Obligatory COVID-19 Update (& Discount)
Hello, I sincerely hope this message finds you and your loved ones well. It has been said many times this year, but perhaps it bears repeating that we are living in frighteningly unprecedented times. This pandemic has shaken so many of us to our core, causing us to question everything from pragmatic matters such as our health and economic security on one hand, to existential ones like the very reason that we are even embodied as human beings at all on the other.
And I want to be clear: I am frightened as well.
But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more important time to endeavor in matters of pure human creativity, which exist purely for their own sake—matters which justify their existence by their very existence alone.
And that is a hard reality to keep in mind at a time when fear is surging through an entire society.
I do not have the solutions to these problems. I do not know if we will return to business as usual after this endeavor, or if a still superior social model will emerge that will prevent similar crises in the future. What I do know is that it is my responsibility to make the gifts I've been fortunate to receive in this life available to as many as possible; it is for this reason that I am offering 30 minute live video lessons and performances at a pay-as-you-wish donation rate for those experiencing financial, psychological, and/or emotional hardship. If you contact me and explain your situation, I will teach you or perform for you for as little as $1, $.10, or if you really need me to, even $.01. You read that right: one cent.
Please bear in mind that this is not an easy time for me financially or otherwise. I hope that if you are able to pay somewhere closer to my full asking rate—which you will find is itself, even without a discount, quite competitive—that you will offer to do so. My experience is that authenticity is the best policy. You will find information on my services and full rates below.
We're in this together, and I'm at your service.
I've been a private piano instructor for nearly twenty years now, and I have a deep commitment to helping children, adolescents, and adults alike identify, work toward, and achieve their musical goals. No two people are alike, and so nor should any two students be taught the same way. I've worked with people with physical and mental disabilities, young prodigies with professional aspirations, and every skill and commitment level in between. I don't believe music is for a select few; human artistic expression predates even civilization, and it should be viewed as an opportunity for every single one of us to explore and express ourselves musically and artistically!
The most effective lessons are in-person weekly classes in my home studio in Inwood in northern Manhattan. Conveniently accessible by the A or 1 trains, Bx12-SBS, Metro North, or by car, this beautiful studio is a place for dedicated and inspired work and celebration of one of the things that makes us most human. Each object decorating the studio is carefully selected for its artistic beauty. A host of musical resources, ranging from a regularly tuned and maintained Yamaha upright piano to an eclectic collection of sheet music, provide students of all ages and abilities many different possibilities to express each of their individual creative processes.
For adolescents and adults who either do not have the time to commute to my home studio or live outside of the greater NYC area, video lessons can be an excellent option. Without ever leaving the comfort of one's own home, students can have access to nearly two decades of teaching expertise. Surprisingly, there is a tremendous amount that can be accomplished at a distance. Carefully selected webcam angles allow me to inspect each aspect of your technique to ensure that you are playing or singing in a manner that will help you achieve your short- and long-term goals. For many people who cannot reach quality instructors in person, this is an excellent option to help you along your musical journey.
Along with the piano I studied as an operatic tenor in college, and as a result developed a keen sense of the unique needs that a singer requires when collaborating with a pianist. I also speak English, Italian, German, and Spanish, and so am able to help singers develop a comfortable relationship with each of these languages, both in speech and in singing.
I am running a special on vocal coachings with professional opera and musical theater singers* because, though I am a proficient accompanist and sight-reader with the requisite language skills to vocal coach, I do not have a large active repertoire at the moment as a collaborative pianist. As a result I am charging a rather low fee for hour-long musical theater or classical vocal coachings. If you are able to tell me in advance what you would like to work on, I can make sure that you get a high quality professional experience at an affordable rate.
*This does not include students high school aged or younger; for these students please refer to the appropriate in-person or video lesson rates.
As well as an educator, I am an active performer in and around New York City. I am available for hire for solo piano concerts or collaborations, background music, and for piano/keyboard studio session work and arrangements. All prices listed below are approximate, and are subject to adjustment on a case by case basis depending on factors such as location, length of service, and repertoire requested. If a piano or keyboard is not available on location, for an added fee I can bring and set up a professional-quality digital keyboard with internal speakers with me.
Studio Work & Arrangement
I've got a lot of experience working with people in recording sessions both in a professional and creative capacity. I have a formidable grasp of all of the "classic" keyboard instruments, including but not limited to analog synthesis, EPs, clavinet, Mellotron, and Hammond organs. I am a classically and jazz trained musician, and can fluently read music and lead sheets/chord charts, as well as figure things out fairly effortlessly by ear when called to do so.
If there is a particular song, be it one that you know and love or a song of your own composition, that you would love to learn how to play on the piano, I would be happy to create an arrangement at your ability level and send you a pdf. We can also discuss the possibility of expanding or elaborating the song in some way. An estimate of project price will be given in advance.
Whether you are having an event at your home, restaurant, catering hall, or other location, background piano music can add ambiance and class, transforming the event utterly. I specialize in but am not limited to jazz standards, classic rock, classical repertoire, and modern hits. I am also very proficient at improvising in a variety of styles. Nearly any repertoire can be prepared in advance at your request with sufficient notice. I can perform a setlist of your choosing or put together a list of songs on my own, with the intention of specifically creating the mood you're looking for. We will discuss in advance what atmosphere you want at your event, and together decide on just what should be played to create that experience for you and your guests.
Solo Concerts & Collaboration
If you would like to hire me to play a solo concert or collaboration in classical, rock, or jazz style, please contact me for further details so that we can discuss location, repertoire, possible dates, as well as pricing. I know a host of other talented musicians who play various instruments, and if you have something in mind that I or any of my colleagues can contribute to, I/we would be happy to do so! The nature of a concert as opposed to background music is such that it requires a great deal of advance preparation, and so we must speak about the details in order to move forward.