I teach piano lessons in the normal way: lots of attention to proper technique, learning how to read music, appreciating and even falling in love with the classical repertoire.

I’m also a working musician, mostly in jazz and popular styles. This tends more toward learning by ear, which has proven to be rewarding for most students, so we work this way too.

Instead of a traditional recital, we have “Piano-Palooza” with a backing band.  (Right now this is pre-recorded backing tracks and a video recital.)   This has been great fun, especially for students who enjoy arranging, improvising, and playing by ear.  Students can also participate in a fund-raiser every February called “Playathon” which benefits the MusicLink Foundation.

There are also tons of other opportunities to perform and test your skills.  I belong to the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, which offers a piano contest and festival, ‘classical’ piano exams, ‘popular’ piano exams, and a neat hybrid program called Music Bridges.

Doug's studio Piano-Palooza IV (5)