My musical experience started with piano lessons at age 9, and I continued for 6 years. I loved lessons, and excelled at reading music, which was a great asset as I progressed. In High School, a friend connected me with the band director, who was looking for someone that could read music. I played bass clarinet in the symphonic band, and this was my first exposure to a large group. I developed a significant appreciation for other instruments, as well as playing in an ensemble and following a director.
After graduation, I started playing piano professionally with bands and other ensembles, in a wide variety of venues, places and events. At age 20, I studied classical piano for 2 years with a professor at Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor MI, and at age 22, I was awarded a FULL MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP at Jackson Community College in Jackson MI. At JCC, I led the band on the piano and sang for the Jazz Show Choir, accompanied and sang in the Concert Choir, and I was also employed at the college playing for voice classes. I received a 4.0 GPA in advanced music theory and ear training while there.
After college, I was hired at a church in Ypsilanti MI, playing organ and piano, and I am currently employed as a praise band director and accompanist at a church in Belleville MI. I also have a lot of fun playing in various jazz groups and choirs, and tune pianos professionally.
Music is such a huge part of me. It enriches my life in so many ways, and this is my goal for all of my students; to have an experience that has a lasting positive effect on their lives!
*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to teaching is reflective of the philosophy that students learn in different ways. However, there are a few basic things I like to start with as each new student begins lessons. The first is a brief overview of the pianoforte, specifically how it works, how it makes sound, and a some history of the instrument. This is a fun, hands on exercise that new students really enjoy. I want them to kind of "own the instrument" in a way. Electronic keyboards have become increasingly popular, and they are okay to use for a period of time, but a full 88-key hammered upright or grand is the best for learning.
After 3-6 months, my students should expect to be able to identify all notes on the staff by name and location on the keyboard, play complete songs with both hands in a variety of rhythms, styles and time signatures. I use the Alfred method, but I also do some teaching that doesn't involve books; Depending on comprehension and ability, I start introducing chords and scales very early on. This is done by looking at the keyboard, and developing recognition of chord patterns and relationships. It is not difficult, and helps progress an understanding of WHY certain notes sound good together, as well as note reading proficiency and ear training. It also takes the eyes from being buried in a book, and fosters improvisational skills. In general, the ultimate goal is to make great music, and great music goes beyond just black ink on a white page..
I also incorporate other teaching tools such as flash cards, a white board to demonstrate visually, work sheets and fun online games the students can play at home. All material is introduced at the students own pace, aptitude and comfort level.
Learning is fun!!!!
*** Studio Equipment ***
2005 Estonia 6' 3"grand piano
seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
Student must have a working keyboard or tuned piano at home.
*** Specialties ***
Jazz, Classical, Gospel, Pop, Improvisation
· Piano · In studio Our first lesson with Brian was fabulous. My daughter quickly went from nervous to excited, she can't wait for her next lesson.
· Piano · In home Mr. Brian is an extremely patient, focused and fun piano teacher. He is very encouraging and motivating for my son, and my son is always eager to learn more. Mr. Brian is professional, timely and has a wonderful personality. His piano skills are awesome and we are always delighted when he plays for us.
I highly recommend Mr. Brian as your child's piano teacher!!
· · In studio Amazing teacher. Masters every aspect of both music AND teaching it. I had stopped playing decades ago after an uninspiring introduction through very typical piano lessons. Brian adapts his lessons to what the student seeks to accomplish, being able to cover the full spectrum of classical music, theory, and sight-reading basics to the techniques of improvisation and accompaniment. He explains concepts so that I finally am understanding all of the missing links, and i can't believe how much progress I have made in less than a year! Brian has unlocked music for me and is helping me achieve what I always hoped to, but never thought I could!
· Piano · In studio Brian Long has been my piano teacher for the past 5 years and has taught me so much. Not only did he teach me how to read music, play chords, and incorporate my own special touch to the pieces I play, but he has given me a passion to want to learn and appreciate the piano for the beautiful instrument that it is. The lessons are always stress free and fun and I look forward to being able to play with such a talented pianist each week.
· Piano · In studio Brian is an amazing piano teacher! Brian will go over notes and songs until he's confident the student understands what he's teaching. Brian has also help boost my daughter's confidence.
· Piano · In studio I think Brian is an excellent piano teacher!
My two children have been taking lessons with him for the past three and four years. He is really good at connecting with them on their level, and caters his style of teaching to their individual needs and abilities.
· Piano · In studio Brian is very gifted and a n awesome teacher.He is very patient with his students.My son has been taking lessons from him from the past four years and it has been a wonderful experience.
· Piano · In studio My kids have been taking piano lessons from Brian for the last 3 years. He is an extremely gifted teacher and is able to connect with kids on their level. He is able to motivate and pull more out of them than I expected was possible. They enjoy his humor and teaching style.
We would highly recommend him!
· Piano · In home Great person, My daughter loved the lessons.
· Piano · In studio My 11 year old son has been taking piano lessons from Brian for over a year and he is always excited to go to lessons. He is learning new things quickly and enjoys the enthusiasm and nonregimented teaching style of Brian. Brian is great with kids. He's very patient and always finds a way to compliment a child's effort. We are very glad that we found him.