching philosophy. His teaching studio filled up quickly and he became in-demand as a presenter at teacher conferences both locally and nationally.

teacher2In 2016, he launched a blog focused on teaching, pedagogy and performance. The blog garnered nearly 3,000 users in its first year. That same year, he released the first four levels of his teaching method that has been tested at his school since 2007.

Teaching Highlights

  • In 2003, founded the Creative Music Adventures music school in Seattle where students of all ages were asked to be able to perform traditional piano music as well as modern, jazz and improvised music.
  • In 2016, released the first four levels of his teaching method that was written and tested at Creative Music Adventures (and elsewhere) since 2007.
  • Since 2009, students have received over $1,000,000 in music scholarships to universities and conservatories.
  • Students have received eight Student Downbeat Awards in the middle school and high school categories of performance (piano and jazz voice), jazz composition, music engineering and original composition.
  • Former students have headlined mid-sized jazz festivals in the US and Canada with their own groups. They have performed in large jazz festivals in the US, Canada and Europe as leaders of their own groups.
  • Several students have performed at Lincoln Center in New York and been awarded Outstanding Soloists during the Essentially Ellington festival hosted by Wynton Marsalis.
  • Former students have toured as sidemen and women for arena tours and smaller venues for acts in many genres including rock, pop, hip-hop and jazz
  • Former students have been featured soloists or producers on singles by Macklemore and Travis Scott.
  • For over 10 years, taught between 30-40 private students a week at Creative Music Adventures.

Presented at the Following National Conferences

  • 2007 – MTNA National and CFMTA Conference – Toronto, ON
  • 2008 – MTNA National Conference – Denver, CO
  • 2009 – MTNA National Conference – Atlanta, GA
  • 2013 – MTNA National Conference – Anaheim, CA

Presented at the Following Local and State Meetings and Conferences

  • 2002 – WSMTA State Conference in Tacoma, WA
  • 2002 – Edmonds Chapter Meeting in Edmonds, WA
  • 2003 – Snohomish Chapter Meeting in Snohomish, WA
  • 2003 – Eastside Chapter Meeting in Bellevue, WA
  • 2004 – WSMTA State Conference in Spokane, WA
  • 2004 – District I, II, II Conference in Marysville, WA
  • 2004 – Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
  • 2005 – TMTA (Texas Music Teacher Association) State Conference in Texas
  • 2008 – District V Conference in Wenatchee, WA
  • 2008 – Edmonds Chapter Meeting in Edmonds, WA
  • 2013 – Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
  • 2015 – Seattle Chapter Meeting in Seattle, WA
  • 2015 – Seattle Pacific University Lecture in Seattle, WA
  • 2017 – WSMTA State Conference in Shoreline, WA
  • 2017 – Vermont Music Teachers Association in Burlington, VT
  • 2018 – MTAC State Convention in Orange Grove, CA

band_sFrom 2003-2007 Michael worked as an education clinician for Roland US. During that time he traveled the US and worked with teachers on ways to integrate technology and teaching.


Student Performances…

Beginning group lessons traditional style (from Michael’s teaching method)…

Beginning group lessons pop styling…

Beginning group jazz style (learned from Sonny Rollins recording)

Intermediate group pop style (learned from recording)

Advanced high school combo (student composition and improvisations)

High school jazz piano student

High school band coaching (this was a grant program in Seattle where kids learned songs from recordings, arranged them and performed them)

Workshop Topics for Conventions and Teacher Meetings

Improvisation Basics – Improvisation doesn’t have to be a separate, daunting activity in lessons. It can be taught as part of standard piano repertoire with no extra layers added. This workshop takes the mystery out of having kids learning how to improvise melody, harmony and rhythm.

Creative Fearless and Fantastic Performers – Performance opportunities inspire students to become the most amazing versions of themselves. This session breaks down creative ways to prepare students for performances so that it becomes a joyful experience that often results in students sounding better in front of an audience than they do on their own or in lessons.

Building Excitement in Your Studio (So Students Skip All Other Obligations to Come to Your Lessons) – Have you ever felt like your lessons with students take a back seat to all of their other activities? This workshop will talk about concrete ways to flip the script so that students put their time with you above all other options they have in their busy lives.


Workshop Formats

These can be one-off sessions at shorter meetings or combined as multiple sessions throughout a day or weekend.

60-minute session: A 50-minute presentation followed by a 10-minute Q&A.

75-minute session: A 60-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute Q&A.

Masterclasses: These are typically after one of the presentations above. Often there will be a presentation, a break of some sort and then a masterclass with students at various levels. Masterclasses can be standard format or based around helping students improvise and play more creatively with pieces they’ve prepared.

Performance: A 60- to 90-minute performance of original piano music and songs. In the past, groups have used these events to raise money. Through tickets sales to students, families and people in the community – these can be nice community-building events that raise funds for your group/association.

Book and Method Presentation: Michael’s teaching method and books are a little different than the other options out there. Therefore there is a quick overview that takes between 5-15 minutes. The books and method aren’t mentioned during any of the presentations. This is a separate demonstration that allows travel and lodging expenses to be offset by book sales.


Original Piano Music & Recordings

Prelude in E – Click here for free sheet music

Aiko’s Dance – Click here for free sheet music

Two Step – Click here for free sheet music

Galloping Gorilla – Click here for free sheet music

An Untimely Event – Click here for free sheet music