Benjamin Dockery
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Benjamin Dockery

Benjamin D.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I teach virtually all styles, levels, and ages, and provide a relaxed, low-pressure lesson format.

Whether you're just starting out or are an advanced pianist, I can help you improve. I'm a tenured music professor with more than twenty years of teaching experience. My greatest strength as an educator is my empathy for my students and the ability to cater lessons to suit their unique needs and desires.

With more than 2,000 published compositions and arrangements, multiple recording project credits, and countless performances with professional musicians in a wide range of genres, I have the skills and experience to help you make the music you love.

Looking for conventional lessons?

Or maybe you want to learn to play by ear?

Whether you prefer J. S. Bach or Billy Joel, I've got you covered. Contact me today to get started!

About Benjamin D.

Talent is surprisingly common. What is uncommon is the willingness to develop this talent through adequate practice. Desire is the answer to this problem. As a teacher, I want to know what you want to learn. If I can build a lesson plan centered around your musical desires, you'll practice more, have more fun, and keep learning.

I've taught piano for more than half my life, starting in 1999. I worked my way through college teaching and playing gigs, going on to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance and Studio Music from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2012. I'm currently a tenured music professor at Tennessee Wesleyan University where I teach applied piano, music theory, instrumentation, counterpoint, arranging, and composition.

In addition to teaching classical repertoire, I'm very comfortable teaching jazz improvisation as well as blues, pop, contemporary Christian, gospel, salsa, and most everything else. While the details differ between styles, music has certain universal structures which can be learned. Anything that can be learned can be taught, and anything that is taught can be practiced.

In addition to teaching, I've also maintained a performance career. During some years, gigging was my main source of income. For example, when living in Chicago, I performed at local jazz venues most nights of the week. Additionally, I have a long history serving as a church musician both in contemporary and traditional styles of worship. I currently serve as organist at my church in Knoxville, TN.

I've published more than 2,000 arrangements and compositions available at sites such as Sheet Music Plus and JW Pepper. I've played on more than ten albums ranging from solo piano to jazz big bands and have played in numerous concerts, sharing the stage with greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Zim Ngqawana, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Reading music is especially useful, and so is playing by ear. It is rare, however, to find a musician or a music teacher who is equally skilled in both. I offer students the opportunity to utilize all of their senses to develop their musical potential. If you have a dream to play piano, let me be your guide. Together we'll turn your passion into a plan of action and have some fun along the way.

Reviews

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Baylee
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took lessons when I moved to TN in 2nd grade till about 7th-8th grade. He was by far my favorite music instructor I had ever worked with. He was my teacher and he was my friend. He knew how to teach me in my learning styles and how to encourage me to practice. As a child, it’s easy to get frustrated with learning something new, and he understood that frustration and was always there to help. I would have talent shows and would want to play certain songs. He would find that music to teach me, and occasionally (if we couldn’t find the sheet music) he would play the song I wanted and write it down himself. I thought he was the most genius musician in the world and I loved my lessons with him.

Posted Oct 18, 2021
Katie
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took lessons from Dr. Dockery while I was in college at TWU. He truly cares about his students inside an out of the lesson. I was always challenged to grow and own my piano skills but also never left without feeling encouraged! Five stars all the way from this student!

Posted Oct 11, 2021
Savannah
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I was fortunate enough to study piano with Dr. Ben Dockery during my time as an undergraduate music major. Dr. Dockery is not only an excellent musician, pianist, and arranger, but he is also a patient and thoughtful instructor who cares about his students. Dr. Dockery helped me to grow both musically and technically during the four years I studied with him, and he also taught me one of the most valuable lessons that I can pass along to my own students: how to practice. Understanding the benefits of slow, focused practice made a true difference in my growth as a pianist. Because of his encouragement, I chose to pursue graduate work in piano performance, and now as a Master’s student, I reflect on how much he helped to prepare me for this experience. I often find myself quoting Dr. Dockery to my own students, and I hope to have the opportunity to impact a student someday as he did for me.
Dr. Dockery is a wonderful teacher and mentor, and I would gladly recommend him to any student!

Posted Oct 7, 2021
Christopher Livingston
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

One of the best instructors I’ve ever had. I took lessons from Dr. Dockery for about 4 years, and in that short amount of time I saw my understanding of music grow by leaps every day. He knows how to connect to his students and understand difficulties they may be having (being either physical motor skills maneuvering across the keyboard and/or mental hurdles understanding difficult lessons. ) He is very intelligent and his skills are remarkable in both performance and teaching. I can not recommend him enough to anyone wanting to begin learning piano or even someone wanting to better themselves if they already possess some amount of skill. 5 Stars.

Posted Oct 7, 2021
Rachel
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Dr. Dockery was an extremely intelligent and patient instructor. He breaks down the technique required and actively works with you to learn pieces and develop skills necessary for later compositions. Rather than setting unreasonable expectations, he meets you where you are and sets manageable goals for sessions and practice outside of class. Dr. Dockery is extremely knowledgeable about all things piano and his teaching style is very warm and personable. He does not hesitate to jump into a session and show you the proper technique rather than just instructing you on how to fix it. I would recommend Dr. Dockery as a piano instructor to anyone!!

Posted Oct 6, 2021
Shelby
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dr. Dockery is highly professional, yet easily approachable. It's clear that he knows what he's talking about, but never talked down to me for not understanding. I always felt that I was learning something, regardless of the topic. He made me feel smart and on his level, even though I know that I am no where near his level of talent and knowledge. Dr. Dockery always has time to listen to his students, whether it's about music or just what's going on in their lives. He made me as a student feel as though I mattered in a sea of other students. I learned how to play piano efficiently, but I also gained a great friend and mentor. I promise you, trusting Dr. Ben Dockery to instruct you or a family member, will be no mistake. You will learn a great set of skills and make wonderful memories!

Posted Oct 6, 2021
Catherine Tudisco
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Dr. Dockery is a highly talented musician and pianist with very effective teaching methods. He was able to adjust our lessons to the level of instruction necessary to meet and achieve my goals. Lessons did incorporate not only technique but also theory, musicality, and effective practicing techniques. I always looked forwards to piano lessons with Dr. Dockery as he had a positive and encouraging teaching style.

Posted Oct 6, 2021
Payton
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Dr. Dockery was my instructor through college and I can honestly say I would not be the pianist I am today if it weren’t for him. I took from him for five years and during that time he taught me techniques and practice skills I would have never discovered otherwise. He was always empathic to me as a person and not just a student, and was always willing to base our lesson around what I needed to work on that day. Truly the best instructor I have ever had!

Posted Oct 6, 2021

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