My Mission

Lead Sheet

I want to put this on the table right away. You have taken the time to browse the Web to the point of actually finding my website. So, here we are. Let me thank you for that by offering you my sincerity. Allow me to explain why this website exists.

This website serves as a vehicle through which I can communicate with you via posts, online instructional tools, and/or personal email correspondence.

That said, who is likely to benefit from what we offer?

Let me digress a tiny bit…

I was brought up learning piano in a way that most are not. Throughout my grammar school and high school years, fellow students who were involved with piano lessons were usually taught the traditional way. I would spend my free periods in the music room and, while there, it was common to be hearing a fellow classmate playing a rendition of Beethoven’s Fur Elise, note for note. When I sat down, I was playing Erroll Garner’s Misty, which was usually different each time I played it.

It became apparent to me that not everyone was exposed to this “free” way of playing music. During later years, while in a private teaching capacity, many who enrolled with me had some traditional classical training and wanted to learn about chords, voicings, and improvisation. I still attract these types of people in my studio today.

Lead Sheet ExampleI’ve often experienced having a trained classical pianist who was quite competent in playing a rendition of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata sit down at the piano and look at a lead sheet (similar to what you see in this illustration) in bewilderment. Those chord symbols above the treble staff left them seemingly immobilized. Learning to interpret a lead sheet like that is missing in much of the musical education in universities unless that school specializes in pop and jazz.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or an accomplished pianist, if you want to learn to be creative with a melody like what you see above, utilizing the chord symbols in most creative ways, you are at the right place. You don’t need previous experience to do this. If you are technically skilled, then you’ll be putting your abilities to more creative use.

I’ll take it a step further by saying that if you simply have an interest in sitting at that piano or keyboard of yours and creating your own improvisations, you are also in the right place. Improvisation is a specialty here.

Whether you simply play piano as a hobby or you are looking to enhance your creative playing skills, I think you’ll find something here that can benefit you. If you don’t, then let me know what WOULD help you! I truly want to provide value on this site.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Let’s face it. It’s allowed us to get this far. That said, what you won’t find here is some “fancy dance” software to dazzle you, trying to convince you that you just found the greatest invention since sliced bread. This site exists for you. What I offer you are tools to help you go from where you are to where you want to be. That could include my online tutorials that you might find in our store, complimentary lessons that I may share with you from time to time, or personal one-on-one correspondence.

I have found that most visitors who “stumble” upon this site are those individuals who simply want to put themselves in touch with some helpful tools that can serve them in a way so that they can simply learn to sit at their piano or keyboard and enjoy playing songs via the use of sheet music, lead sheets, and being able to understand them enough to make music from what is seen. It feels terrific to bring life to those notes we see on a page. The notes are there as a guide. It’s YOU who generates the music (because it’s in you already).

There are others who would enjoy the ability to simply sit at that those keys and play something that sounds good, without using sheet music of any kind. As a matter of fact, when a new student enters my studio, having no experience at all, they usually leave that first lesson being able to do this. You see, I’m in touch with the fact that there’s nothing like the awesome feeling that can be enjoyed when you are simply able to sit at a piano and start expressing yourself without getting mentally hung up with the “how’s” of it all.

There are some others who have a handle on some of those basics and aspire to take those skills up a few notches by learning about special chord voicings, piano fills, and improvisation. Some of these people are professional cocktail pianists, for example, who aspire to enhance their skills.

I personally aspire to assist all these types of visitors. The fact that you are here right now is evidence that there must be something I can help you with, even in some small way. It might even be offering you some input on a question that you may share with me via email.

The learning tools available in our store make that clear. In addition, our relationship means more than that to me. You see, I value one-on-one relationships. Each and every client who enters my piano studio here in Sarasota, Florida is important to me. They are not only my students. They are my teachers. They help me do what I do better each and every day.

Whether you take advantage of some of the learning tools in our store or not, it is my intention for our blog to be instrumental in serving you well by helping you to reach your goals in a way that is more fun and more goal-oriented. For this reason, I hope you will stay tuned. It is also for this reason that I encourage you to correspond with me. Why? That’s easy. No one, other than you, can let me know how I can help you the most. Please let these words be more than just reading material. I really would like to hear from you.

Are you a beginner who never played but would like to know the quickest way to get started with simply sitting down at your piano or keyboard and making some music? Believe it or not, you don’t have to endure months – or even weeks – of lessons to be able to do that. Sure, subsequent weeks and months will make you more confident and proficient but that’s true in all avenues of life. You can, however, learn a few basic strategies that will allow you to get your fingers and hands moving over those keys in a way that’s fun and music-producing.

If you have some experience, it’s my intention to provide you with some tips, techniques, and strategies that will enhance your skills so that the music you are already playing is more satisfying and rewarding to you. In short, you’re in for a bit of a creative adventure here!

Whatever your situation, it’s my desire to offer enough help so that you’ll enjoy your share of “aha!” moments that will have you appreciating yourself more. We could all use more of those “aha!” moments, wouldn’t you agree?

As an online visitor, it’s true that we may not be meeting one-on-one, though it would be a privilege if that opportunity presents itself. That said, I realize that our only contact might be via your staying in touch with our blog, our email correspondence, an occasional phone call, or simply your taking advantage of some of my tutorials as you gain insight into the fact that I really do want you to enjoy your musical experience.

Just a note about our store items. I’ve made efforts to clearly explain what you can expect prior to purchasing each learning tool. However, I do understand that you may still have questions that haven’t necessarily been answered in the descriptions. Rather than leave it to chance, why not send me an email? I invite your questions. Furthermore, you don’t have to have a question to contact me. You’ve gotten this far with me. I would consider it a pleasure and privilege if you would consider taking the time to send me a message. Share with me your interests.

I want you to know that my mission is to help make your visit here worth your while. You are a real person… and there is a real person on the other side here – a person who cares. I truly want you to gain value from your time invested here (there is a contact page on this site). Please don’t ever hesitate to help me make that possible.

Dave Longo