Tutoring and Lessons

What's the difference?

Tutoring usually means that you have an existing program of study that you would like extra help with.
For example - Maybe you have a band concert coming up and need a little help 'tightening up' your performance or maybe you have a music college entrance exam and you need to brush up on certain aspects of music theory.

Lessons usually mean that we start on a program of study and you work on a continuing process of developing your proficiency on your instrument and/or increasing your command of music theory.

"Skype" lessons are increasing in popularity in a big way... Contact Henry to know more about learning in the comfort of your own home.


Jamming' Courses with Henry

Is this for you?
Some questions and answers:

"Am I a Beginner 'Jammer?"

YES if you:
- can play little bits of a tune but never really finish them...; know basic chords but never have played leads or solos...; are unsure how to play (jam) with others....; play some 'pretty good' stuff but have no idea of the music theory involved...; play the instrument and read music but have never been comfortable 'jamming off-book'...

"Am I an Intermediate 'Jammer?"

YES if you:
- have jammed with a "band" but it never got anywhere...; play some improvised leads but are never really happy with what you play...; feel like you're 'close' to getting the whole improv thing but something is missing....; have some skills but have trouble directing an ensemble to a 'tight' state of performance...; are comfortable with music theory but are unsure how to apply it...

"Should I sign up for the Summer Jam Camp?"

YES if you:
- want to bring your musical abilities to the 'next level'...; want to take a leading role in the organization of a 'Jam'...; want to take your present jam situation to a higher level of 'tightness' ...; want to learn the subtle intricacies of making interesting arrangements...; want to develop your ear and increase your knowledge of music theory (and actually USE it!)

"Sounds like WORK... will this be FUN??"

YES! if you:
have an open mind with regard to music styles...; can be patient with yourself and others as you learn at your/their own speed...; and of course...PRACTISE!
Please email Henry with any questions - see 'Contact' tab at the top of this page.



"PianoJam" is the name,

but not the only game...

Lessons here at PianoJam are not only on the piano! Though lessons in contemporary piano (also Hammond B3 organ and synthesizers, beginner to advanced/professional levels) are my specialty, I also offer contemporary lessons in:
Guitar (acoustic, bass, electric, rhythm and lead)
Hand drums/percussion
Blues Harmonica

Also Lessons in:
Band Management
Audio Recording
Scoring for Video & Film

ALL BACH, NO ROCK? YOU need PianoJam...

The evolution of my teaching methods and techniques has been developed through over 20 years of interaction with my pupils. Most of my older students have had a background in the Royal Conservatory method and found that even after years of playing, they still needed a book to play, and then they only played classical conservatory music (and maybe a Christmas or ragtime tune). If they weren't passionate about the music, they would just lose interest and stop playing altogether.

I believe classical training to be invaluable and I highly recommend it for any beginner. However it seems that it's not for everyone...

Many of the parents of my younger pupils have contacted me after trying the conservatory route and decided that it wasn't working for their children. They wanted something different to keep the youngsters' interest in music alive.

I specialize in teaching improvisation and composition - without the detailed scoring - and 'jamming'; where people just sit together without any music and play in a variety of contemporary styles. With this approach, I am often asked to teach lessons to other music teachers, so that they might share these techniques with their pupils!

At PianoJam, rather than working towards the goal of festivals and exams, we work towards the completion of a CD of the student's own original music, as well as some of their popular favourites. This work, as well as all lessons, takes place in the PianoJam Recording Studio. Sometimes it's one CD per year, sometimes more! This has been extremely popular because younger students make gifts of them for familly and friends (grandparents love them at Christmas - they make great stocking stuffers) and many of my adult students have used them for fun, song contests and audition submissions. With practice, as they learn and develop confidence in their musical abilities, many have recorded demos for paying gigs at social occasions like weddings or in clubs and coffee houses.

Okanagan College "Jammers" class!