Piano, Songwriting And Composition With Jackson

Piano, Songwriting And Composition With Jackson

5.0 (2)
1 hire on Lessons.com
1 employee
3 years in business

About this pro

I have been playing music and composing my whole life. When I was 6, I began studying piano, developing a love of jazz, pop and R&B as I grew older. At Berkeley High School, I played in the world renowned jazz ensemble under Sarah Cline, traveling to Cuba in 2016. I also studied with Susan Muscarella, the founder of the California Jazz Conservatory, for several years. After high school, I enrolled in Pomona College, where I am going into my senior year studying French. During my time in college, I have balanced my academic pursuits with my musical ones, with the goal of working full time as a musician after graduation.

In addition to my study of piano, songwriting, composition, and music production have been important parts of my life. During my final year of high school, I founded Molly with Charles, a songwriting collaboration with a friend that has now grown into seven piece live soul band. I also work to produce music for many artists, especially in the R&B and soul genres. 

Throughout my life, music has been an essential anchor for me. It has been the catalyst for much individual growth, whether through the process of articulating emotions in a song or the lessons of sacrifice and commitment imparted through dedicating oneself to a craft. It has introduced me to so many people outside of my milieu. And it has offered me a way of understanding our world. The cultural heritage of American music, founded and developed by African-Americans, is profound, and conveys as much truth about our history as any textbook. 

I have extensive experience working with kids as an au pair, coach, and substitute teacher. I bring empathy, a sense of humor, and patience to each encounter. I know that each students needs are different, and I'm committed to tailoring my teaching to meet students where they are while pushing them forward. Above all, I hope to transmit the joy and richness of this art form for students to carry with them throughout their life.

I love the communion that music can offer. The shared pursuit of writing a song, trying to get a band to listen to each other, mixing a beat -- all of these consitute profound forms of communication. I love listening to the greats (Herbie, Stevie, D'Angelo, Aretha, Ahmad Jamal, Prince) and deciphering the poetry of their expression. And then going out and copying them! Even attempting a tenth of   what they did represents an enormous pinnacle. This is a humbling recognition, but one that also conveys the limitlessness of the form. 

I love when I look out into the crowd at a show and see someone swaying to the music with closed eyes. I love when somebody covers a song I've wrote, or inspired to create any kind of art. I love hearing that something that surprises, and trying to reverse engineer that magic. 

When something clicks -- whether in myself or a student -- it's extremely rewarding. It means that your own tiny voice in this vast musical conversation across centuries now has one more means of expressing itself.  

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Albany, CA 94707
Email verified
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2 Reviews


  • Oliver cooper

    Jackson is one of the best songwriters and piano players I’ve ever worked with and learned from! He’s the sweetest guy ever and his ideas are so unique but so beautiful always. He is definitely one of the best teachers and musicians I know and I’m honored to be able to learn from him on a regular basis .

  • Cary Friday

    He provides clear instruction, is kind and calm, makes sure to go at your pace and quickly adapts to your learning needs.

Photos & Videos


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I first like to get to know them and break the ice a little bit, because I know lessons can be intimidating at first. I tell them about myself and my musical journey. Then I ask what kind of music they like to listen to and what they might be interested in learning to play. 

I then begin my assessing their experience level. If they are able to play a piece, I ask to hear. After gauging where they are with the instrument, I like to assign a piece of music they are excited about and work from there. Especially at the beginning, it's essential to avoid rote exercise and instill a joy for learning, because the latter is the most effective fuel for getting better. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

15 years of private study with William Beatty and Susan Muscarella, with a focus on jazz 

Berklee College of Music 5 Week Summer Program Full Scholarship Récipient 

Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble 2013-2016

Molly with Charles, co-founder and musical director, 2016-présent

Jordan Hawkins, pianist/producer 2018-present 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

30 minutes - $15

1 hour - $30

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching during a gap year after high school, when I returned to my elementary and middle school alma mater Prospect Sierra to work as a substitute teacher. During this process, I fell in love with working with kids, especially during music class. I also took on part time work as an assistant track coach at Piedmont Middle School. These experiences in my gap year solidified my commitment to making teaching part of my career. 

Throughout college, I have done volunteer work teaching music to local kids. I am currently looking to take on more students  and gain experience before graduating next year. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked primarily with students from K-4. I have also done some work with autistic students. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recently got to take part in the annual Foontastic Fundraiser, held annually to honor Neel Foon, a young musician who passed away in 2016. This was my third year playing in the program, which has come to constitute a really important gathering of Bay Area music community. Although the event was held virtually, each performer was able to convey spirit and joy through their work. There were middle schoolers playing insanely advanced bluegrass, professional jazz musicians, singer-songwriters, and an adorable chorus of kids from Montessori. I played three different songs with various configurations of friends: Butterfly, by Herbie Hancock, Ain't No Sunshine, by Bill Withers, and a Molly with Charles original. I was so proud to be a part of such a resilient show of community, especially during this time. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

I would advise them to think about how they are best motivated, and what kind of teacher pushes them most effectively. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Students should think about what component of music excites them the most. Music is such a multifaceted form: there is recording, performance, composition, production,!and so on. Identify your area(s) of passion and go from there!