I was born into a musical family in New York City in 1987. I began to study piano at age 6. While in high school, I began devoting more time to the piano, under the guidance a teacher who really helped shape my playing and inspired my teaching methods. I decided during college to pursue a career as a musician. I attended Skidmore College, majoring in music, where I was awarded the Louis Edgar Johns Outstanding Pianist Award. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in music, specializing in piano performance. I also had the fortunate experience of studying abroad in Paris. In addition to the intensive study of French language and culture, I studied piano and composition at the École Normale de Musique. I recently finished my Masters degree program in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music.
I began teaching piano in 2005. I've maintained a part-time piano and guitar studio since 2007, teaching students from the ages of 3 to 70, in both classical and jazz, from beginners to advanced pianists. I've also taught several group classes in piano and guitar over the last several years.
I believe that any child or person has the ability and sensibilities to become a musician, but it takes a comprehensive approach to make sure that each student really enjoys playing the music and understands the music they are learning. Each student is unique, and what might work for one particular student may not for the other, and it is my goal to help each student learn to the best of his or her abilities. It is my responsibility as a teacher is to identify students’ individual musical qualities, so that I can help them unlock their imaginations when interpreting music. All music is based on feelings and emotions, and the best way for them to tap into these emotions is through an enriching musical education. Teaching really makes me happy, and I think that there are few better feelings than when your student walks away from a lesson with a smile.
I believe that as the history of music progresses, it’s up to us as musicians and performers to continually give the music we love its importance, and communicate our appreciation for it to our audiences. I enjoy performing and have participated in numerous master classes and music festivals. In addition to classical piano, I have a diverse range of interests in music, including composition of all styles, jazz and rock piano, and film scoring, but I’m also an aspiring actor, painter, poet and rapper, and devoted basketball player.
*** Lesson Details ***
I expect piano students to devote as much time as they can to the piano, making sure to get to practice every day, even if for a short period of time. I'm patient, and I have many approaches to teaching how to play the piano. One of my top priorities is to make the act of playing the piano easier for you. I have a well-rounded attitude as far as students making progress. As long as you're having fun, you're on the right track! I expect every student to be happy and having a good time while learning from me.
I like to cater the course of study individually to students, depending on the student's skill level, receptiveness to learning, and overall desire to learn music. Music, to me, is about emotion being represented through sound over time, and a lot of my teaching will reflect this belief.
I usually use the Piano Adventures series for children, but also like to use Keys to Successful Piano Performance by my personal friend William Workinger and Ed Sueta. Both of these book series are geared towards achievement and having fun, and accelerated learning. Once a student is ready to move on from there, I usually begin to delve into the realm of classical music and/or jazz music. I'm usually open to students' desires to learn how to play some of their favorite songs as well, and sometimes we might even come up with a cool piano arrangement of our own. For guitar students, I usually teach the basic chords at first, and then we'd apply what we've learned to patterns of chords, and then eventually take on the challenge of playing popular songs, and writing our own songs. For composition students and music theory students, I'm pretty much open to anything.
The way I see it, the more you put into it (music or the piano), the more you get out of it. Anything that requires skill in life usually follows this sort of motto. After 3 to 6 months of studying with me, students will learn that with a little bit of hard work, they can really enjoy the idea of becoming musicians, making progress, and having a great time doing it!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Grand piano, sofa.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I have a guitar that I bring with me to lessons. I also expect my students to have instruments at their homes.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Classical, Jazz, and rock music.
Jonathan is just a great teacher. First of all, he always seems happy to be teaching and playing, which makes things so much more fun. But beyond that, he is incredibly responsive. He really listens to what you say and how you play and tailors goals and activities to solidify your strengths and develop weak areas. I've had so many teachers in the past that come into each lesson with a predetermined plan that has little to do with the individual student's progress. Jonathan pushes me to improve but always maintains a fun and easy-going vibe in our lessons: lessons which are highly personalized. I would highly recommend Jonathan for students of all ages and ability levels.