Location: Utah, U.S.
Principle instrument: Piano
Background: Conservatory piano training
Goal: making virtuosic arrangements
with digital instruments
and piano, and performing it live
I understand that your training before coming to the
school was classical. I’d like to know more about that. Does it give you
a strong background?
It gave me an attitude to approach music with an
attitude of surrender, rather than acquisition. And a
pretty good physical technique.
What brought you to this school?
I was enrolled in a careers class at the University of
Utah, and one of our assignments was to interview a
music professional. I chose a freelance composer in
Utah who wrote contemporary music for the ballet
company, and film. He also did live gigs, improvised
on the keyboard with Pro Tools. I really liked his
sound, and incidently we both studied with the same
professor, at different times in our lives. That made
a lasting impression, because I could relate to his
background, and he had the same type of gig that I
could see myself enjoying.
I was intrigued about what enables pop artists to
reach such wide audiences. People always say it's
just luck, but there's always a scientific reason.
USSCM seemed the most direct way for me to discover if
a tested, and effective methodology exists to train
What is it like making the transition from classical to popular music?
It's like learning to speak a new language!
What do you hope to learn?
How to improvise by ear, and play popular music by
ear, arranging, and electronic scoring.
What reservations did you have about enrolling with
That the curriculum would be rigorous enough.
How would you describe the school’s program?
It's pretty rigorous! Actually, it's very elegant and
well balanced. The theory is in sync with the
improvisation studies, which directs the mind into the
harmony of the practice. I've studied numerous
technical methods for the piano, and this one is very
good because it harnesses the inner ear to guide the
Is the program what you expected?
No, I the level of support has exceeded expectations.
How is the school affecting your playing?
It has improved my technique, improvisation,
arranging, and composition skills.
Is there anything else you have to say that other
potential students might find
interesting or helpful?
Forget about whatever success or failure you've had in
the past, and take little steps to build a solid
foundation in this curriculum. Take it with a