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About Grand Piano Studio

Grand Piano Studio is a learning environment built to unleash and inspire your inner musician. Whether guiding beginners, advanced students, or seasoned professionals, Grand Piano Studio's methodology is based on the equal integration of three parts: Reading Music, Improvisation, and Music Theory. Beginners young and older will be able to play beautiful music after their very first lesson! All Grand Piano Studio students learn these three components in tandem with one another. Some people call improvisation "playing by ear.” Learning how to improvise is just as important as learning how to read music and understanding basic music theory concepts. All three are necessary in order to grow into a complete musician. Great classical composers and performers over past ages were great improvisers as well as great sight-readers.  Improvisation is rarely taught today either privately or in conservatories, along with traditional classical piano studies. It has become a lost art.


Music theory is the “architecture” of music and lies at the heart of improvisation and music composition. Though music theory is complex, The Grand Piano Studio can teach even the youngest children basic theoretical concepts that they can immediately use and begin joyfully to experience playing beautiful piano music.  Older children and adults who may already have studied piano can continue to become better readers and performers and learn how to improvise in contemporary styles such as jazz, blues, pop, R & B, and Hip Hop.  Advanced students and professionals alike grow musically at Grand Piano Studio. 

The Trills

Bach Trill

Bird Trill

You will notice that these two “musical ornaments” above are used throughout the website. ​The ornament on the left first was used in music composition from the 16th until the early 20th century and is called a “trill” or a “shake”. This trill is from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Preludes and Fugues”. I call it the “Bach Trill”. The ornament on the right is commonly used in jazz and was used in one of the compositions of the jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker who was one of the early pioneers of a form of jazz called “bebop”.  I call it the “Bird Trill”.   

View next:

About Robert Lepley   |   Jazz Workshop    |    Classical Workshop    |    Contemporary Workshop

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