Who can benefit from learning piano improv?

Here are just a few of the people who are experiencing the joy that comes from improvising fluently. Where are you on the list?

All pianists who feel limited by being tied to sheet music, and want to experience the freedom that comes with improvising.

Adults who want to recapture the excitement they felt when they first began playing the piano (and lost somewhere along the way).

Adults who felt something was “missing” from their childhood piano experience.

Retirees who want to stay creative.

Classically-trained pianists who have always secretly envied those who could play pop, rock or jazz.

Rock and pop pianists who want to branch out into jazz.

People who have played for years and want to have more fun at the piano.

Beginning jazz pianists who don’t know how to get started in a fun and exciting way, without being too front-loaded with theory.

Beginning jazz pianists who want to smooth out the learning curve and begin improvising right away.

Intermediate jazz pianists who know scales and chord voicings yet can’t play with any sense of “flow.”

Jazz pianists who feel like it’s a constant struggle every time they play.

People who yearn to be able to sit down at any piano, at any time, and play great-sounding music with joy, ease and confidence.

Rock pianists and keyboard players who want to feel comfortable “taking a solo” in songs.

Rock pianists and keyboard players who want to sound like Elton John, Keith Emerson, or another of their favorites.

Traditional piano teachers who want to include improvisation in their lessons.

Traditional piano teachers who want to satisfy their students’ desires to learn a little pop music or jazz in addition to the classical repertoire.

Piano teachers who want to keep their teenage students interested in piano for an extra year or two (and possibly into college and adulthood).

Parents who want to keep their teenagers interested in piano for an extra year or two (and possibly into college and adulthood).

Pianists who live in areas where there are no local piano teachers who teach rock, pop or jazz.

Jazz pianists who feel “stuck in a rut” and need inspiration, motivation and encouragement.

Jazz pianists who are interested in learning a specific technique or style (perhaps related to their favorite jazz pianist).

Jazz pianists who find themselves overwhelmed by all the jazz instruction on the market and don’t do anything because they feel they have to learn everything. I call this “practice paralysis” and I can cure this.

Rock pianists and keyboard players who want help playing in a band.

Rock and pop pianists and keyboard players who want to play songs “the real way,” which is not necessarily how it is in the sheet music.

Pianists who want to “play from chords.”

Pianists who want to create their own spontaneous arrangements from lead sheets.

Choral and vocal accompanists who want to improve on the sometimes “not so good” piano parts they’re given to play.

Classical pianists who sense they’re missing out on something big.

Classical pianists who want to experience the musical creativity and freedom that Bach, Mozart and Beethoven had as improvisers.

Classical pianists who feel inadequate when they’re occasionally asked to improvise.

Church pianists and organists who want or need to improvise Preludes, Meditations, and Postludes.

Church pianists who need to adapt 4-part hymns to the piano, playing them with a full pianistic texture.

Church pianists and organists who want to play contemporary pop/rock styles of worship music in a fun and spirited way.

Traditional church pianists and organists who want to incorporate jazz and gospel music into their worship services.

Jazz and rock pianists who want to connect with the blues in a deeper and more authentic way.

Jazz pianists who are tired of playing how they “think” they need to play jazz, and instead want to express their unique musical personality through their music in a more organic and personal way.

Pianists who love the popular styles of George Gershwin, Cole Porter and their Great American Songbook contemporaries, but don’t want to sound “too jazzy” or play bebop.

Pianists who enjoy playing relaxing music, such as New Age and cocktail piano styles.

Once you identify where you are on this list, you'll be better able to start attaining your musical goals.

Good luck and have fun!