Lessons Los Angeles and Internet Piano Lessons
I love helping people discover their own musical voice. I think it’s important that each person has their own unique musical experience – and that includes how they are taught and the curriculum that is used.
Over the last 10 years my students have accepted over $1,000,000 in music scholarships to schools and conservatories around the country. My students have also won 8 Downbeat Magazine Student Awards. Even though the more advanced students have enjoyed success, I also love teaching young students and beginners.
Lessons with me can include traditional piano (all ages), jazz piano, pop/rock piano, songwriting, composing, music production, performance and pedagogy.
Currently, I am offering online piano, production, performance, songwriting, mixing and mastering lessons and am accepting a select number of students. I was a skeptic for a long time about online lessons, but after teaching this way for seven years I am a believer. The rate of improvement from students has been remarkable – even more than students who take in-person lessons.
Read about my teaching highlights – click here.
Interested in lessons? We can do a free phone consultation to make sure we’re the best fit for each other and what you’re trying to accomplish. Click here to tell me a little about your situation and I’ll be in touch soon.
If you live in Seattle and would like lessons, visit the page of my music school and I’ll help recommend a teacher there – click here to visit us at Creative Music Adventures.
“Having taken lessons from many music teachers over the course of ~10 years (for both piano and saxophone), I can confidently say that Michael stands out from the rest and is an extraordinary person to study with. I was able to progress both on the technical side of my playing, further my understanding of theory, and apply the theory to improve my solo-ing over the course of lessons with him. Certain aspects of jazz can be intimidating to take on, but Michael was able to build up my skill level in incremental steps that felt achievable. This made each lesson feel like a small ‘win’, as progress was clearly showing and confidence-boosting (which is important as a student)! Also, he is just an extremely kind person, so the lesson environment is very welcoming and supportive. It keeps things fun while still being productive.”
“I am a classically-trained pianist who runs my own teaching studio in Western New York and also performs as a collaborative artist and accompanist. I had a desire to bring creativity into my musical life many years ago and it wasn’t until I found Michael’s blog and artistic voice that I found someone who I felt would be an excellent fit as a mentor-teacher in learning how to create and improvise music at the piano. I have been taking weekly online lessons with him via Google Chat since April 2017. My lessons with Michael are challenging and inspiring. We always move at a good pace and I feel that the improvisatory nature of the lessons is a good indication of the practice – flexible, reacting to the moment and yet provides great structure. Michael as a teacher is aware of all of this and can come from different angles if he sees that one approach is not connecting, a sign of a good teacher. He shares musical experiences that provide context and encourage one in this process. One of the most important qualities I have found in him as a teacher is that he creates a space for me to discover things on my own musical journey. He provides guidance but with the awareness that he wants me to discover things in my own time and pace.
As a result of Michael’s direction, guidance and teaching I am creating music at the piano that I could only imagine when I started learning these new skills. The technical and musical skills I have gained from his expertise continues to provide inspiration for what I know will be a ever-growing love for music and that to me is priceless.”
“I took online sessions with Michael. When I first contacted him, I was pretty lost and confused about where to go musically, and I needed direction. I’m very happy that I found him at that time. He was extremely patient and understanding, and offered his expert guidance. We covered several topics such as music production, teaching studio management, creative exercises, composition and many other things that a life in music encompasses. Michael has done it all in his career and possesses a wealth of information. I never felt aimless during our sessions. He would target what he found to be my interests and went from there. I especially liked that Michael was comfortable jumping from things like nit-picky music theory to broad, philosophical life questions. He was a musical-life coach to me, but he also possesses the skills to be a focused teacher for singular subjects as well. I highly recommend working with Michael, especially if you were like me! It was a tremendous help and I cannot thank him enough. Thanks, Michael!”
Shawn Schlogel – Pianist, Teacher & Touring Musician
“One of the things I loved about taking lessons with Michael is that he really made me think outside the box and apply my knowledge in unique yet unconventional ways. For instance, I struggled with improvising at faster tempos in high school, mostly because I thought I couldn’t “hit all the changes correctly.” I remember bringing this up to Michael during a lesson one day, and instead of teaching me licks and melodies that would work over the chord changes, he put the metronome on 200 bpm (much faster than I was used to playing) and instructed me to play consistent eighth notes at that tempo but without worrying about any harmony or chord changes on the page (playing freely). This, in turn, helped train my ears to hear melodies and harmonies that weren’t in my vocabulary before.
Michael taught me that developing ones own sound or voice doesn’t come from copying others, or showing someone what’s “right” or “wrong”. It’s about providing someone with the tools necessary to be creative and explore the endless possibilities that come with being a artist. I realized, with Michael’s guidance, that I could expand my musical knowledge by utilizing the creative tools he gave me in ways that I desired. Teaching someone a song is one thing, but teaching someone how to apply musical knowledge is a whole other ballgame and Michael has seriously mastered this. I feel lucky to have been able to take piano lessons with him.”
“It is rare to find a music teacher who is versatile and open-minded yet also a high-level expert at each of the genres they teach. Michael is one of these teachers. From classical and jazz to singing-songwriting, composition, arranging, and production, Michael is a true master of so many musical disciplines. And he doesn’t see boundaries between these genres – rather, he encourages students to appreciate the connections between them. I never fit into traditional music lessons, because I wanted to explore different kinds of music and discover my own voice. Michael has guided me through so many musical adventures, from preparing for classical piano auditions to learning New Orleans style boogie-woogie and going into the studio to record original singer-songwriter music. In addition to being a technical genius and well-respected educator, Michael has a deep understanding of the creative process and the highly personal journey that every musician takes. His sensitivity and thoughtfulness impacts each of his students in a unique, unforgettable way. Furthermore, Michael provides invaluable coaching for music educators. His perceptiveness and “sixth-sense” when it comes to teaching never fails to amaze me. Michael is an educational innovator who thinks outside the box and brings a much-needed fresh perspective to music education. Michael has helped me find my confidence as a musician and teacher, and I am forever grateful for his patience, generosity, and wisdom along the way.”
Video Clips of Students
Ariel Pocock (jazz piano – high school)
Devon Yesberger (jazz piano – high school)
Anna Freedman (songwriting, sing and arranging)
Piano Lessons for Kids (ensemble piece I wrote)
Combo Coaching (arranging and performing class – high school)
Jazz Combo Original Music (high school coaching)
Pop Piano and Singing (middle school)
Classical Piano (high school)
Beginning Piano & Music Lessons (elementary school)
Adult Piano Lessons