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Ron Drotos was an accomplished musician with 15 years of experience who sometimes felt the grind wearing on him until he got back in touch with that feeling of having fun he had as an amateur.

After a 30 year career of playing piano in the worlds of jazz and Broadway, New York City-based pianist and composer Ron Drotos turned his attention to online teaching. In 2012 he created the KeyboardImprov.com website to teach pianists all over the world how to improvise and play great jazz piano.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Music is like a language.
    • Reading sheet music is like being an actor, you are trying to play someone else’s song as they intended it.
    • Improv allows you to speak for yourself and allow the audience to connect with you.
  • We cant learn everything in life but when we find something of meaning, embrace it.
  • Grow slowly and accept that there are unknowns.
  • Young people and amateurs often don’t get down on themselves, they just have fun.
  • Sometimes in the career you love you have to work with “not nice” people and on projects that don’t excite you.
  • The difference between people really loving it and the people not feeling it is the spark that people had when they were amateurs.
  • Start teaching young people to get a fresh outlook and they may teach you more than you can teach them.
  • You learn jazz piano like you learn a new language.
    • You need step by step path to fluency, then you can start improvising.
    • Teachers need to encourage both, the technical steps and improvisation.
  • It’s not about the technical bits you implement, it’s about how it helps you relate to people.
  • Find that moment to moment vibrancy.
  • Being a professional is about knowing how to adapt when things are different.

 

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Contact Guest

  • rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com
  • @rondrotos
  • Snapchat: rondrotos

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