Certain recognisable musical fingerprints run through the immensely varied world of jazz.
If you have ever wondered how to play the piano in an authentic jazz style, please contact me now.
For many years there was a definite sense of segregation within music education between classical and popular music. Within the last generation or so there has been a welcome dissolving of these boundaries, to the extent that pieces in jazz styles are options within the graded systems. The Associated Board now even offers a separate jazz syllabus, while Trinity offers a parallel graded system for rock and pop. Piano teachers have increasingly recognised that many of the components of piano playing can be taught just as readily via the non-classical repertoire.
If your passion is jazz and you are new to the piano, I will teach you the basic physical aspects of playing the keyboard, how to read music and to understand the rudiments of harmony. Then my lessons will move on as quickly as possible to the wonderful rhythmic, chordal and melodic structures of jazz. You can explore some of the stylish pieces that have been specially written recently in popular genres (not just jazz but also blues, boogie, latin, rock, ragtime etc.) and soon you will be able to play straightforward versions of familiar songs and melodies.
In parallel with my life and work in classical music, I also love the sophisticated harmonies of jazz, and have made many arrangements of jazz standards and popular songs. As soon as is feasible, I will also encourage you to improvise and make your own arrangements.
Jazz is by no means an easy option. The best jazz musicians are fantastic at making their art look effortless, but we have to remember that many of their sparkling, weaving lines are improvised on the spot! These guys are immensely nimble in their minds as well as their fingers, and underlying the panache is usually a strict harmonic structure. However, the chords are usually written down only in shorthand, and there is no universally adopted way of notating the same harmony. So the irony is that, although jazz seems ostensibly more laid back and loose than classical music, a jazz pianist arguably requires more knowledge of music theory than a classical one. The rewards are great, though. Once you have learned the chordal vocabulary and right-hand patterns of jazz, you can start to experiment, be spontaneous and emulate the stars!
For more information about me and my musical experience please see the about section of this website.
£50 per hour; £40 for 45 minutes. Durations longer than an hour are possible for advanced students. There’s a small extra charge, to cover travel distance and time, if the lessons are in your home.
Please contact me now to find out more about my piano lessons
“Ian is a remarkably versatile pianist, fascinated by the vivid harmonies of jazz, and the cross-currents between jazz and 20th century classical music. This passion has led him to make beautiful and innovative arrangements of many popular standards. He is a born communicator, whether one-to-one or to a wider audience, and I would highly recommend him as a jazz piano teacher.”
Debra Takakjian, pianist and pedagogue, Paris, France.