Piano Student Showcase
Featured Ed Mascari Piano Studios Students and Their Projects
Adult piano student Ken Taylor has been taking lessons from Ed Mascari for several years now. Prior to beginning piano lessons, Ken studied the guitar. When he gets home from his job as a computer software engineer/project manager, Ken enjoys recording his piano playing using “Band in a Box” as an accompanist.
Ken Taylor has also set up his own piano blog, Learning to play jazz piano after age 50+, where he posts his recordings and describes his adventures and progress as an adult piano student.
Ken has a great way of describing his experience over the past few years taking piano lessons for adults at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios. In his own words:
“Ed Mascari is the perfect teacher for those wanting to learn to play the music they love later in life.”
“When I decided that I wanted to learn to play jazz piano well after my 50th birthday, I sought out Ed because I could see from his web site that he had just the experience as a player and teacher that I was looking for.”
“I had some prior experience playing jazz guitar. This gave a sense for what I was willing to learn (lead sheets and improvisation) and what I wasn’t (full piano scores and scale drills). Ed was able to jump right in and find just the right way to teach me.”
“We started with the basics and have now worked together on everything from arrangements to originals and all sorts of chord voicings, improvisational ideas, techniques and tricks in between.
“You won’t go wrong by engaging Ed to lead you through your musical journey.”
Thanks, Ken. It’s been a wonderful, joyful experience to have you as a piano student, seeing you grow as a pianist and sharing in your musical accomplishments. Keep up the great work.
Adult piano student Paul Masciarelli took lessons as a child from Jan Patterson who was the founder and director of the Hudson Area Arts Alliance for more than 20 years. He has returned to the piano as an adult and is in this 3rd year of lessons at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios.
Paul is very enthusiastic about music from the American Songbook. “My Fair Lady is one of my favorite musicals”, says Paul. “The show is full of great songs. I saw this show again just recently at the Wang Center in Boston.”
Paul enjoys attending musicals from Broadway to local high school performances. With the help of his piano teacher, Ed Mascari, Paul arranged and recorded a medley of songs from this classic musical. The songs include, On the Street Where You Live, Get Me to the Church on Time, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face and more.
Recently, Paul recorded another medley, this time of songs from the show Godspell, another favorite. The songs include, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, Day by Day, O Bless the Lord My Soul, All Good Gifts, Light of the World, Turn Back O Man and Day by Day-reprise. Paul recorded directly to his Yamaha digital piano and then made use of the Audacity audio recording and editing software to create an MP3.
Paul Masciarelli attended Hudson High School, The University of Notre Dame (BS Math) and Johns Hopkins (MS Computer Science). He worked overseas in the Marshall Islands for 6 years.
Now married with 2 children, Paul works as a Software Engineer. He enjoys jogging (he completed the Disney World marathon), tennis and vacationing on Cape Cod.
Quentin Putnam, a student at Natick High School, has been taking piano lesson at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios for over 7 years.
Quentin explains that he selected Heart and Soul to record because he, “likes the variety of ways you can play it, whether it be smooth and caring, or fast and playful”. He elaborates by saying, “It is also a very popular song, and the chord structure for the verses are common and simple. It is a good song to get variety in, which a like. By variety, I mean the chord structure on the verse can be tenths, walking bass, or bass in 2, while the bridge can played in even more ways. I enjoy variety in music primarily because it sparks interest and it gets boring to practice and play the exact same rhythm over and over.”
Quentin also elected to record the Beatles song (written by George Harrison) called Something. He explains that, “Something is a Beatles song that I have always enjoyed. I like the Beatles because of their morals, (love and peace), and their playful nature. Something as a song can also be played in multiple fashions, and contains slow and fast parts to it.”
Pianist and vocalist Molly Raddant is completing the 8th grade at Kennedy Middle School in Natick, MA. Thirteen-year-old Molly has been taking piano lessons at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios for 7 years. She is a highly versatile pianist who enjoys playing a wide range of musical styles including classical, jazz and popular piano.
In addition to her advanced piano skills Molly is also an accomplished vocalist. She has used this ability in several Natick Public School musical productions including “Once on this Island” and the tried and true Frank Loesser classic “Guys and Dolls”.
Being both a vocalist and a serious student of the piano, Molly is able to accompany herself as she performs. She particularly enjoys playing and singing tunes from the American Songbook.
Molly comes from a musical family. Her older sisters Emily and Hannah, both of whom also studied at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios, sparked some of Molly’s interest in music theatre. Molly chose to record the songs Stars and the Moon from the show “Songs for a New World” from the show “Wicked” by Stephen Schwartz after hearing them performed by friends and family members.
Acting as her own piano accompanist in creating both of these recordings has been another in a series of highly educational and satisfying musical experiences for Molly in her piano lessons at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios.
Seventh grader Becca Johnson attends the Kennedy Middle School in Natick MA. Becca is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the flute in the Kennedy Middle School band. She also enjoys acting in the school musicals.
Becca recorded four songs with the help of her teacher, Ed Mascari. Blue and Sentimental, Bewitched and Ain’t Misbehavin’ are all from “Your First Fakebook”, a wonderful resource that allows students to ease into playing piano from a fakebook. It contains a wealth of standard tunes all presented with large notes, simplified chords and all in the key of C.
The Canon in D, a wedding ceremony standard, is accompanied with broken chord style and Becca creates some variety of intensity by making use of dynamic shifts, accelerando and rallentando.
Another multi-instrumentalist, Krishna Canning attends Wellesley High School and plays the piano in the Wellesley High jazz band. Currently in his 9th year of piano lessons, Krishna also enjoys playing the bass, guitar and drums.
Recently, Krishna has been working on composing lyrical folk music as well as some jazz tunes. He was inspired to record the two songs featured here, Round Midnight and Ruby, My Dear after seeing the movie “Straight No Chaser”, a biography of pianist and composer Thelonious Monk.
Krishna elected to record these two pieces not only because he enjoys their melody, but also the tempo. According to Krishna, “It seemed as if by playing the slower paced songs I was able to practice filling in the sound with extra notes besides just the melody notes. Also, I developed more consistent improvisation skills by playing first at the slow tempo of those songs, and then speeding up either the entire song or the particular lines.”
Although he spends a lot of time reading and studying music, Krishna also enjoys golf, tennis and sailing.
Alex Koure attends Natick High School where he is an honors student in several subjects including English, Government, Psychology and Music Technology. This course in music technology is an independent study course designed by Alex himself.
Alex has been a piano student with the Ed Mascari Piano Studios since 2008. He studies jazz piano and music theory with Mr. Mascari, building on his previous classical piano studies.
Alex Koure has an intense interest in film music. He has written several original compositions for student films, including student films that have won the Natick High School Short Film Festival three years in a row, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Alex was a student at the Berklee College of Music Summer Film Music Course in 2010 and the Brown University Pre-Collegiate Summer Music Program in 2011. He has also participated in the Ed Mascari Piano Studios student recitals.
Alex Koure’s recordings of his compositions make use of electronic keyboards and are mixed in the computer. They often use software effects including echo and compression. Alex is proficient in several music recording software packages including Ableton Live and Reason. His compositions include Catch 23 and Synth Jam.
Alex also has a passion for playing his improvisation-based solo piano compositions. His narrative piano style and dynamic range captures his listeners’ attention throughout each performance.
Alex Koure’s studies at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios have focused on expanding his working knowledge of music theory and harmony, developing, improving and refining his compositional ideas and enlarging his musical vocabulary through an introduction to improvisation and jazz.
Steve Keville, from Harvard MA, is one of our many happy adult students at the Ed Mascari Piano Studios.
Steve heard the Ed Mascari Jazz Trio at a recent performance in Chelmsford, MA at the Java Room. Steve says that he immediately sensed Mr. Mascari could help him achieve many of his musical goals. The very next day he was at the Studio for his free interview/consultation and signed up for piano lessons at our Hudson MA Piano Studio.
Steve has experience playing the piano, but wanted help with jazz improvisation and chord playing. At one of his lessons with Mr. Mascari, Steve was inspired to make an impromptu audio recording of Buddy Bolden’s Blues. Steve played trumpet on the recording with Ed providing piano accompaniment. Steve later took the audio and added video that includes pictures of Buddy Bolton, pictures of Mr. Mascari and Steve playing with his ensemble.
In addition to his piano playing Steve has also played the trumpet for many years both in the classical and in the traditional jazz style. Steve performs with a small traditional jazz group at a variety of venues including the Hudson MA Portuguese Club.
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