Whilst I have gotten to know many students over the last few years, I thought it would be good to have a more formal place where we can introduce ourselves and talk a bit about our backgrounds, our inspirations, and our ambitions.
When new students join PianoGroove, I often ask a few questions so that I can gauge their level, and recommend the best lessons and courses for them to watch. I always find it fascinating how we all share a love for the jazz language despite coming from such a diverse range of backgrounds and occupations!
Below I have shared my professional background, my musical background, and also my current musical goals and aspirations.
I find that when I share my ambitions, it gives me a sense of accountability, which helps to achieve my goals in life. This is why I have shared my current musical goals, and I hope you do too.
Feel free to use my headings/template, or even create your own
My Professional Background
I studied business-related subjects throughout my education. My university degree was in Business/Economics but I didn’t pursue that path after my studies.
Halfway through my university degree, I spent a year in Amsterdam working in Online Marketing. I very much enjoyed working in the digital industry and decided to combine my passion for piano, with my interest in the internet and digital technologies.
Around the same time, I was searching for jazz piano guidance online, and I found that all online services were either poor quality, or not accessible to the beginner jazz piano student. I then saw the opportunity to create PianoGroove.
Fast forward 5 years. I had graduated from university, worked in Digital Marketing for an additional 3 years at various companies, and then I had all the skills and the experience I needed to launch PianoGroove. I haven’t looked back since!
My Musical Background
I started playing piano when I was 5 years old. I’m very thankful to my mother for encouraging me to take up the instrument at such a young age. I studied classical piano for 10 years, and then took a short break due to other academic commitments.
Around my late teens, I acquired an old acoustic piano with my student loan. The piano lived in the garage of my student house and I rekindled my love for the instrument. It was around this time that I took a serious interest in jazz piano.
I’ve studied with 3 very talented jazz piano teachers, and I’ve learned unique things from each of them. The insights and styles of these guys have all impacted my type of playing in a unique way which I think is awesome.
This is my goal with PianoGroove; to create an online jazz piano school encompassing a wide selection of styles and genres, taught by the world’s best teachers.
My Favourite Jazz Musicians
Here’s a selection of my favorite jazz musicians. I’m often asked for listening lists from new students, in no particular order, here’s my biggest inspirations.
• Bill Evans
• Chet Baker
• Kenny Barron
• Red Garland
• Wynton Kelly
• Barry Harris
• Hank Jones
If you are new to jazz and want to discover some great music, then check these guys out… you will not be dissapointed!
My favourite instruments are:
I’ve listend to a lot of Chet Baker, and I always enjoy playing with trumpet players. The instrument has such character and warmth unlike any other in my opinion!
My Current Musical Goals & Aspirations
I started my jazz piano journey as a solo jazz pianist, and in many ways, I neglected ensemble playing. I always enjoyed the harmonic possibilities of playing solo piano and this is the bulk of my online teachings.
When I did attend a jazz summer school in Manchester UK, I found it challenging to play in-tempo and realized that it’s a very different skill to playing solo.
I’ve been working on this area for around 4 or 5 years and I’m now comfortable playing in an ensemble setting. I’ve partaken in jam nights in NYC, playing with some of the finest jazz musicians on the planet. However, there is still lots of work for me to do in this area - learning jazz is truly a life-long goal - and playing with other musicians has opened up a whole new world in my playing.
I have no immediate desire to compose my own music, but I’m sure this time will come in the future. There is so much to listen to, and take inspiration, from which is currently high on my agenda.
I feel I will know when the time to right to start composing!
My Own Band
I’d like to start my own jazz quartet in future, which I’m excited about. This is definitely in the pipeline, but no date to be announced just yet
I hope you enjoyed learning about my personal background, and I look forward to reading what anyone has to share.