I am one of those individuals for whom teaching is just something that I have to do. I started giving music lessons sometime in the 80's and have loved working with all levels of skill and experience. My students say that I am patient, adaptive and encouraging, committed to making music fun. I have a Masters from New England Conservatory in Jazz Piano and am comfortable and fluent in a number of musical styles, including pop, folk, rock, gospel, traditional hymns, jazz, and R&B. Although I love and study classical music, it is not something I teach at this point. In addition to private lessons and performing, I do music transcription, workshops, and all forms of vocal and instrumental arranging. Having served as a church musician for more than 30 years, I am currently the Director of Worship for the chapel at a small Christian school north of Boston. I'm often involved in city-wide music events in Boston’s faith-based community and in demand as a featured musician for church services, parties, concerts, and other events. *** Lesson Details *** My priority as a teacher is to make the learning process fun, life-giving, and productive. I teach with patience and humor, at a challenging but not frustrating pace. My teaching style is: - Student-driven. I have developed structured courses of instruction, but I love it when a student asks questions or wants to explore something I had not thought of. I am not locked into a specific agenda, lesson plan, or timetable. - Guilt-free. Many of my students are working adults. I understand that practice time can be hard to find or that specific skills or concepts may take time to master. Students never need to apologize to me for lack of progress. My hope is that students will experience their work with me as “me time.” - About the “why?”, not just the “what?” When I work with students on a song, I don’t just show them how to play it. We pull back the covers and look at what is happening with chord progressions, instrumentation, structure, lyrics, historical context, etc. We compare it to other music, looking for patterns and contrasts. - Accessible and memorable. I am always on the search for new metaphors and analogies that will relate complex musical concepts to non-musical common life experiences. My hope is that the scales, intervals, chords, and progressions will not be merely learned, but internalized and felt. Some quotes from my students: "I absolutely love learning from Bil! I've watched my playing and the playing of others at church vastly improve as a result of his training." "[Bil] is filled with a large amount of knowledge, so while sitting under him you not only learn about how to play but you learn about music history and theory. Beyond being a good teacher he is genuine and friendly and cares about others." "I have really enjoyed working with Bil. His patience and wealth of knowledge has helped me come out of my musical shell and has encouraged me to discover my musical voice." "Bil makes learning theory fun! His deep understanding of music is complemented by his contagious enthusiasm." "Bil has taken me to a different level. I went from tab and basic guitar chords, to building jazz chords and a far greater understanding of music theory." There are at least two ways that might set me apart from other teachers. Firstly, I have honed and developed "people skills". I am an ordained minister and have held positions where I was formally and informally in a mentoring/pastoring role. I bring that sensitivity to my music lessons, understanding that personal and emotional issues can be triggered by the engagement with the music and skills being worked on. Secondly, I've had a remarkable broad base of experience. My coursework has exposed me to a wide breadth of ideas and tools; my work life has been long and varied; I have had extensive experience in many different cultural contexts, both musically and otherwise; and I work well with many age groups and skill levels. Regarding my teaching approach: For beginners, I have a consistent set of topics and skill sets to cover. Generally, in a few months, piano students (particularly those in middle school through adulthood) should know how to play major, minor and seventh chords, how to read simple chord charts and some very basic accompanying skills. Guitar students should know a dozen open chords and have been introduced to barre chords, and to have learned several styles of finger picking as well as strumming. Bass students should know how to find notes on the board and will have begun to learn how to fill out a song with an expressive but non-obtrusive bass line. For intermediate students, the pace, direction and focus on lessons depends upon the goals and passions of the student along with the amount of time he or she has to practice. My goals for students at this level and beyond is to learn how to learn. I will use outstanding recorded examples of particular skills or stylistic idioms to help my students understand and master each new concept. I often will check in with my student to make sure that we are on track with what they are hoping for. For advanced students, we will generally target very specific objectives. I also try to add elements of theory, history, culture, and even life lessons to apply to the topics we address. Because of my background in pastoral ministry, I can serve as a mentor addressing the emotional and relational issues of playing music as well as its technical aspects. *** Studio Equipment *** upstairs music room: fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, amps, seating for parents *** Travel Equipment *** if for guitar or bass, that instrument; I expect piano students to have an available keyboard and for other students to have their own instrument(s). *** Specialties *** strong in jazz, rock, pop, gospel, sacred, R&B.
Teaches all skill levels
Teaching since 1982
Masters in Jazz Piano
Teaches ages 11+
Has background check
I have been learning/ working with Bil for several and have LOVED every minute of it. He encourages you to become the musician YOU want to be and pushes you to find YOUR own unique style. He has taught to believe in myself as a musician and to be the best I can be.
Bil is knowledgeable and encouraging. I’m a beginner piano student, with aspirations of playing jazz. And while I’m not yet playing any jazz standards, Bil has taught me the beauty of extended chords, how to quickly build certain voicing of 7th and 9th chords, and encouraging me not only to play with them, but also to start modifying other songs I’ve already learned with said chords. His love for music theory and composition are evident, and he is eager to share his knowledge with his students at their own pace and level of understanding. For anyone considering Bil, I would encourage you to take a lesson with him and experience his easygoing yet focused teaching style.
He's great i love my lessons