Russ Kaplan Music

Russ Kaplan Music

5.0 (3)
1 employee
24 years in business

About this pro

I'm a Broadway composer and jazz/rock pianist who teaches piano, songwriting/composition and music theory to students of all ages. I have a flexible approach to the piano that can focus on reading music and/or ear training, and can help students learn any style of music they like.

I've just relocated to Florida after teaching for many years in New Jersey. I continue to teach online, with students as far away as Switzerland!

Outside of my teaching, I've written music for TV, Theatre, have released an album of original jazz, and played in countless bands.

I love helping students not only develop technical piano skills, but discover how to develop a personal style and create their own music.

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Minneapolis, MN 55438
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3 Reviews


  • Sara Klein

    My daughter loves her weekly lesson with Russ! Not only is he a superb musician, he is kind and thoughtful and works well with children. My daughter has grown so much in her years working with Russ - it is wonderful to see her progress.

  • Kimberly Barnard

    A masterful pianist and jazz musician in general, and a caring, creative, patient teacher. I can't imagine my four sons ever outgrowing him, and he has become a beloved family friend. My eldest two sons, ages 10 and 12, have become accomplished well beyond their peers who are learning to play piano from other teachers. In fact, they seem to be many years ahead of their peers, and their technique is better. Russ is a star at breaking down every concept in a way they easily understand, can practice independently, and then master under Russ’s guidance. I have never seen anyone play so masterfully who is also able to teach his craft as well as Russ. He is personable and fun, and my boys LOVE their lessons. Russ can teach any style of piano well, from jazz piano to classical piano, to pop...anything. He can also compose music. For instance, the only piano music we could find for the well loved jazz piece “Linus and Lucy” didn’t include the descant, so Russ whipped one up for us and figured out where to insert it! It sounds amazing! Russ is also currently teaching my son two classical pieces by Mozart and Rachhmaninoff. He can teach any style at any ability level. I can’t wait to take lessons from him myself after my boys grow up!

  • Michelle T.

    Russ Kaplan was our about-to-turn-seven-year-old daughter's first piano teacher. She came to him with virtually no knowledge of the piano and the freewheeling energy of a first-grader. Russ's patience and even-keeled discipline transformed her into a child who could sit at the piano for half an hour and learn a song.

Photos & Videos


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

I like to get to know what music the student really loves, and to get a sense of their learning style. Lessons for beginners may need to be basic "skill-builders," but I try to customize them as much as possible to the student's musical interests.

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

I studied Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, with a minor in Jazz Piano Performance. I have continued my studies as an adult with pianist Erik Deutsch (Charlie Hunter Trio, Leftover Salmon, The Chicks).

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

$75/hr, $60/45 minutes, $40/30 minutes

How did you get started teaching?

I started giving lessons informally as a teenager to younger kids and my peers, and never really stopped. I turned full time in 2016.

What types of students have you worked with?

Everything from 5-year-old beginners to adult beginners, from teen songwriters to grownups returning to the instrument after a long break. I love 'em all!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

A number of my students, in the midst of the pandemic, have participated in their schools' virtual talent shows, and have come out thrilled and confident with their performances. It's the best feeling for a teacher.

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

Make sure you get a "good vibe," and that your lessons can include music that you like!