You may wonder how does he do that? Is it talent, is it practice, or is it supernatural? Michael would say it is a combination of all three.
The pursuit of creating more music was the driving force for Michael. More music, more emotions, and more soul. This is how Michael began his journey of doing more.
- Creating More
- Learning More
- Being More
Michael’s goal with every lesson is to instill in his students more techniques and more confidence to unleash their inner musician.
It first began in the windy city of Chicago when Michael took lessons with Sister Thea in 3rd grade.
After a year of classical piano lessons, Michael quit.
He enrolled at “U of DIY” majoring in works of Lennon, McCartney, with a minor in Elton John and with an emphasis in Simon & Garfunkle. Michael found the music he loved and emulated his musical heroes in an obsessive pursuit to replicate the sounds he loved.
From 1968-1975 Michael was in a Musical Wilderness. Until he attend Alan Swain Studios. As he describes it: “The Thoroughbred was out of the gate.”
Three years later, 1978, Michael switched from Pop to Jazz studying with Tony King, the Director of Jazz at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. Mr. King was the former big band pianist at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Michael earned a B.S. in Marketing at Marquette University, but never missed an opportunity to perform Jazz piano.
Tony SAW Michael. He was struck by Michael’s immense talent and this encounter led to a mentorship of creative improvisation over the next three years. The real virtue instilled by Tony King was how Michael no longer needed to be bound to the songs he heard, but imparted the sublime idea of FREEDOM into young Michael’s spirit. It was a Red-Sea-parting.
His life experiences were far beyond Michael’s circles growing up in suburban Chicago. Michael and Tony were like two hydrogen atoms in a kind of nuclear fusion that still resonates through Michael’s core. Michael, a thoroughbred wanted to run a faster unyielding tempo. Michael’s brother David built a verbal wall of caution in a 1981 conversation “Don’t study with John Suter unless you are really serious!” Michael promptly jumped over it, beginning a 10 year odyssey of Classical interpretation and technique study. His expertise was in Tone Production. He would say: “Music is Sound. Sound is Tone.” John Suter lived and breathed in the 3/8″ descent of the piano key, where piano tone is created.
When you listen to Michael play, it feels like you are the only person in the performance hall as he plays melodies that speak through the keys. The ensuing reaction is the conversation of music that connects your heart with your ears into a unique experience happening simultaneously with everyone in attendance. You may think that it is the magic in the music, but the joy that you feel is your soul becoming in synch with the language of love and understanding that reverberates from the piano strings.
Some speak foreign languages, Michael, ‘piano whispers.’
Connect with Michael to learn more about how you can build on your own talents and create your own musical language. See you in the winners circle with the PianoWhispers.