I am both classically trained and self-taught. I teach from a classical foundation, also blending Playing By Ear, the Nashville Number System, and a few personally developed teaching methods.
I love so many different styles of music, and I enjoy and encourage the inner musical compass of each one of my students. I am a singer/songwriter, a solo vocal/piano entertainer, a thoughtful and sensitive accompanist to several Nashville vocalists, and I enjoy being part of a New Orleans Blues duo, and a Jazz / Latin / New Orleans trio. My broad experiences in music allow me to recognize and develop each individual's musical strengths and ambitions.
Seeing each child, student, adult enjoy growing as a pianist and musician !!! I especially love working with children and adults who may have a challenge or two, as we all do. Joy, richness, depth in working and mastering this beautiful art, are why I do what I do. You will often hear me say "Hey, we get to do this !!!" It is a privilege and a joy to live this life we have been given, and to pursue the reasons we were created in this time, place and world.
He has a lot of white hair, but besides that, he has gotten me pretty far along in a year & a half. He does a great job figuring out what I need and when I need it. There is no rigid program. That he knows his music and enjoys what he is doing shines through. If you are ready to put some time in, he can teach.
I have been working with Mark as an adult for about two years and am thrilled with the progress he has helped me to achieve. Having previously taken 7+ years of on-again, off-again lessons as both a child and an adult, I was forever frustrated that I knew technically "how to play" the piano; but, practically speaking, I couldn't really play anything that interested me very well at all. Mark quickly got to the bottom of that and taught me what I never learned before... "how to practice"!!! He patiently and encouragingly broke everything down with me to the most basic of practice steps to master each song one layer and measure at a time. For me, everything else failed, but this is working. We've gotten through Claire de' Lune are now rounding the corner with Beethoven's Pathetique. Thank you, Mark!
I always have our first meeting to be a free visit, either by phone, or by appointment at one of my two locations. I teach at Miller Piano Specialists / Home of Yamaha Pianos, next door to Sperry's in Cool Springs, and at my home in Brentwood.
Our first meeting lets us evaluate each other... We get to know a little more about what each one of us is doing, musically and in life !! In that time, each will better understand if working together might be a good partnership.
My piano training is classically based, from my third through eighth grade years, by Dr. Dennis Dalton, Dr. Dorothy McKamie, and Mrs. J.W. Ousley, in Waco, Texas. In high school, I performed in the Midway High Marching Band, Jazz Band, and in another rock/pop band with high school friends. At Abilene Christian University, I was chosen to be a part of the Hilltop Singers, from 1972-74. This group was dynamic and amazing, and we toured The Pacific: Guam, Philippines, Taiwan, Okinawa, Japan, Hawaii, with the U.S.O. April-June of 1974. In Hilltop Singers, I played electric guitar, piano and sang. I moved to Nashville, TN in 1975. Returned to Texas to earn an M.B.A. in Management / Marketing at A.C.U. in 1977, I moved back to Nashville in 1979 to live permanently. I am a published singer/ songwriter, half of blues duo Newell & Sorrells, Leader of the Mark Sorrells Trio, a gifted accompanist if I say so myself, and I perform jazz, Latin, pop, classical, improv and New Orleans blues & boogie - either piano only, or Piano & Vocals.
$40. for 30 minutes.
$60. for 45 minutes.
$80. for 60 minutes.
Lessons are on a weekly basis are the most helpful, since we are working with about four fundamental perspectives in learning to play piano, creating further dimensions with skill and development. I find weekly lessons to be the most productive for the student's learning and progress, and to be sure that the student is not practicing counterproductively. I expect each student to think of their piano training on a long-term basis.
I have always had an intuitive knack for teaching others, and a love of learning, especially about how people think, learn, grow. I earned a 3.67 of 4.0 GPA in my M.B.A program, and used my education in the Advertising business, Promotion and Concert Coordination. I returned to Piano Teaching with Simply Music in 2010, and I've enjoyed being able to lead students, both children and adults, into the enjoyment of playing their piano and exploring their musicality. As a child, I worked through Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Manuel de Falla, and Copeland as an advanced Intermediate student. Over the years, I have developed a teaching method of my own, incorporating classical study, the Nashville Number System, and the Demystification of Music Theory.
My youngest student started at age 6, and he is progressing nicely at age 11. My oldest students are over 70. My preferred range to teach is from 7-77+. By age 7, a child's hands have developed needed strength, and their First Grade experience has taught the child to work nicely with a teacher's direction. I have taught a Dove Award Winner and Renowned Actress, an Ex-F-106 Fighter Pilot, a successful Americana Artist, several medical doctors and nurses, many children, many retirees who are reviving or developing their piano accomplishments, several highly-functioning budding pianists, and at least two musical prodigies, so far.
A Joyful performance during the Franklin Art Crawl, on the wonderful Howard piano at Gallery 202, in Franklin, TN. Some environments, and some pianos, generate joy and peace from their essences. Thank you to Kelly Harwood, and to Jim for lending Gallery 202 your lovely family heirloom Howard piano.
Also, recent fun gigs downtown at both Florida-Georgia Line House, in their Piano Bar, and at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, sitting in for piano-entertainment friends and peers.
Find out if you and your teacher appreciate and enjoy each other's personality and giftings. Do you like the way your teacher plays piano? Do you enjoy each other as fellow human beings?? Can you have fun with your teacher?? Do you want to develop and pursue your own musical accomplishments, with your teacher's coaching and help?? Do your musical ambitions and your teacher's experience and teaching style match ??
The question "Why do you want to do this?"
"What do you want to accomplish with your piano study?"
All answers are valid and acceptable, as they sometimes reveal deeper questions, directions and answers.