Musical Interests

When time permits, I play the piano. Jazz is the music I like best. I especially like jazz piansts such as Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, and George Shearing. Other artists I like include Joe Pass and Earl Kluge on guitar, and vocalists Mel Torme and Diane Krall.

Piano Background

I started taking piano lessons when I was eleven years old. I studied in the Royal Conservatory of Music program and completed the Grade Six exam. In high school, I tired of playing classical music and was about to give up playing the piano. Fortunately, my teacher asked "what do you want to play?" I responded with "Songs that I listen to and not classical music." Throughout high school, I played a variety of popular music from the sixties and seventies, including songs from The Bealtes, Elton John, and Supertramp. I also started playing some jazz music -- mostly songs from Oscar Peterson's Canadiana Suite.

Getting a Piano

In 1976, I moved from Edmonton to Vancouver. For a couple of years, I had no piano. I did try playing guitar, but I became frustrated with my lack of progress. Though a series of accidental meetings, I was able to purchase a Gors and Kallmann baby grand piano for a really low price (I recall it was around $1,500). This piano was designed in Germany, built in England, and originally purchased in Australia around 1930-1935. The piano has had all the strings replaced, the pins moved up a size, and the keyboard regulated. I still use it today, as do my children.

A Teacher

For many years my piano teacher was Brenda Baird. Brenda has a degree in classical music from UBC and a diploma in commercial music from Capilano College. Besides teaching, Brenda performs regularly, and switches effortlessly between classical, pop, blues, and jazz. Brenda added a lot of discipline to my playing (especially to my rhythm). Life has been too busy to continue with lessons, but I still see Brenda from time to time and listen to recordings of her band Mother of Pearl.

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