Benjamin Z. began his musical journey when he was 9 with classical piano lessons in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree (Piano; Jazz Emphasis) at Portland State University in 2011. Benjamin has studied and performed straight ahead Jazz, Western Classical, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Experimental and electronic genres. He has composed and arranged for many types of ensembles including jazz vocal groups, jazz chamber groups (trios, quartets, etc), vocal ensembles and Big-bands.
Benjamin has experience working with students ranging from preschool to senior citizens in all skill levels. He has worked with adult group-piano classes at the collegiate level, coaching elementary students in after school music programs, group children's classes, and individual instruction. Benjamin welcomes students of all ages, styles, and skill levels.
*** Lesson Details ***
"As a teacher I offer a great deal of knowledge in many styles of music as well as a genuine motivation to impart the love I have for music performance. My journey through music has blessed me with experience in western classical, jazz, blues, and popular styles; all of which allows me to instruct students in whatever their musical goals may be. The lessons are always rooted in observing excellent pianistic technique and fundamental musicianship (ear training, reading music notation, etc). Finally, my students know me to be a patient instructor that consistently works to teach the material in a way that is accessible and relevant to the student's goals."
*** Travel Equipment ***
The student should have a notebook to record our lessons in, a piano/keyboard to play and receive instruction on, and what ever music material I have assigned (course work, lesson book, etc). The keyboard should be 88-key and weighted. If the student is very young then it is not critical that the keyboard have weighted keys but it is still preferable.
*** Specialties ***
Voice and Piano
Instrumental and Vocal technique.
Jazz Repertoire: Standards, Comping, Improvisational studies
Western Classical Music. I have studied many classical styles: baroque, classical, romantic, and modern classical music.
Music Theory: Conservatory, Popular, and Jazz Styles.
Ethnic Musics: Several native musics from the far and middle east (Maqqam, Indian Hindustani, Japanese folk musics)
Primary Instructor at Eliason School of Music Multnomah Village, OR. Piano instruction on an individual basis to students of all ages.
One on one music instruction of Piano and Voice. Working with students of all ages and skill levels.
Performing music in the Portland area for nine years in many styles: Jazz, Contemporary, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Western Classical and Religious music.
Primary Instructor at Time to Play Studios Forest Grove, OR: Taught group piano classes to children and adults.
Teaching Assistant for winter-term of Beginning Adult Piano. Assisted students and the instructor in many class functions as well as provided occasional lectures.
Impact Northwest’s Sun Program at the Buckman Elementary School in Portland, OR. Leading after-school music classes for kindergarten-3rd grades.
Completed the Bachelor's in Music (Piano) with an emphasis on jazz performance. Studied under several nationally known musicians and composers. Feel free to ask for educational/professional references.
· Music Performance · In studio
· Singing · In studio
· Singing · In studio
· Singing · In studio
That first lesson took place about two months ago, and since then my singing has gone from off-key and unbearable to pretty ok. Today I received my first impromptu complement on my singing. It was a big deal. Anyone who has ever experienced real stage fright knows that this is a big deal. And if I hadn't started learning from Benjamin, it wouldn't have happened. I do not think anyone else could have actually gotten me to sing. And if anyone else had, I'm not sure they'd have known what to do with me. Run screaming, maybe. Benjamin didn't do that, however. He gave me vocal exercises, and tips not only for practicing, but for practicing in a way that would not harm my vocal chords. He assed my vocal range, gave me warmup exercises, and a few bits of repertoire to start working on. It's working wonders. The difference between my singing a month ago and my singing today is palpable (I checked my recordings, so I can prove it!).
If you're a little nervous about starting singing, this man is your man. He'll set you at ease, and in no time you'll be able to sing.
· Singing ·
I currently have my daughter, age 8, enrolled in singing lessons with Ben. Previously, we had her starting lessons with the most popular teacher on this site, Lisa, with the highest number of reviews and were disappointed. She didn't seem to really invest in my daughters training. It seemed like a factory mill - student in, student out, next student in. I pulled her out after 5 lessons and went with Ben. It soon dawned on me that we had made a very good choice. Ben teaches the fundamentals first so that your child has a strong toolkit and foundation to succeed, which we weren't really getting from the previous instructor. He is very professional and takes what he does seriously and has made me feel that he cares about my daughter's progress. Additionally, he is affable and my daughter enjoys her lessons with him.
· Piano ·
I am a beginner in piano and have taken piano lesson from Ben for 2 months. Ben is a very professional instructor who has both the technical skills and a deep knowledge of musical theory. I learned not just the techniques for improving my piano performance skills, but also some intriguing music theory behind the pieces. The lessons are also well organized and it felt the hour goes by fairly swiftly.
Ben takes student's learning serious but still maintains a friendly and easy-going manner. The lessons usually provided at a musical instrument shop that is very convenient and cozy. Overall I am very satisfied with my experience.
· Singing ·
From the first lesson, I could tell from Ben's singing and piano abilities that he was very talented with a lot of experience in music&music instruction. He is very clear with his instruction, extremely professional so it's so cool how down to earth he is. He even spent outside time helping me find a few things that would help advance my vocal abilities quicker. I really appreciate his time and hard work. Be advised: This man is SERIOUS about music (but that's a good thing)...