Atsushi Shinoda, a Tokyo based jazz piano player, is currently teaching at Music Salon Nishikasai along with other music schools of Shimamura-Gakki.
He started taking piano lessons at age of 4, but hadn't been interested in piano until he discovered jazz music at his high school. The excitement of improvisation music made him want to learn piano seriously and led him study in jazz performance major at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, Kanagawa, Japan.
After he graduated the college, he moved to New York City to continue his study of jazz music and entered The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where is one of the finest music colleges in the United States. During the time at The New School, he was exposed to not only jazz music but also wide variety of music including classical music. He recognized the importance of studying classical music that he studied with jazz piano mentor and classical piano mentor at the same time.
He graduated The New School in 2015 Spring, and came back to Japan in 2016 Fall to start his career as a professional musician. He is now playing and teaching around Tokyo area extensively with joy of playing improvisation music.
Questions and Answers
How did you start playing/learning jazz?
- I was initially taking classical piano lesson, but I was lucky to have an opportunity to hear jazz piano trio playing in person at my junior high school. That really touched me.
What would you teach at the begging of jazz piano lesson?
- It depends on how much one has experience of piano playing. If you know basics of piano playing including how to read and write, I would start with how to read "lead sheet", that is used for jazz music playing and you learn "chord symbols" with it. If you never leaned piano before, I would start teaching basic piano techniques which is required to play any kind of music, but you still could choose what song to work on, unless it is too difficult for the beginning
Do I need basic piano skills to start "jazz"?
- There is no "jazz piano technique", so if you are the beginner you will need to learn same stuff whether or not you are in jazz music class. I teach basic piano skills too so no worries to start with jazz piano class. The difference is, though, that you can pick almost any tunes because I will simplify the song to fit your level, and as your study goes, you would play the same song in more sophisticated manner.
What does jazz differ from classical music?
- The biggest difference is that you choose how to play the song, unlike classical music that every single notes are written out on the paper. For instance, if you only use the high register of the keyboard you could imitate the sound of orgel. If you use the lower keys on the other hand, it would sound serious and dynamic! Your imagination isn't limited so you experiment anything on the keyboard.
Do you have any "tips" to learn faster?
- Be open minded. When you start something completely new, your ego is the biggest enemy. Try and think actively, what your teacher says isn't the only correct answer.
What your favorite music?
- I prefer some music considered "jazz", but I like piano music in general including classical music. I always name three my favorites pianists, Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Michel Petrucciani.
How do you spend your time on day off?
- I practice the piano everyday but besides that, I would love to play with my 1 year old nephew and hang out with my friends
What would I achieve in three times of "temporary lesson"?
- I want you to experience improvising music which you probably never done before. I promise it is such a excitement! Do not worry for being challenged, it isn't as difficult as you imagine. I guide you to do it and that's my job!
What does jazz appeal to you the most?
- Jazz is the universal language that allows you to play with people without rehearsals! No matter how good you are, you still can play together and enjoy the music as long as you wish to work with others.
Who is suited for starting jazz piano?
One who has learned piano, and wants to start something new.
Jazz piano is the thing for you. Even if you haven't played the piano long time, you still have an advantage to re-start the piano. Also I often see it helps to study some basic music theories like what it means to have two #s on the sheet music, that you didn't understand when you were a child.There is nothing to afraid of to start jazz piano lesson. You can have a trial lesson for free.
One who enjoys listening to jazz.
Jazz piano is the thing for you. The most important thing to learn jazz music is definitely to listen. You never can learn it without it. If you listen to jazz music daily, you are already in several steps ahead. Let's begin to make your music in your head happens on the piano!
One who likes humming something random.
You should start now because improvisation is basically humming over the tunes. You will learn how to control the piano as well as how you sing, and it would sound much more beautiful with harmony which you can't produce with your voice!
One who is interested in composing music.
When you play a song how you want, you basically need to know how music consists of. I am always ready and glad to teach music theory that is one thing I'm good at and enjoy. As the process of improvisation is basically composing without taking the time to think, you can learn a lot of musical theory with me, not necessarily learning piano itself much.
One who wants to join the jam session.
Start now! The most fun part of playing jazz music is when you play with other people, which is not you can do in the class. But I want to do my best for you to ready for going to jam sessions out side of the class. Many people think it's so hard to join to jams but what you actually need is a little brave heart and taking actions. If you learn one tune then you will be already ready for that!
|Lesson fee（Monthly）||level1 ￥10,000
|Shimamura-Gakki Music Salon Patoria Nisikasai||03-3869-8899|