Do you want to learn about jazz piano, improvisation, harmony, composition, arranging, and be able to sit in at a jam session anywhere in New York City or in your hometown? Be admitted to a jazz school or music college? Build a solid repertoire, become proficient at playing standards, write tunes, and maybe put your own band together or feel comfortable joining an existing outfit?
I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to go through all of these exciting steps in the life of a musician myself, and I’m definitely looking forward to sharing this experience with you. I began to learn jazz piano in Paris (France) as a teenager, and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full tuition scholarship. I recently moved to New York City to continue to grow as an artist in this utterly inspiring metropolis, full of talent and creativity.
I offer jazz piano lessons that are well suited for:
- jazz pianists of all levels;
- adventurous classically trained pianists who feel the urge to explore improvisation and the swinging world of jazz;
- all other instrumentalists eager to either strengthen their basic piano skills or deepen the practice of improvisation on their principal instrument;
- vocalists who wish to hone their piano accompaniment skills;
- and finally writers and computer musicians committed to improving in the areas of jazz harmony, arranging, composition, improvisation, and enthusiastic about incorporating new techniques into their productions.
In addition to the actual lessons, make sure to check out these posts regularly for tips, ideas, transcriptions, analyses, and in depth study of intriguing jazz topics that will help you walk in the masters’ Footprints and make Giant Steps towards your Freedom Jazz Dance!
The repertoire studied during the lessons can be as vast as jazz is diverse. I curate a playlist on Spotify you can dig into entitled "Jim’s Jazz Piano Lessons," which is a selection of standards, jazz tunes, latin tunes, rhythm changes, blues, and ballads performed by a wealth of diverse musicians, and covering a wide range of styles and eras. In fact, exploitable melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements for the purpose of these lessons can be drawn from most music, within and beyond the scope of jazz… I’m therefore open to – and encourage – students’ suggestions: practicing a piece one actually knows and enjoys can be a strong motivational factor and often enhances the learning experience.
Study Material & Resources
- Jamey Aebersold, Charlie Parker Omnibook: for C instruments (treble clef) (Alfred Music Publishing)
- Fiona Bicket, The Barry Harris Approach to Improvised Lines & Harmony: An Introduction (www.barryharris.com)
- Miles Davis, Quincy Troupe, Miles: The Autobiography (Simon & Schuster)
- Charles-Louis Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises for the Piano (Schirmer)
- Michael Hewitt, Musical Scales of the World (The Note Tree)
- Mark Levine, The Jazz Piano Book (Sher Music Co.)
- Mark Levine, Jazz Piano Masterclass: The Drop 2 Book (Sher Music Co.)
- Mark Levine, How to Voice Standards at the Piano: the Menu (Sher Music Co.)
- Frank Mantooth, Voicings for Jazz Keyboard (Hal Leonard Corp.)
- Stephen Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art (Tarcher/Penguin)
- Neil Olmstead, Solo Jazz Piano: The Linear Approach (Berklee Press)
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet (fully digitized here on jazz pianist Bill Carrothers’ website!)
- Adam Spiers, Scale Matcher (http://scalematcher.adamspiers.org)
- Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Musician Within (http://kennywerner.com/effortless-mastery)
- Philippe Lopes de Sa / Jim Funnell, Woandering, 2017
- Benjamin de Roubaix, Chansons d'amour, 2016
- AfuriKo, Style, 2016
- Jim Funnell's Word Out, Spirit of the Sn@il, 2015
- AfuriKo, On the Far Side, 2014
- Flox, All Must Disappear, 2012
- Word Out, Word Out, 2009
- David Fiuczynski, KiF Express, 2008
Music Industry Awards
- Berklee College of Music Professional Writing Division Wayne Shorter Award (Boston, 2007)
- Berklee College of Music Professional Writing Division Arif Mardin Award (Boston, 2006)
- Berklee College of Music Piano Department Achievement Award (Boston, 2006)
- Berklee College of Music Piano Department Chair Award (Boston, 2005)
- Berklee College of Music Full Tuition Scholarship (American School of Modern Music, Boulogne-Billancourt, 2003)