Richard Michael's Jazz School - Online Jazz Lessons
Welcome to my new, streamlined website.
Here you will find my
- guide to jazz piano - “Jazz Essentials”
- guide to playing the Blues - “Beginning the Blues”
- rhythm games for teachers - “First Steps”
and everything is available to you for just £10!
Scottish Jazz Awards 2021- Lifetime Achievement Award
My thanks to all who thought me worthy of the "Lifetime Achievement Award" I was presented with at the Scottish Awards ceremony in Glasgow last night.
Not often I wear a tie but on occasion I do scrub up well!
Just so fitting that Morag was with me last night as she is part of the story of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra since the band started in 1976.
And lovely to have Seoanid Aitken, with whom I had been recording with last week, to be presenting the Awards and to see her Rose Room deservedly win an award for Best Band.
A message from our children Robin, Joanna and Hils just made the night for us both.
And finally…. I ain't stopping!
Glasgow, 8th November 2021
“Richard’s On-line Jazz Sessions"
An exciting addition is my online jazz courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced players of all instruments.
Following on from the great sessions we had in the spring, the autumn season of my on-line courses kicked off again with the Jazz Beginners course. A great session enjoyed by all attending.
Thanks to all who've joined us this year.
'Playing Standards' course. Further dates to be announced
The Great American Songbook is at the heart of jazz repertoire. Once you can identify chord changes, hear a bass line and harmony parts, you have the necessary material to improvise. Taking tunes like “Autumns Leaves” and “All The Things You Are”, I’ll show you how to get the GPS of any tune you know and love - all in 2 sessions!
'Basically Blues' course. Further dates to be announced
The 12 bar blues can be as simple or as complex as you make it. I will take you through the basic structure of three chords through to the additional scales and chords from the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and beyond. It doesn’t matter if you can’t play them immediately - I guarantee you will in time, and by the end of the day you will have enough information that will either drive you crazy, or, give you the motivation to improve!
'Piano Day' course.
I will show my methods for warm-ups, practising and learning tunes. Whatever your standard, I will help you to understand a pianistic approach to improvisation through learning how to produce good tone, bring out a melody over chords and how to interpret lead sheets in a musical way. I’ll show you the 3 things you need - a melody, harmony note and a bass note - it’s that simple folks and I’ll unlock the key for you!
For more information on dates, times and cost, click on the “Online Jazz Courses” menu at the top of the page.
Roy Taylor wrote "The intermediate jazz course was a life changing experience! Lightbulb moments flashing, pennies dropping and my feet learned to tap in time!"
Celebrating the publishing of my latest book “Jazz Piano for Kids”, I will be running online sessions which will show how you can play a bass line, guide tone line and a tune at the same time, leading to a lifetime’s discovery in the art of jazz piano. This Course is for all abilities and yes, it would help if you had the book!
Richard’s Jazz Piano for Kids
Jazz Piano for Kids. Easily accessible with loads of video tutorials.
(Published by Hal Leonard and available from MusicRoom via the link below)
In 2019, Hal Leonard commissioned me to write a book with video examples about my experiences in teaching jazz piano. Here is the latest review..
"...The first, undoubtedly most important, thing to understand here is that Jazz Piano for Kids is as much a video lesson package as it is a supporting book......I think that it is easy to summarise this publication simply by hailing it as one of the very best jazz introductions I’ve yet seen."
Thanks to the global piano teachers community "The Curious Piano Teachers" for the wonderful review of 'Jazz Piano for Kids'.
Enjoy the music, stay safe but in my world of music remember that “Mistakes are Cool”.
Why not join the growing number of players around the world benefitting from my 45 year's worth of studying, playing educating and living jazz. Whether you are an aspiring player looking to expand your jazz knowledge, or a teacher looking for ideas for classroom activities, you have come to the right place. In here you will find many videos and audio files with lessons, hints and tricks to help you master the basics of jazz. Play along, watch the lessons as many times as you need. Download the sheet music, play along and watch.
Jazz School - Access all areas - Just £10
During the current Covid 19 pandemic we have decided to give access to all our resources bundled together for the crazy one-off price of £10.
Yes - Just £10
Jazz Essentials is my method for learning to improvise from the basement up! Just as when you build a house you begin with laying the foundations, so in my Jazz Essentials you learn the fundamental building blocks for playing jazz.
I promise that if you follow these guidelines (and not missing anything out!) you will have at your disposal the tools of the improvisor and the necessary knowledge to play a jazz solo. How well you do this depends on your own musicality and application, but it has been my experience as Musical Director of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra for over 40 years and as the Honorary Professor of Jazz Piano at St Andrews University, and leading workshops at the Wigmore Hall and Jazz Courses up and down the country that anyone who takes the time to practise these examples will be able to play jazz to some degree.
Each lesson builds on the lesson before and therefore your musical vocabulary will grow with the colours you acquire through understanding each concept before you move on to the next. Please, don’t be in a hurry – playing music is a lifetime’s work , and not something acquired without careful thought. My mantra is “Mistakes are Cool”, and that to play music of any kind you must be prepared to make mistakes and enjoy them – that’s how we learn! (Musicians who are surgeons are exempt)
Jazz Essentials - the essential building blocks to playing jazz piano. We are sure you will enjoy the series and hope you spread the word. Have fun!
Here is a quick taste of the Jazz Essentials Series.
The whole lot for just £10
This series of audio podcasts is packed with rhythm games, performances and improvisation on simple themes, aural explanations of key musical concepts, and a beginner's guide to harmony.
This series has been designed to allow teachers to play the podcasts to the class and simply encourage them to participate. There is no need for the teacher to make lesson notes or lesson plans - just play the podcasts.
Split in to 4 separate learning sections the First Step series is a fantastic resource for classroom teachers and community group leaders to get kids clapping, stomping and grooving through the basics of rhythm, beats, and grooves.
Here are example podcasts from 'Walkin' a Groove' covering 'displacement'
Yes, all for just £10
‘Beginning the Blues’
An introduction to Playing the ‘Blues’ by teaching a simple ‘Blues Head’.
This exciting 5 part series covers the Blues Scale, Minor Pentatonic, Bass Notes, Chord tones, Chord Substitution, Repeating the Head, Myxolydian Scale, BeBop Scale, Dorian Scale, and more…..
Don't panic!! this looks harder than it sounds!