Name: JonNichimyoun (Jon) Taylor
Website: View Jon’s LinkedIn profile
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
I am a music educator, composer, and music producer. My main instrument is the piano, where I have had over 60 years of experience in performance and travel throughout the world.
I began my teaching career in the early 1970’s as a music school teacher for the Board of Education in Jersey City, New Jersey. However, it was at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee that I started my career, first as a music education major, receiving my Bachelors of Science degree, followed by the Masters of Arts degree in musicology and pedagogy.
From 1977 through 2000, I became a resident of Europe, where I studied music composing, orchestration, and piano. My interests have always been in film scoring as well as jazz piano.
After residing in Europe for more than 24 years, I returned to the USA, making my base here in Los Angeles to work as a film composer. I ended up landing a position as a piano instructor for a private music school in Tarzana, California. The rest is being created with some truly wonderful results.
Being in the moment listening to classical and jazz music and trending chill tracks.
Favorite place to perform:
In the past, I have frequented many venues, particularly the international piano venues; European and Asian hotels; and jazz clubs in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria; I was the winner of the 1977 International Piano Improvisations competition in Lyon, France. I have also done classical and jazz performances in Vienna concert halls and engagements on world-renowned cruise ships of international stature.
Teaching Tech Setup:
Semi-weighted Digital Keyboard 88 (link is a suggestion of a comparable option)
Apple iMac 27 (2011) (links to updated model)
Audio Interface Behringer U-Phoria 204 HD
Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone
Logitech Pro Webcam wide angle (for above the keyboard)
2nd camera with tripod for side angle viewing (Apple iPhone 14+)
What’s great about teaching on Forte?
Forte is the newest discovery and an adaptable compliment to add to your online music teaching experience.
Forte resonates well with music teachers and musicologists because of the brilliance of clarity in both video and audio quality. The audio is crystal clear. The sound feels close to being added to the student and teacher’s living/work space.
Tell us a bit about your teaching style:
Of course, I teach piano; however, I could be more regarded as a piano trainer. Teaching is not only a skill but an art all to itself. There are piano coaches who deal with just repertoire, giving direction into which way this piece should be played, with several alterations and developments. A piano trainer, however, prepares each student in the mannerism of approaching the piano with regards to touch, sound, articulation, and balance. One employs the use of the arms and wrist in artistic fluctuation only to produce sensual tones from the instrument that will eventually be one’s own message.
You love to teach jazz. How has your love of jazz influenced your teaching?
Within the scope of teaching, from the standpoint of improvisation, I find that it gives each student a chance to discover hidden talents, particularly with advanced piano students. It takes them to where they have never ventured, or have been too fearful to become exposed. This has pretty much been the case with well-trained classical musicians; however, there have been exceptions to the rules.
Breaking barriers is why I love to teach jazz. It offers some tremendous challenges, leading to creative and technical freedom. Secondly, our young generation is the key to the future. Educating young adults who have no idea of this true American art form, historically speaking, will awaken in them a truer knowledge and understanding of how music truly began in this country, and as to why we have so many of the music genres of today: blues, gospel, jazz, rock & roll, country, pop, R&B, rock, and hip-hop.
Tell us what you like most about your experience as a music educator:
The excitement of knowing that you are giving, and that others may well benefit from it. I love being a communicator, and this resonates in pretty much all that I do and all that I need to be.
Repertoire that I love to teach:
Well, there are the methods for piano such as The Virtuoso Pianist, CL HANON, the basics studies in Harmony, Ear Training, Cadences, etc. All that makes this job fulfilling in order to fully master the great masterpieces of the times. I love both classical and jazz, and I have students who prefer one or the other, sometimes both genres.
A piece of repertoire I love to play:
I always love to improvise. I don’t always get the chance to choose which favorite I love to play when it comes to repertoire. I just sit down at the keyboard and touch the first note or sometimes, a cluster, and it all begins there.
There is so much that needs to be composed, recorded, and then repeated consistently from beginning to end. Discovery is more permanent than creativity. Music of various forms has always existed; it just takes the right moment for that special being to bring it forth to the masses.
Upon my arrival into Los Angeles, some 20 years ago, I got my first job as a baker working the night shift. I love baking or just about anything that involves cooking. It’s my second passion.
In the artist’s own words:
“Always strive to live in the moment – not a second before or a second afterwards. Everything happens right then and there, which may change your life from now into the eternal now.”