INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC LESSONS
PIANO - beginner, intermediate and advanced levels; all styles: Jazz, Classical, Pop, Standards and Showtunes, etc.
DRUMS AND PERCUSSION - beginner and intermediate levels; drum set: all styles; West African and Afro-Cuban percussion
ELECTRIC BASS - beginner level; all styles: Rock, Pop, Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, etc.
DIGITAL MUSIC TECHNOLOGY - Music Software, Keyboard and Synth Programming, Electronic Drums, Looping, MIDI, Recording, Mac/Windows
MUSIC AS THERAPY- instrumental lessons for Special Needs individuals of any age or level
INSTRUCTION IN RELATED MUSIC STUDY
MUSIC THEORY - foundations of theory for arranging, improvising and composing; creating your own arrangements for all styles of music
COMPOSITION and ARRANGING- beginner, and intermediate through advanced levels
IMPROVISATION- beginner, and intermediate through advanced levels on any instrument
RHYTHMIC TRAINING - for all instrumentalists and vocalists
George Russell's LYDIAN CHROMATIC CONCEPT OF TONAL ORGANIZATION - The Art and Science of Tonal Gravity
As of 2016, Wasserman works with 20 to 30 private students per week. For most students, he travels to their homes, while a few students come to his personal teaching studio.
He also provides customized online music lessons to students around the world via video chat, phone and email. Please visit PIANO LESSON CITY, the companion website dedicated to Andy Wasserman's distance learning lessons for in-depth detailed information.
When students work with Andy, they benefit greatly by working with someone who is not only an educator, but a full-time professional musician who is involved in the creation of original music and continually focused on the evolution of his own artistry. Andy communicates that intensity of dedication, which in turn inspires and motivates his students to move forward. Music is a total commitment. The aim is to be able to hear it, then play it. This "emotional intelligence" helps a student become an artist, not simply a musician.
Feel free to CONTACT ANDY to set up an appointment for an interview - which is free of charge and without obligation. At that time prospective students will receive a detailed policy regarding registration, tuition fees, payment schedules and lesson logistics. Scroll down this page to read testimonials from students. Scrolling further will reveal in-depth information about his courses, outlined by instrument and subject.
As a full time professional musician and educator with over 35 years of teaching experience, Andy approaches every student as an individual regardless of their level. He does not have a preconceived rigid program or use a "cookie-cutter" plan that plugs a person into his methodology. Instead, he sees each student - regardless of age or level - in relation to their potential, addressing the student's own interests and goals and adapting to their strengths and unique talents.
Wasserman's mission is to nurture, motivate and inspire the innate talent within each student. This is achieved by creating a unique program of study that leads to the fulfillment of their complete musical potential. He shares an enthusiastic dedication to his life's work in music, creating a fresh and vibrant atmosphere during the lessons by meeting the challenge to find what is most productive for each student. This educational philosophy allows room for experimentation in terms of course of study, books, and curriculum content. The goal is to allow the student to tap into the positive emotions and mindset that fuel the fire of passion for learning through the joy of music making.
Unlike many other professional musicians who teach, he not only enjoys working with the advanced student, but is humbled and honored to be working with children with no previous experience. This is evident in the comfortable learning atmosphere he creates that fosters the development of a love and appreciation for all that music making can enrich our daily lives.
The study of a musical instrument accelerates the growth of intelligence and establishes a keen sense of personal discipline while nuturing the valuable virtue of patience. By focusing the mind on listening and calming the nerves, music making is one of the healthiest outlets for self-expression, balance, creativity and joy - key ingredients in the development of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning).
Additionally, Wasserman has had great success teaching music to those with special needs of any age, including those with developmental or neurological impairment, especially children with autism, Asperger syndrome, ADHD or learning disabilities. For more information, CLICK THIS LINK to browse the "Holistic Music Healing" page on this website.
Testimonials written by private students of Andy Wasserman, past and present :
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
You have given me so much over the last 3 years. I have learned more from you than from anyone else I've ever studied with and than I ever expected to. You have opened my eyes and ears to new territories in the areas of studying, playing, listening to and writing music. And perhaps most importantly - to me, at least - I feel that you have set me on the path that I will begin to travel in the coming months and follow for the rest of my life (God willing). As I head off to college to study music composition at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, I am giving you a bowl of fruit, symbolic of all the good things you have filled my "bowl" with over the past 3 years. Thank you so much!!
To Andy Wasserman:
Our four children who have been taking private lessons with you for many years have been blessed with the perfect teacher to bring out their talents. We are so fortunate to have you and we really appreciate all you have done for all the kids. We couldn't have asked for a more dedicated teacher.
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
We appreciate the many years of your dedicated teaching. We are certain that our son has benefited greatly from your expertise as a musician and your role as a mentor. When in the future he is faced with life's many challenges, you can be assured that your influence will surface as a steady and resounding resource. Thank you for being such a significant person in his life.
Dear Andy - Your artistry, warm humor, encouraging inspiration and insightful teaching perspective continues to be a blessing for our family. It's wonderful to see the optimism and motivation that has permeated our daughter's piano studies through the many creative approaches you've shared in her weekly lessons. It is amazing for us as parents to listen to her new original compositions and improvisations along with the Beethoven and Debussy classical piano pieces you have helped her master. We appreciate you sharing so much of your music, care and natural teaching style - we're so grateful for your miracles !
Dear Mr. Wasserman: You are a brilliant and talented teacher. We believe that each student has her/his own way to learn. We only need time and perseverance to realize which way is the best for each of them, and you know how to make it possible. This is an indispensable virtue in a teacher. Thank you so much for all your kindness and dedication.
Mr. Wasserman: I will never find words to thank you enough for everything you have been sharing with my two daughters. Last week's lesson was especially good - caring and kind - you were outstanding! It was amazing seeing you doing everything my youngest girl requested you to teach her. I was also impressed by your dedication when I learned you transcribed by ear and notated an unpublished song for my oldest daughter because she wanted to play it but no sheet music was available. They loved the songs you gave them to work on and are so happy playing them on our piano. Thank you so much.
Dear Mr. Wasserman:
I wanted to say thank you so much everything this year. I have learned so much from you, not just about music, but about all aspects of life. I have enjoyed talking with you about family, God, music, etc. You have been a great inspiration for me and I always walked away from our lessons feeling motivated. You are an amazing teacher, a great friend, and an incredible musician.
For Andy Wasserman:
I want you to know that I think you have been the best teacher I have ever had. Not just musically, but in general. During our work together on the Lydian Chromatic Concept you helped to completely change my direction as a musician and in life. It is hard to imagine where I would be now had I not met you.
From an adult who takes long-distance lessons on the internet usingSKYPE video calls: Andy, I want to thank you for the time we've spent together at the piano. I've enjoyed listening to the audio I record to document our weekly lessons while driving my car each day. You're really a gifted teacher and although I’m one of your new students, you have given me a sense of calm, confidence and excitement when playing the piano and/or composing. I'm very thankful to have been exposed to both you and George Russell’s “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.”
From the liner notes of a professional CD recording done by one of Mr. Wasserman's students:
I would like to express appreciation to my long-time music teacher and mentor, Mr. Andy Wasserman, who taught me everything I know musically, and so much more. I thank him for his unending patience, his outstanding dedication and generosity. He was without a doubt the best teacher for me and without him, my stubbornness and misguided interests would have out-matched my creativity.
As much as he influenced my music, it doesn’t compare to his lessons of character and spirituality. He pushed me to reach my potential while giving me the freedom to be myself, and at the same time, keeping me grounded and always making sure I know who’s ultimately responsible for the talent I've been blessed with.
I don't know what to say except "thank you" for being the vessel through which the Creator confirms a presence and hand upon my life. Our work together continues to help me break down huge walls that I have spent a lifetime building around my limited ideas about music. You nurture my creative powers and help me renew and free myself from many misconceptions of what it means to be an artist.
I know that in the truest definition of the word "teacher" you do not feel a need to share your perspectives and revelations in order to be lauded or validated. You are first and foremost a teacher in the oldest and deepest sense of the word. You offer your students a lineage - not just information - and it is clear to me that the only thing you seek is understanding and profound experiences deep down in your spirit. I am filled with gratitude for these life's lessons that shine through my studies with you.
There is not another teacher on this earth who has the capability, the capacity, the tenacity and the "Agape Love" to teach what you have been teaching me. Your assignment on this earth is so much more difficult than most, but so much more hands-on and therefore extremely effective and intimate. I have always been in awe of your willingness to be open to discovering who you are through your musical journey.
Over the 8 years I have been your private student I've witnessed that you rarely falter in your walk despite the challenging life of being an artist in today's world. All I know is that through our work together, my inner being has been transformed and a burden I felt within has been lifted. Please accept my gratitude for continuing to reveal the Truth through your music and your teaching.
I enjoy all the music you so proudly present at my weekly lessons. I am thankful that you continually enourage me to dig deeper during the many years you've been my teacher and guide. My wish is that I may always keep an open mind and listen to my mentor. In addition to our work on the piano and learning the art of arranging, I hope the Lydian Chromatic Concept will remain a force for me that grows and blossoms by uncovering the richness within it. I never lose sight of the purpose which has been planted witihin you that drives and motivates you to set an example by creating beauty and expressing it in your own way.
Testimonial posted on LydianChromaticConcept.com website: I started studying the Lydian Chromatic Concept in May, 2002 with Andy Wasserman using the recently released revised edition. These past 9 years (of study with Andy, as of 2011) have been both enlightening and enriching. As a full time professional musician and music educator, there were deep things in music that I had grasped aurally but could not explain. These things are now crystal clear. Through the Concept the law of gravity is apparent. I was pulled towards the Concept, and through patience and research ended up discovering Andy. I would like to thank Maestro Russell, whose genius and perseverance created this tonal wonderland. The Concept is heard in music all around us. The information in the latest edition is truly priceless!
Written by a private student upon graduating from High School, before moving on to begin college:
Dear Mr. Wasserman
You have been an absolute inspiration over the past two years of private lessons. I have learned so much from you in regards to music and life. In many cultures, the butterfly is honored as a symbol of transformation - from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and from the cocoon, the butterfly emerges in its natural glory. Much like the butterfly, I too emerge changed from what I have learned from you.Thank you for everything. I will miss you!
College Entrance Application Essay answering the question "Who is the person in your field you admire the most?" Below is the answer submitted by a private student who Mr. Wasserman helped prepare for being a music major during the 4 years of High School. He was accepted to the Music Education program, graduated and went on to become a full-time music teacher in New Jersey public and private schools:
"Someone who stands out in my mind as a person I truly admire is a man named Andy Wasserman. Andy has been my piano teacher for the past four years, and besides being the one who has improved my playing ability, he has affected my life in many other ways.
Simply by seeing Andy at work has caused my personal beliefs to become much more adamant and dedicated. His work ethic, values and attitude have provided me with a strong adult role model whom I strive to emulate. As a professional musician Andy has heavy demands placed on his time including teaching his students, performing, and running his own multimedia music company. Andy has taught me that to reach my goals it will mean a great deal of work and very likely long hours. His strong work ethic was a trait that I immediately admired, and one I wished to adopt from him. Another trait Andy exhibits from which I have learned is his positive mental attitude.
He accomplishes his positive attitude through an intense love for his work. I believe it is incredibly important to enjoy everything that you do. Andy has taught me how essential it is to combine a positive mental attitude with a strong work ethic. This combination has enabled me to work hard at both my academics and music, and sometimes keep long hours because I love the "work" that I am doing.
It reminds me of a quote I once heard, "If you really love your job, you will never work a day in your life." This is very true because if you truly love that which you do, it does not seem to be work. Here again Andy has sets a great example for me which has led me to adopt and strengthen similar values. In all, I believe that Andy has provided an excellent role model for me and has taught me much more valuable life lessons in addition to piano and music theory."
A CINQUAIN POEM, written by a young student, explaining what it means to her to take private lessons with Andy Wasserman:
Produces lovely sounds
Always making me happy
Funny, patient, strict
Best piano teacher
Dear Mr. Wasserman: There are so many amazing memories of the time we've spent together over the years and lessons I've learned. The influence you've had on me is priceless. In this ever-changing world, my weekly one-hour private music lesson time slot with you has been the one constant duing the ten years of us working together. As I now move on to the next phase of my life and music career, I'll never forget our magical times together and I can't thank you enough for always being there to keep me honest, true and real. I know I wouldn't be the same musician and person I am today without you in my life to jam with and talk to. You've always been there to listen to my problems, crack jokes and keep me on the right path. I'm so blessed to have such a patient, caring, dedicated and giving teacher and friend.
From an advanced-level adult student: Andy, You have been an AWESOME teacher and I've learned a TREMENDOUS amount from you. I kept telling my friends and family that I wish I took lessons from you when I was younger. Prior to working with you at age 30, I had piano lessons for 17 years - from age 4 through 21. Loved my teachers, but my classical trainings were so mechanical. You totally changed my paradigm about music. Music improvisation and composition is such a complex field, I don't even know how you go about teaching it ! You certainly have the wealth and depth of knowledge, experience and talent for music and the teaching of music.
Dear Andy: I want you to know how much I thoroughly enjoy my lessons with you. I fear that if our lessons ever stopped I would be hard-pressed to find a teacher like you who is willing to teach both classical, blues and Jazz, and to open my eyes to the amazing correspondence and connections between them.
From an adult student: - You are a gifted pianist and a most competent and caring music teacher. I feel that I am learning a great deal about jazz, including some of its history as well as the structural arrangement of the music itself. You are also sensitized me to improvements I can make in my piano playing technique, including fingering and the concept of “gravity." I admire your passion for the piano and for the dedicated and professional manner in which you present yourself to me at our weekly lessons.
Dear Andy - The wonderful work you do is no doubt a major factor in the rehabilitation and continued education of many young people who want to do the right thing but have never had anyone who believes in them. And so, I suspect, you are that positive role model who helps them 'see the light', making their lives much improved.
Lessons in Piano
The piano is Andy's primary instrument.
He has been playing piano for over 50 years and took formal lessons for nearly 30 years from a variety of highly experienced teachers. Wasserman passes along to his students the rich and diverse knowledge that he was fortunate to receive from his stellar mentors Anne Bacon Dodge, Dwike Mitchell, George Russell and Jeannette Giguere. As a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, Andy is well versed in a multitude of stylistic genres - yet many of his students come to him for his experience and expertise in Jazz, Blues, improvisation and the ability to create arrangements for solo piano.
Click THIS LINK to learn more about Andy's professional career as a pianist.
Andy's original approach and time-tested teaching methods place emphasis in these indispensable areas of music pedagogy:
- developing a masterful piano touch with a full range of dynamic expression by working with gravity and relaxation
- recognition of patterns in music; understanding the theory of music as a language
- rhythmic training: how to count solid, steady beats in even and odd meters; develop rubato, swing, shuffle and syncopation time in different tempos with special focus on note sub-divisions
- how to become a better listener and gain confidence in playing songs by ear: "if you can hear it, you can play it !!!"
- using the piano as a creative activity for self-expression and inner, emotional awareness
- establishing a vast piano repertoire in a variety of styles and genres
- understanding how to play as a member of an ensemble, rhythmic section and in jam sessions
- techniques for working as an accompanist - either of your own singing or for others
- learning the many preparation and rehearsal skills required to feel comfortable and confident in order to enjoy performing your chosen repertoire in public - for family and friends, holiday celebrations, music recitals, talent shows, etc.
Lessons in Drums and Percussion
There is an ancient wisdom expression that says that the only thing a person can do to truly help their fellow human being is to improve their rhythm. Of course, this axiom relates to rhythm in the most general sense, such as the "bounce" in someone's step or the rhythm of their daily life.
Andy brings a high level of discipline to his student's rhythmic training, mixing technique, playing by ear and note reading. He specializes in Funk, Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, Alternative, Jazz and Afro-Cuban styles structured for beginner through intermediate level students of any age.
His unique methods reinforce the musicality that can be expressed on the drums beyond just keeping time or playing grooves. He is currently working on an instructional book that explores the underlying universal rhythmic code that structures all rhythmic patterns.
As a multi-instrumentalist, Andy often accompanies his drum students on piano, keyboards and/or his electric bass. This helps them to learn to hear what a "rhythm section" sounds like and how it works.
ANDY'S EDUCATIONAL & PERFORMANCE BACKGROUND IN DRUMS AND PERCUSSION
- Drum student and performer in his school bands from 5th grade through first year of college.
- Accepted to the High School of Music and Art (Manhattan) on drums and orchestral percussion.
- Drummer in various rock, blues and jazz bands in the New York City area ages 12 - 17.
- Performed and studied orchestral percussion (timpani and mallet instruments) in grades 7 through 10.
- Performed in many New York City Fifth Avenue holiday parades on snare drum in Boy Scout marching bands.
- Decades of private and group study on non-Western hand percussion, drum kit and electronic drums.
- Over 35 years of performing drums and percussion in his World Music Experience arts-in-education concerts
(click THIS LINK to learn more)
Lessons in Composition, Arranging, Theory and Improvisation
Andy Wasserman is an accomplished BMI composer and arranger (click THIS LINK to read more about his composition background and experience) who also gives private lessons to aspiring musicians who wish to create their own music. He welcomes beginners who are new to composition and/or arranging, as well as the more advanced musicians and songwriters who have already begun to craft their own music.
His current roster of composition students consist of very motivated and inspired budding composers in elementary school, middle school and high school grade levels, as well as adult students and professional musicians.
Private lessons in composition very often include instruction in George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization - the art and science of tonal gravity. Maestro Russell was Wasserman's composition and theory professor at New England Conservatory of Music. This "Concept" is easily assimilated by students who have little or no previous study in traditional Western music theory. The fundamentals of music theory are essential to the study of composition, and "The Concept" is a map that explains what the music itself is telling us about it's innate structure.
Click HEREto read more about Andy Wasserman's work with the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization
Wasserman's composition students are encouraged to find their own voice, their own message, and their own story. He gives them the tools that work best for them to break down the barriers between their musical truths and the expression of those truths. His students in arranging learn how to arrange either original compositions or already existing repertoire from any stylistic genre in pieces for any instrumentation, ensemble or vocal group. Notation software is also taught as the latest way to create your own professional sheet music.
Andy Wasserman specializes in teaching his students the meaning behind the music through traditional Western music theory and George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. He includes quite a bit of theoretical information in his instrumental lessons but is also working with a few students whose entire focus is the study of music theory.
Additionally, Andy teaches musicians how to improvise and express themselves freely and with originality on any instrument. The two disciplines of music theory and improvisation go hand in hand. Think of music theory as learning how to speak a language and improvisation as then deciding what it is that you wish to say in that new language.
A student must be an advanced beginner on their instrument and at least 9 years old in order to pursue these subjects.
Anyone can learn how to improvise within any style of contemporary music, but the art of improvisation is often best suited in the context of Jazz - American's indigineous improvisational music.
In this study the student learns to listen and build phrases that communicate a coherent, simple and clear meaningful musical statement while exploring rhythmic invention. Andy gives you the tools to build your own improvised sound with a time-tested method of teaching from the perspective of self-expression and creativity. After all, that's what improvisation is all about - and music theory gives you the map with which to navigate your journey of exploration. These lessons can be of tremendous help to aspiring songwriters and composers in mastering their artistic and aesthetic judgment as well.
Lessons in Digital Music Technology
Andy Wasserman instructs his students in the art and science of using digital music technology in the most creative and productive way. Designed as an individual track of study or incorporated into lessons in compostion, arranging, theory, improvisation, instrumental music, recording and production.
As of 2017, it is practical and extremely economical for anyone - at any age and at any level - to incorporate the current digital music technology into most phases of music composition, production and even performance. The tools that a musician can use on a daily basis are more readily accessible and affordable than ever. At the heart of the digital music techology is the personal computer.
Wasserman has been using a personal computer in his music creation and production since 1986 when he started with the Macintosh Plus, Mark of the Unicorn's Performer version 1, Sound Tools version 1 (which later evolved into today's most popular recording software "Pro Tools"), Finale version 1 and the Akai S900 digital sampler. He has adapted to the myriad of upgrades in technological evolution that have taken place in the last 22 years and now uses a the full spectrum of currently available digital music hardware and software suites to be as creative as possible. Click THIS LINK and scroll down that page to read about Andy's current work in the field of Music Technology.
Andy's teaches his students how to create and use their own digital music workstation with a simple computer and keyboard interface. He then instructs them in the applications of musicality in the following disciplines of study:
learn the art of notating your charts, lead sheets, compositions or arrangements by using software that allows your printed music to look professional, clear and accurate.
learn to use music sequencing software along with a MIDI keyboard to assign different instruments of the band, choir or orchestra to different MIDI channels and hear back your music as an ensemble.
take advantage of the full spectrum of digital music tools to structure, produce, record and notate your own music.
learn to incorporate digital music technology into every phase of your production, from conception to the final CD or MP3 files for the internet
learn how to build your own affordable and professional sounding home workstation and mini-studio to record, edit and master tracks for both acoustic and electronic music.
any instrumentalist can use digital music technology to help them use notation, recording and production in their practice routines and performance techniques, including ear training and rhythmic training.
there are many software programs available today to help students of music theory master the fundamentals and hone their craft.
Take Music Lessons Online via Video Chat
Andy teaches students outside of New Jersey through a high-speed internet in his recording studio for personalized, one-on-one webcam private lessons via real-time streaming video, audio and file sharing
This online distance learning can be accessed using your choice of the free call service platforms Skype, Google Hangout Video Chat, Face Time, ooVoo or Zoom video conferencing for face-to-face webcam streaming. Your lessons can be recorded during the call and archived, stored on your device for future reference. Or if you prefer, we can communicate via phone calls and email too.
Wasserman's studio configures an Ethernet-wired connection, two Hi-Def webcams (switching views between face and Steinway grand piano keys) a studio condenser microphone and Pro-Audio USB interface for smooth, superb sound and picture.
Andy has 3 free services available by request to supplement the video chat for an enhanced learning experience: the whiteboard web program SCIBBLAR, with audio, document upload and text-chat functions for charts and sheet music (Andy draws on whiteboard in real-time during lesson with Wacom Tablet); music notation software file sharing, and cloud storage for custom video and audio practice files he produces individually for each student.
CLICK HERE to send an email directly to Andy for more details on his one-on-one, distance learning private lessons.
ADVANTAGES OF TAKING ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS
- Quality of the teacher: Most educators agree it is better to have Skype lessons with an excellent teacher than it is to have in-person lessons with a less qualified teacher.
- Searching for the best match to suit your needs: Seeking a new teacher using Skype broadens the search possibilities since choices are not restricted to one's local geographical area.
- Connecting with the right teacher: Skype gives students the opportunity to find the best teacher whose expertise can help them attain their goals.
- Added benefit of Recording the Lessons: While students always have the option to record their in-person lessons, it rarely happens. But students can easily record Skype lessons for review at a later time with digital recorders or free apps that plug into Skype during a video call.
- Immediate Practicing: Long-distance students can practice immediately after the lesson when ideas are fresh and when energy levels are still high.
- Warming Up: Students can warm up on their instrument and review their assignment right before their lesson, and have the advantage of playing their own instrument during the Skype lesson.
- Increased student performance:Research studies have found that people tend to be very focused when interacting via webcam with minimal off-task distracting behavior during the lesson.
Click THIS LINK to visit Andy Wasserman's PIANO LESSON CITY website dedicated exclusively to his online music lessons!
A 2015 testimony from an adult study who takes weekly long-distance private lessons online:
Andy: I want to thank you for the time we’ve spent together at the piano during our weekly online Skype video chat calls. I’ve enjoyed listening to the audio I record to document our weekly lessons while driving my car each day. You’re really a gifted teacher and although I’m one of your new students, you have already given me a sense of calm, confidence and excitement when playing the piano and/or composing. I’m very thankful to have been exposed to both you and George Russell’s “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.”
CLICK YELLOW LOG TO CONTACT ANDY WASSERMAN