My name is Jeff Pietrzak. I'm a lifelong musician and teacher and live in Baltimore, Maryland, with my wife and two boys.
When I was three years old, my grandparents gave me a small two-manual organ, the kind that many homes had at that time. Without cable TV or much to do, I would come home after school and play around on the organ. At age six, I took my first piano lesson, at eight my first organ lesson and by nine, I was playing organ in my local church. As a teen and young adult, I played in churches and for musical theater. Later, I performed as part of a group and also as a solo piano player.
After having kids, my musical interests shifted away from playing and toward teaching. For me, the hours were better and I found it gratifying to explain what I worked so hard to learn.
After teaching for many years, I realized that most people just want to be able to sit at their instrument and create something that's meaningful to them. However, most formal music education, with its focus on note reading and playing classical tunes, doesn't do much to foster or support creativity. Another thing working against cultivating creativity is this notion that creative people have some innate gift, that either you have the gift or you don't. My experience has shown me that creativity can indeed be taught.
I believe the skills and understanding that lead to meaningful creativity should be a central part of everyone's music education. After decades of playing, studying and teaching music, I have figured out what is most important and most necessary to creativity in music. I have put these ideas and concepts in order, creating a curriculum that is sequential and organized with explanations that are straightforward and easy-to-follow.
Creativity is an important part of each of us, but too often we need to find a way to gain access to it. I am certain that the 10 Essential Lessons will unlock your creative potential and help you realize your musical goals.