Willie has toured both the U.S. and Europe as clinician and performer. He is a graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music and has studied in New York with Fred Hersch and in Boston with Ray Santisi. Willie has produced several recordings as bandleader and his music has been featured on over 90 radio stations nationwide.
Willie began JazzKids in 1996. Since then, JazzKids has grown into a program used by hundreds of teachers around the globe. JazzKids books and workshops have taught children as young as six-years-old how to begin improvising on their own. Teachers too have learned how to effectively teach jazz and improvisation to their own students, even if they have little or no jazz experience.
Willie’s music has been published by Alfred®, MelBay® and Hal Leonard® music publishers.
PianoWithWillie.com was formed in 2007 and since then, thousands of students from around the globe use Willie’s method to take their piano playing to the next level.
What students, teachers and parents have said about Willie’s method:
I prefer your approach to jazz because it is so accessible to beginning students, plus they’re learning to use their ears AND learning licks so they can create their OWN jazz rather than being dependent on music, the way I have been most of my life.
Thank You! I am impressed with your method. It seems very basic and user friendly. I’ve tried a variety of different jazz approaches and this one seems easier for a beginner to understand.
Your books are pedagogically so useful because they actually provide students the tools to create their own music. Several of my students (ages 6 – 7) have been improvis- ing licks to their mom’s accompaniment (the “first bass line” in the workbook), and are now even playing their own left hand accompaniment!
A great set of books to start your child off right in learning and appreciating the music of jazz. The JazzKids instruction books should be in every library in the country.
*photo credit Matt Ferrara