John Aschenbrenner

John A.

New Milford, CT
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have a BA in composition from the University of California at Berkeley, and am qualified to tutor you on harmony, counterpoint and all aspects of both classical and pop music theory.

About John A.

My job is to get your child crazy about the piano. If you have to nag your child to play, something is wrong. The basics are, of course, important, but until you have gotten the child to accept and love the piano as an object of enjoyment, all that practicing will go nowhere.

How do I do it?

I think it's easier to learn the piano if you are having fun, and that means playing music that you like.

You can always choose what you will play in lessons, and lessons are designed around your preferences, and move at a pace comfortable to you. The basics are still taught, but at a pace that your child finds comfortable. The result of this is that I will get your child to go the piano and play by themselves with no nagging.

I have had the complete classical conservatory experience, yet that doesn't mean I expect that of you in any way, especially kids.

For children, the best start involves games and immediate playing to give the child a taste of the real joy of making music. Reading exercises have their place, but not at the very beginning.

I want you to play a song you know and enjoy your first lesson, and I can easily help you do that.

It's in your interest to play meaningful music, (to you) right away. It is possible for anyone can play music far more complex than what they can read on a page, so my first goal is to get you started playing real songs on your first lesson.

Education: BA University of California, Berkeley. Graduate work at University of Southern California Film School, Trinity College of Music, London.
Emmy Award winner, music direction. Broadway veteran. Recordings with American Symphony Orchestra released Sterling Records.
Advanced Piano lessons using the European tradition, pupil of Tobias Matthay School (London) and Denise Lassimone (Paris)

*** Lesson Details ***
If you're a beginner, I want you to start playing right away, with less emphasis on deciphering sheet music and more on the immediate physical sense of the keyboard. You have to enjoy playing by any means before you are inundated with the page. Reading music follows soon, but not before you can play music you like.
If you're more advanced, I can help you with technical development, and begin to widen your musical senses.

*** Studio Equipment ***
1926 Steinway A

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide Books and Musical Literature. Students must have instrument, electronic or acoustic.

*** Specialties ***
I teach any style of music that you prefer. I also accept students with disabilities and special needs.


Write a Review
7 Reviews
Andrew R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John has been teaching my 6 year old daughter for 3 months now and not only has he done a tremendous job gauging her abilities and teaching her but he has made it so much fun she wants to play the piano all the time.

Posted Dec 31, 2014
Janet S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John's biggest strengths are his patience, understanding and seeming endless facility with music. I read music but not fast enough to allow me to play good pieces, so John translates everything into physical movements. This makes it very easy to play interesting music, which makes me want to play more. I think he has shown me how learn, how to refine things so they are satisfying. I highly recommend him as a teacher, for beginners or advanced.

Posted Jul 23, 2014
Heather S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son is six years old and has been taking piano lessons with John for six months. John is a unique and engaging teacher. His extensive knowledge of music and skill at the keyboard were apparent from the beginning. He can easily demonstrate a multitude of songs and then teach them on the spot. My son is excited to play a "whole song," be it Sponge Bob or Beethoven. John's teach-by-numbers technique appeals to my son's love of numbers and patterns yet he is also quickly learning how to read sheet music. John really is skilled at disguising a lesson on technique or theory as a game. He is goofy while at the same time encouraging and supportive of my son. He keeps it light, fun, and skill appropriate. Since he comes to our home, I also appreciate John's focus on the lesson - he arrives and departs in a timely manner. I highly recommend John as a piano teacher.

Posted Jul 22, 2014
Ray S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

John is a fantastic piano teacher! In typical fashion, I was classically trained for many years as a child, dropped piano for ~30 years, and then re-started at around 40, again with a classical instructor. After a year or so I began working with John, who was a real breath of fresh air. First the first time in my life I began to truly understand the instrument, music theory, and composition; all while having a lot more fun. We've worked on a wide variety of music - pop, classical, blues, etc. - great for me as I get bored easily. John is incredibly patient - I am no great talent and often have weeks where I barely practice, but he takes it completely in stride. In addition to being a great instructor, John is an incredibly talented pianist in his own right - sort of like taking golf lessons from Phil Mickelson. He has also worked with two of my daughters, who prefer him to any other instructors they've had.

Posted Jul 22, 2014
Teresa S.
Profile-location-online Online

John has been a wonderful teacher to my 10 year old daughter. She is excited for her lessons and can't wait to show him all the things she has practiced. He has a terrific manner with her and is very positive!

Posted Jul 19, 2014
David C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have studied music with John both in person and via online coaching. He's helped me understand lots of things about music I just didn't get from theory classes - he makes it easy. If you want to write songs or even scores, it would pay you to spend some time with John who is a fabulous arranger in his own right AND willing to teach you his secrets.

Posted Jul 16, 2014
Kelly J.

Having fun and learning

My 8yr old son is taking lessons with John. He is having so much fun with the lessons that its encouraging him to learn more. John is very professional and knows just how to get his point across in a fun way. He makes learning the Piano a blast!

Posted Feb 25, 2014

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos


Piano Instructor
Sep 2018 - Present

Kent Preparatory School, Kent, CT

Piano Teacher
Jan 2013 - Present

Zoen Teaching Network

I've taught kids and adults for 20 years in the Westchester area, as well as internationally via webcam.

Piano Teacher
Jan 1994 - Present

Walden Pond Press

Private piano teacher in NY metropolitan area for 20 years

Piano Instructor
Sep 2017 - May 2018

Marvelwood School, Kent CT.

Orchestrator and Arranger
Jan 1982 - Oct 1996

Music Theater International, Tams Witmark

Orchestrator for A SONG FOR CYRANO by authors of GRAND HOTEL and KISMET, Arranger for TO AN ISLE IN THE WATER, Sterling Records, American Symphony Orchestra

Music Director
Jan 1982 - Jan 1993

Search for Tomorrow, CBS-TV

Composer and music director

Vocal Coach for Broadway Shows
Jan 1982 - Jan 1990

Public Theater, St. James Theater NYC

Vocal coach and pianist for Broadway shows including La Boheme with Linda Ronstadt, My One and Only with Tommy Tune, many more

Pianist on Television Shows
Jan 1982 - Jun 1986


On camera pianist in many daytime shows such as One Life To Live, As The World Turns, Search for Tomorrow, General Hospital


BA Composition
Jan 1970 - Jan 1976

University of California Berkeley

Bachelor of Arts / Composition / Piano
Jan 1968 - Jan 1976

University of California at Berkeley

Diploma / Piano
Feb 1966 - Mar 1968

Trinity College of Music, London



Fluent / Native Proficiency

English, German, French

Professional Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


BA in Music Composition
Jun 1976

University of California, Berkeley


Emmy Award for Music Direction
Jan 1985

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Drama Critics Circle Award
Jan 1984

San Francisco Drama Critics Circle

Dramalogue Award
Jan 1978

Dramalogue Magazine


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 1980
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

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