Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Andrew started studying classical piano shortly before his fifth birthday. Andrew began playing jazz in high school as a member of the Lincoln Park Jazz Band and the Gallery 37 Jazz Band. In his sophomore year, he was selected as a Ravinia Jazz Scholar and for three years he had the opportunity to work with such world-class mentors as Willie Pickens, Tito Carrillo, Ernie Adams, and Bobby Broom. He attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied both jazz and classical piano with Dan Wall and Sanford Margolis, respectively. In his senior year, he was nominated to the Oberlin Jazz Septet, the top jazz ensemble at Oberlin, which toured the east coast, giving masterclasses at high schools and playing at clubs such as Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York.
After receiving his degree in jazz piano in 2009, Andrew spent two years working as a freelance pianist in Cleveland and the surrounding areas. He has performed at such notable venues as the Ravinia Music Festival (where he twice opened for Ramsey Lewis), the Iowa City Jazz Fest, Millennium Park in Chicago, and the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. Following a successful summer stint as the musical director for the Mad Factory production of The Wiz, Andrew returned to Chicago, where he can be seen performing in and around the city, as a sideman and with Organ Yank, the Jazz Party band he founded.
Andrew has experience teaching students of all ages and abilities. In addition to working as an independent private instructor, he taught for-credit secondary jazz lessons at Oberlin Conservatory. In December 2010, he was hired by Vance Music Studios, where he taught beginning to advanced jazz and classical piano, as well as music theory and composition.
*** Lesson Details ***
Though I started playing piano at a very young age, it was not until many years later that I decided to become a professional musician. I realized that music means different things to different people. Sometimes, it means different things to ONE person. I help students discover what music means to them.
My goal as a teacher is to develop your EARS, HANDS, and MIND, to give you the tools to make whatever music YOU want to make. Students come away from my lessons with a healthy, efficient technique and a perceptive musical mind. We develop these skills through ear training, sight reading, improvisation and musical games that foster problem-solving abilities and creativity.
Is there something you'd specifically like to learn? Each student of mine gets to help decide what music they would like to learn, so they are more invested in their studies, and more focused in their practice. I make sure that we fit practicing to your schedule and your goals, so you never feel overwhelmed or overworked. After all, music should never be a chore.
Music is supposed to be FUN! Express yourself, don't stress yourself!
*** Studio Equipment ***
My home studio is in my living room. I have an brand new Yamaha upright piano, and additional keyboards if needed. Comfortable seating is available for parents and siblings.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide a keyboard/staff paper if necessary, but I expect my students to have a keyboard, notebook, and staff paper.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz and original music styles, but I am also accomplished in classical.