Jazzedge Community Forums Introduce Yourself Let’s get started, shall we?

Let’s get started, shall we?


This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Michèle Kessler Michèle Kessler 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

  • Keymaster

    Please take a moment to introduce yourself to other students. This forum is public which means anyone can see it. If you would rather have your post hidden, please post in your group forum.

    Here are some questions to get you started:

    1. What is your name and city/state?
    2. How long have you been playing the piano?
    3. What is your favorite music to play?
    4. What are your goals at the piano? Where do you want your playing to go?
    5. Do you play other instruments?
    6. Can you think of a funny or scary piano moment in your life?
    Michèle Kessler

    Hi, my name is Michèle and I live in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Hereafter is how I introduced myself to my Group Coaching.
    I would like to share it with you all.

    Last May, I joined PianoWithWillie and found through Willie’s teaching exactly what I needed. In the past, I tried several times to learn how to play Jazz and Blues, but the methods did not suit me and, most probably, I wasn’t ready to learn… Now, it’s the right time and the right teacher!
    My passion for Jazz and Blues started about 20 years ago, although I grew up in that music thanks to my mom who was a professional Blues singer in the 1940s and 1950s.
    Considering this five-month period, I’m rather confident that in a few years (or more!) I may reach my goals, which are to be able to arrange standards by myself, to learn plenty of them, to be a good improviser, and, what would be fantastic… to be able to participate to jam sessions.
    The piano is my only instrument. Besides, I have been singing in a choir for 10 years.
    A funny moment may have been when I bought my piano, which is an acoustic instrument with a silent system. I was so shy that I couldn’t even try it in the piano shop… I let the seller play so I could hear the piano… I tried it only with the headset! Next time, for sure, I will play!


    Great job Michèle and Wiski One for sharing! W1, what was it that needed fixing? That post? If so just email me and I’ll take a look.

    How about posting some video Michèle and W1? I know other students would love to hear you play!

    Michèle Kessler

    Merci, Wiski One!
    It’s always a kind of adventure reading you, with lots of surprises on the way.
    For you not to feel alone… I also check many words in the dictionary!
    I admire your tenacity, which is encouraging, and enjoy so much your happy mood.
    In a very few years, I’ll be retired too. Devoting all my time to music is just what I am looking for.
    Bonne soirée!

    Michèle Kessler

    OK Willie, I’ll post on “Private: Post Your Playing” the videos I shared with the Coaching Group. The song is still in process…

    Russell Skow

    Hi! I am Russell Skow from Shelbyville, Kentucky.

    I have been playing the piano for personal enjoyment for about 30 years. I taught myself how to read music when I was a boy. Now, I use the Scribd app to get my fix on unlimited sheet music for different genres.

    I enjoy playing Classical, Pop, Gospel/Hymns but more than anything I am drawn to the Jazz and Blues sound.

    Very similar to Michele, my general goals are to be able to play from a fake book having my own sound, to be able to confidently improvise and to have a jam session would be incredible. Having learned to be a good sight reader, I now feel handicapped, frozen and at a loss when it comes to improvising. With Willie’s help I am confident I will get there.

    I want my playing to go from relying strictly on sheet music to create sound and improvise to my emotional state (i.e. sad version of My Funny Valentine vs. light and lively version) and to confidently play in front of others.

    Not currently but I have played Trombone and Trumpet in the past.

    Not funny at the time but a bit comical now…spent a whole year practicing and memorizing an 8 page piece way too advanced for me for a competition when I was 13 or 14 (to impress a girl). My mind went totally blank right in the middle, walked back to my seat, grabbed my binder, went back to the piano and started playing right where I left off. That’s when I started playing for personal enjoyment and I realized a teacher is a very important piece to the equation.

    Peter Rogers


    1. My name is Peter and I’m in Austin Texas. (But originally from Pewee Valley KY — ^^ hello fellow Kentuckian!)
    2. I’ve been playing piano for ten or fifteen years, but *very* sporadically. I think I’ve forgotten twice what I’ve learned at this point 🙂
    3. On piano, my favorite songs to play have usually been 70s singer-songwriter stuff (Elton John, Paul Simon, etc.). Or Ben Folds — I love this Elliot Smith cover, and it’s so simple. My absolute favorite piano song is “It’s Raining” by Allen Toussaint, but I’ve never managed to play it. (Okay, will stop linking stuff now.)
    4. My immediate goal is to be able to accompany myself on piano on pop songs. (Playing songs around the house keeps me sane.) Beyond that, my main interest is pop/rock improvisation.
    5. I’ve played guitar for most of my life (usually daily). I suppose I play ukulele sometimes. I picked up banjo for a while, but that was ages ago.
    6. When I was a kid, I would ask my parents for a piano or a keyboard for every birthday and Christmas — nev got one. But my grandmother had an old upright, and I just remember beelining to it every time we would visit her, and then just hammering away at it noisily. 🙂

    Michèle Kessler

    Welcome to you, Peter!

    Thanks for sharing your very interesting background.

    For sure, you found the right place to improve your piano skills thanks to Willie’s great teaching and… a very supportive environment here in the Forum!

    I checked the song you mentioned from Allen Toussaint. Beautiful!
    A few months ago, I fell in love with New Orleans Blues and I am now learning Tipitina, as played by Dr. John (a Lesson on the site). So glad you love this music too!

    I understand that you sing as well. That’s great!

    Hope to see you during next Coaching, on Tuesday 18 December, at 2pm (Eastern time).

    Talk soon.


    Peter Rogers

    Oh cool! Maybe after a little (or a lot) more progress, I’ll check out that Dr. John lesson. I’ve done a lot of social dancing to blues and swing music, so blues piano has a special place in my heart. 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder about the coaching!


    Javier T


    Javier T

    Hello all! Sorry for not introducing myself earlier but I hadn’t entered yet in the forum! It’s cool to hear from you! Myself i used to play the guitar for some years when I was younger but it’s always been the piano what I’ve wanted to master and now i’m trying to learn since a couple of years ago … still truggling though but enjoying it! hahaha 🙂

    By the way I’m from Madrid/Spain where I live, I hope that if i can contribute musically at least I can do it by providing some exotic ideas haha.

    Nice recommendations by the way Peter!

    Hope to hear from u soon and as soon as I can I’ll be sharing here more thoughts!

    Michèle Kessler

    Hi Javier,

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Spain is dear to me as my parents lived near Valencia for many years.
    I also learned Spanish when I was a kid, in Switzerland, having a Spanish friend at home for a few months. Although I lost most of it, Spanish still sounds so nice to my ears.

    Looking forward to your exotic ideas!


    Farra Michel

    Hi everyone

    My name is Farra Michel, I’m from Brooklyn, NY.
    Length of time playing: I’ve been playing piano for 30 years, but unfortunately I haven’t practiced too much for about 12ish years, it’s gotten so bad that weeks would pass before I even thought about playing. I went back to playing more the beginning of this year when I was asked to play in a wedding
    Style: I have a fascination with jazz & R&B, but I mostly play hymnals at church (sadly, none of the fun gospel stuff)
    Goal:I would like to be able play various styles and eventually find my own voice, so to speak.
    Funny moment: just under 20 years ago, I had a manicure where tips were added to my nails. I found out that I had to play a couple days after. I did end up playing, but a few of the tips ended up getting stuck between the keys.

    Michèle Kessler

    Welcome Farra!
    (I guess it is your first name)

    So glad to read you! I was last week in NYC! Enjoyed it so much!!

    I am looking forward to hear you playing, maybe during Coaching Sessions.
    For your information, next one is on Tuesday 22 October, at 4 pm (your time!)

    If you need any help, please let me know.

    Take care.


    Matthew Valbusa

    What is your name and city/state? Matt Valbusa, San Francisco, California
    How long have you been playing the piano? First year
    What is your favorite music to play? Blues, Gospel
    What are your goals at the piano? Play 12 bars blues with fills, turn-arounds. Some basic gospel rhythm, “Oh happy Day”
    Where do you want your playing to go? Purely for self entertainment
    Do you play other instruments? Guitar- 10 years, mostly blues, taken classes on music theory and play some band stuff.
    Can you think of a funny or scary piano moment in your life? Funny- Yes me playing piano.. 🙂

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