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BA, Thomas Edison State College, Music MA, Rutgers State University, Liberal Studies specializing in Jazz Studies and Cultural related research (*approved for graduation)
I am an experience Jazz pianist, keyboardist, organist and IMPROV teacher with over 20 years of teaching and performance experience. I have written books, endorsed for a major keyboard company, and performed around the world. My CDs have also had airplay on NPR, WRTI, WBGO and countless radio stations across the United States. In addition to my career as a Jazz performer, I have also worked with musicians from a wide variety of styles and traditions including funk, blues, gospel and pops. I have also had experience as both a bandleader and producer, so I understand music both from the perspective of an educator as well as a performer. If you're looking for a teacher who has the right mix of PLAYING EXPERIENCE and TEACHING SKILL, do get in touch with me for a trial lesson today! Summary of accomplishments: Mentored by legendary Blue Note recording artist BIG JOHN PATTON, studied with Shirley Scott as well as many other Philly Jazz legends. Three internationally distributed CDs Debut CD Top 10 rotation on many markets across the USA, heard on over 200 radio markets, #31 on national Jazz charts Original factory demonstrator for the Nord Electro. Development of the "7 Secrets of Jazz and Soul Method" Mentor ship of hundreds of Jazz and gospel students around the world, including establishment of bandstands and clinics on three continents Misc. studio and commercial production work, including lyric writing for the J-Pop group "Special Others" Management of Eddie's Lounge/The Eddie's Lounge Music Circle which at its peek had hundreds of participating members from all over Japan Acknowledged research and documentation into the history and legacy of my instrument (TV Norge, MTV, JOF, etc.) Almost a decade and a half experience developing, marketing and merchandising Jazz instructional related material.
My roots on the piano go back to classical studies from the age of 5. I switched to Hammond Organ in my 20s, receiving mentorship from several legendary players. While attending Goddard College, I wrote my first book on music theory under a protege of Yusef Lateef, and currently have several books available on Amazon. After recording my debut CD "Remembering Eddie Jefferson" which made the national Jazz charts, I relocated to Tokyo, Japan where I spent many years teaching, performing and hosting Jazz sessions. I also ran a venue called "Eddie's Lounge" which featured my unique menu and Jazz sessions 6 nights a week. Most recently I returned to the US where I am in my final semester of studies at Rutgers University and preparing to resume performing in the US for the first time in several years. In addition to being an experienced musician, I am also an experienced teacher. I have taught music as well as a variety of subjects. My last position in Japan was as a head instructor and curriculum design specialist at a National Sports High School. As a musician, I have also developed instructional videos and materials sold around the world. My background as a teacher enables me to work with students of all ages and learning abilities, whereas my experience as a producer, performer and bandleader allows me to go beyond mere theory and methodology, and offer practical experience to get my students out playing and performing with and in front of other people, not just practicing alone.
I am also the creator of a unique method called "The Seven Secrets of Jazz and Soul" which emphasizes the importance of using simple/easy-to-understand language, even when teaching the most difficult of concepts. I also believe in the importance of "coaching" as opposed to lecturing and try to minimize reading, writing and one-sided lecturing during the lesson. Instead, I sit next to my students, and calmly guide them through the creative process. Unlike many more experienced Jazz instructors, I do not yell and shout at students when they make mistakes. Instead, we embrace our mistakes and think of ways to allow them to open new doors of creation. Please note: I teach PIANO, KEYBOARD and ORGAN (all levels) and Jazz Improv (all other instruments) to more advanced students.)
My own mentor was a tough guy... He would stand behind me, yell, shout and pound my shoulder. For sure, it is not for everyone. With most students, I take a calm and relaxed approach. As a child studying the classics, I remember teachers hitting my hand with rulers when I made mistakes. Jazz; however, is a creative art. It also requires making things up on the spot, so the most important skill is not to avoid mistakes, but to be able to recover from them. Therefore, strong emphasis is placed on being able to become calm, relaxed yet thoughtful and imaginative when playing. I also believe that a lesson serves four purposes. 1) Learning 2) Modeling 3) Experimenting and 4) motivating. True learning; however, occurs between lessons, so the most important thing is to motivate students to want to practice between lessons. This is the most important challenge -- for this reason, no matter how intense the lesson gets, it is important that students leave the lesson feeling confident and good about themselves NO MATTER WHAT.
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